Dear Family Resource,
Our son is 41 and disabled since a car accident left him a quadriplegic. He also suffered brain damage but can understand us and respond enough to let us know what he is feeling.
The insurance settlement has allowed his mother and me to keep him at home with round-the-clock aides. It’s been a difficult 20 years, and our other children are urging us to move their brother into a nursing home. They say that we deserve to live our own lives again, while our minds and bodies are still intact. My wife and I had always dreamed of traveling after retirement, and she started looking into cruises and other types of vacations, but I’m afraid that our son will feel abandoned and could be neglected in a nursing home. We could keep him at home with his aides, but they are so busy with his basic care that there’s no time for them to read to him and keep him company. What do people do in our situation?
Dear Sad Dad,
You and your wife should be commended for being loving and caring parents. I am sure your son knows how much you love him. A time will come where the two of you will not be able to take care of him due to your own health decline or death. This may be an opportunity for you and your wife to find a wonderful home for your son, a place he can age in place.
You have time to research options, check them out, and actually have your son visit and help make the decision. You, your wife, and family can support your son through this transition and advocate on his behalf. Transitions are always hard, but with this one, you can all support each other. No one will think badly of you, least of all your son.