In Sickness and in Health

NEVER in my life did I expect to be considering memory care at such an early age for my husband and best friend. With his children grown and with kids of their own and my only daughter about to start her family, he and I certainly had discussions in regard to what the other wanted in case our health or financial security ever became an issue. Thankfully we had taken the necessary steps in preparing our POA, outlining our medical wishes, and completing the proper forms with hopes that this would ease the burden and pain of one day having to make certain decisions in such a difficult time. But when talking about these matters and going through the advised procedures together, we imagined these actions would prepare us for a time in the far and distant future. Tragically, however, I was put in a position and forced to face such decisions much sooner than I was emotionally prepared for. I never imagined I’d be questioning memory care for my spouse before the age of 65! The thought of it broke my heart and the responsibility and anxiety around finding a place in which I felt confident the staff would keep him safe, care for him and treat him as if he were a member of their own family, and love him like he deserved, it all weighed so heavily on my heart.
Fortunately, through a family member, I was given a contact and found my way to Caroline Bell. Ms. Bell devoted her time to answering all my questions and made calls to find out anything she didn’t know. She was willing to go to doctors’ appointments with me and visit memory care facilities. She was caring and understanding as she herself had experienced the pain that comes from this disease affecting a loved one. She was patient with me and supportive as I went back and forth on whether I was making the right decision. She reminded and encouraged me to feel at peace as every doctor agreed that it was best for my husband to be in an environment where he could have 24-hour care.
With her encouragement and support I was able to find a place that was clean, well-staffed, and that answered my prayers with all I hoped and wanted for him. The day of the move and the drive there was still torture and I constantly had to remind myself that this was for his care and his safety. I had to reflect back on all the conversations with the doctors and that this disease wasn’t going to get better. We got him moved in and I can now say with great relief, the visits with him have been good. Now instead of going through the daily struggle of worrying constantly about his every need and coming home after work exhausted to then try and give my all to his physical and emotional needs, I get to enjoy time with my husband again. I get excited to bring him surprises, food, ice cream, and to sit with him holding hands. We can talk or just appreciate one another’s company. To be able to leave and know he is in good hands and him not cry to go home, this gives me such peace of mind. I feel I have truly taken care of him and kept my vows – in sickness and in health.

Margaret Shore