By the end of June 2010, Jim broke down and made what he considered the only sane decision he could when it came to his personal health and his wife’s well-being: He started Judy on home care.
“That’s where I started to address my own needs for sleep and to get stuff done that wasn’t getting done,” he said.
For several months, they struggled to find a home care aide who was the right fit for Judy. The first was a great housekeeper but didn’t click well with Judy. The second had a counseling background and clicked well with Judy, but fell a little short, Jim said, when it came to housekeeping.
Jim decided he needed more than the few hours per week he was scheduling for home care. He found an adult day care program run by Pathstone and housed at Christ the King Church in Mankato.
Finally, he said, he got some relief.
“For me, it was so much better,” he said. “She liked it, but for different reasons. She thought she was going to work as a physical therapist. She would interact with people, sometimes she’d sleep, but she’d be assessing people’s needs, make comments to the staff about what people needed. The staff was grateful. ... One day she said, ‘Where’s my paycheck? And I said, ‘Well, you’re really more of a consultant, but also a participant.’ She was OK with that.”
Jim liked the time it gave him. But much like that day in 2007 when he had to leave her in the care of a psychiatrist, leaving her there that first day was tough.
“On the first day, I dropped her off and went out to the car and cried for a half hour,” he said. “I knew it was one more step toward what was really going on.