Jordans—Nursing Home Discussion
Those with Alzheimer's talk about how they cope with the disease in their daily lives.
In this video excerpt, Everett Jordan movingly tells how he came to make the decision to move his wife to a nursing home when he found that he was "ready to snap." While much is left unsaid by his children as they discuss how that decision was made, it is clear they were unprepared for it and felt that they were deprived of an opportunity to do more to help their parents.
Applying the video to your own situation
- The Jordan children clearly wanted to do more to relieve Everett of some of his caregiving responsibilities, but Everett seemed to feel that it was unfair to add further responsibilities to their already busy lives. If you are a spousal caregiver, have you felt similar reluctance to involve your children or do you wish they would show an interest in doing more? If you are an adult child, do you want to do more to help your parents, or would you be grateful if they understood that your time and energy are limited?
- It's implied that the primary aid that his children wanted to provide involved moving Betty and Everett into the household of one of the adult children. Everett didn't find this acceptable. If you are a caregiving spouse, would you consider moving into the home of an adult child who had a family of her own? Have you already done so? What are the benefits and drawbacks of an intergenerational household? What is lost, for example, in terms of privacy, and gained in terms of family bonds? Is there a limit to how long such an arrangement works well? Does it only work well with certain people under certain conditions? If so, what do you think is needed for success? If you would never consider such an arrangement, why not?
- Other options for ways Everett's adult children could have helped him were not discussed in this video. If you are a spousal caregiver, what help would be most appreciated by you? If you are an adult child, what other kinds of help do you (or could you) give your parents, such as cooking, housecleaning, yard work, transportation, shopping, or bill paying?
- One key to successfully providing assistance is to recognize your won boundaries for what you can/will give or accept. What are yours?
- Moving Betty to a nursing home was not seen as a desirable solution to the children. Are there times when residential care is the best solution?
- What seemed to his children like Everett's abrupt decision to move Betty to a nursing home was surrounded by a lot of frustration and hurt feelings. If you have already faced this decision, can you suggest how such tension can be avoided or overcome?
While much is left unsaid by his children as they discuss how that decision was made, it is clear they were unprepared for it and felt that they were deprived of an opportunity to do more to help their parents.