Feel a bit of a failure!

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I feel a bit of a failure!

To give a bit if a history of what has happened my husband had a acquired brain injury a few years ago. He was in hospital for 22 months but was discharged and has been home now for 16 months we have a care package and a social worker. I'm my husbands full time carer and up until now everything has been fine..... until tonight!

I left him lying on the sofa sleeping and nipped upstairs to tidy up and change the bed, clean the bathroom etc anyway I came downstairs to give him his tablets and he was gone he had managed to unlock the backdoor and get out the garden.... my heart sank. I went to my neighbours and after what seemed like an age (in reality must have been 5 no more than 10 minutes) we found him. He had managed to walk to the end of the road and the police had been called. I've never had the police come to my door before ever until tonight, they were very nice and told me not to worry that these things happen... but now I feel like I've failed my husband. Everyone says how well I look after him and how lucky he is to have me but I feel I've let him down, I feel terrible , I've never had any contact with the police and I worry that this will be reported!
Sounds like you are doing a brilliant job in difficult circumstances. Maybe an alarm on the door or under the mat might help? Wanting to get out and enjoy the weather made him more determined. The police won't report you to anyone, don't worry. I'm sure they know how tough caring can be.
Cheechee
You are certainly not a failure!! Don't beat yourself up. It's happened to many and the police understand.
As BB suggested, an alarm mat may help. Have you had an assessment recently for your husband. Occupational therapist may advice on what can be put in place.
Sounds like you are doing really well x
My friend's father with dementia managed to 'escape' and headed into town. (He's obsessed with going to the bank and taking his money out!!!). My friend was phoned by the police saying he'd been 'handed in' and went to collect him. He was fine, and the policewoman was lovely - but when she asked my friend how long she'd been looking after him, and my friend said 'five years now' the policewoman went pale at the gills......

I agree about some extra security precautions. Would it also help maybe, if he had some kind of emergency bracelet or something on, with a phone number and that of his doctor or something, in case it happens again?

Hope you can get some nice walks with your husband in this glorious weather, and maybe tire him out so he's content to sit at home when you get back??

It's a difficult thing, caring, and can be heartbreaking when it is your own husband....

Kindest wishes, Jenny
Thanks, for the last 16 months everything has revolved around my husband. He is the first and last thing I think about each and every single day. Everything we do has to revolve around him as he is classed as vulnerable. I think what really panicked me (other than him going missing) was the fact the police were involved. I'm sure that the police have seen much word and they did say not to worry I wasn't in trouble, but I do worry!

We have an o/t from the ABI team who are working with us and I'm ashamed to say that we do have an alarm on the door but I didn't switch it on, he was fast asleep and well anyway I was obviously remiss and that was my fault!
Caring is a learning process and we 'learn on the job'! We don't come to it as ready made experts.

Go easy on yourself! You're dealing with a VERY difficult situation, and life has dealt you and your husband a bitter blow - so please don't judge yourself harshly.

The police exist to HELP us, and protect us - that is their function. And they'd far rather spend their time returning a lost wanderer than having to deal with thugs and criminals!!!!!
Do not beat yourself up about the incident. The police were there to help him and you they would not report that. Happens everyday very common. You seem like you are so devoted to him.hes so lucky to have such a caring wife. And maybe to put your mind at rest get few more security measures .but it was not your fault caring is such a demanding job u are doing so well
Thanks for everyone's supportive words.

It was a shock but now that I've had time I can see it in some perspective. Its very true this is a learning process and we do learn from our mistakes, I've certainly learned something valuable. I know that I do my best for my husband and everyone involved in his care have said so, but I now realise that I do tend to beat myself up.... I need to learn to stop doing that.... I'm doing my best... learn from this.
Thats good to hear you feel better about the situation now .we all tend to beat our selves up when faced with difficult challenges but dont realise how strong we all are faced and dealing with things. Best of luck with your husbands care and take care of yourself
Think of this incident as a 'lucky lesson' in that, say, because of this incident, you will now put the alarm on all the time, whether or not it's 'necessary'....and that, you know, could well save a far more serious incident where, say, your husband got knocked down by a car or something similar.

So this incident was a very timely warning, and has very likely saved your husband from a much worse accident.

And as I say, the police are there to help us - we pay for them to be a 'line of defence' for us, and in this instance that is exactly what they've done.


Please don't beat yourself up mentally. Not one of us is perfect, and setting impossibly high standards is counter-productive.

16 months is a long time to be on 'point duty' - when did you last have any 'time off'? Carers have to be very wary of burn out - one member calls it Clapped Out Carer Syndrome when we just run out of even our reserve tank of energy. We do have to ensure we 'pace' ourselves, and get enough 'time off' both during each day, and at regular periods for a good number of days (even if, for example, that means your husband having a week in respite care while you 'recharge' either on a staycation or a true getaway holiday) (that is in addition to any 'getaways' that you can have with your husband, which I hope can still happen for the both of you).

Being constantly on 'high alert' is very, very draining.....can't be sustained indefinitely. Do you get any help in with your husband at all? I do hope so!