Personal tragedy

I admitted Naomi, my darling wife of 57 years, to the closed Alzheimer’s ward at the Orpaz Home in Beer Sheva, that is about 5 mins drive from our home.

Since we moved last Sept from Netanya we have seen a marked deterioration in Naomi’s cognitive ability.  It has become like living with an insane woman.  Everything she does, getting up in the morning, undressing, showering, drying herself, dressing, eating, has to be told to her, often against aggressive denial.  Finally I was spending at least half my time being with her. She would come into the study every 3-5 mins and check where I was, and then she would forget and check again.

Miriam and I had seen two Homes in Beer Sheva (one of the municipality) and we were not impressed with.  When we were getting the required forms prepared by our doctor (GP), we also had to see his nurse, and she told us that the Orpaz Home in Beer Sheva had a small closed Alzheimer’s ward and she highly recommended it and she had in fact put her father in there.
So we visited it and it was quite nice, although small (only 25 patients).  For Miriam it has a great advantage that she could walk there on Shabbat to visit her Ima.  We  were also impressed by the Manageress, who speaks English and was very responsive and they had a much brighter facility than the others in Beer Sheva.  Added to which it is really only 5 mins drive straight down the main road outside our house.   So we decided we wanted Naomi to go there and I gave them the required forms.
Last Monday (when Miriam was still here (before leaving for a trip to the USA and at our request) they sent their Admissions Committee to meet with Naomi, and they asked the usual questions etc. and made sure she can walk etc. and then told us she would be admitted.  On Tues I went there and signed the contract and Naomi was admitted on Weds morning.
It was of course very difficult.   At first she was very friendly and happy there and we sort of left her.  But, then a nurse tried to take her blood pressure and she got upset and shouted, so I had to go back in and tell the nurse to stop and calmed her.  Then  I had to leave her. I spent half an hour meeting with the chief nurse (a Beduin man named Wadiah) and an hour meeting with the social worker and the manageress and then the doctor (a Russian lady).  I gave them all copious details about Naomi and her pills etc. and it was all entered into their computer.
I felt guilty as if I were abandoning her, betraying her trust. I hope that they will treat her well. Finally, after many years it had to be done.

8 thoughts on “Personal tragedy

  1. DearJack, As I read your words my heart quickened In response. If sympathy is any comfort, my understanding of the situation is clear. Be strong . Keep busy. I’m glad ylu’/ve found a place where Naomi can be looked after. My sincerestreards to both of you. Love, Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack,

    Thank you so much for informing us of the situation with dear Naomi. We all know how wonderful you and the family have been so kind and compassionate over the years, and I, especially understand your feeling of guilt. Terribly terribly difficult on all who love her to have to make this final decision.

    Stay well, and take care,

    Roz and Les.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sad story. It was necessary for you to make the decision. You should not feel guilty. Naomi is in a nice place where she can be taken care of. Her family can visit her. You have to carry on with your life.

    Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did reply on my phone but could not make up my mind if it went out or not to you hence this letter. I wanted to say how desperately sorry I was to receive this news expected in the end, I suppose, such is the nature of this terrible disease.

    I remember back 18 years ago when we arrived as olim and how lovely it was to meet you and Naomi who was a beautiful lively and charming lady. She was always happy to see me as we sat near to each other in Shul on Shabbat which she enjoyed very much in those days.

    I hope future visits will be painless for you and her. I don’t know the routine t.g. and pray I never will.

    All the very best, Please call if you are in Netanya, we would be happy to see you.


    Linda & Ernie Hirsch


  5. Dear Jack, Naomi’s situation is sad news from you. Norma and I are with you in heart and spirit. Best regards, Mel


  6. Dear Jack: Evie and my prayers are with you and Naomi that these changes may give you both some peace.

    We are in Tel Aviv and will be going to a private home for Shabbat dinner.

    Looking forward to reaching you for your ultimate wisdom.

    Shabbat Shalom. Frank

    Sent from my iPhone



  7. My friend Jack, I’m sure it was very difficult for you to go through this unfortunate ordeal, however, it had to be done. I went through a similar situation with my Mother. I’m sure you will be visiting Naomi whenever you can, and are able to do so. She will get good and undivided care, and you can better go on with your life. I wish you both…the best and will keep you in my prayers.

    Your Livermore, California – USA, friend, who cares and is thinking of you!
    Stella S. Beck.


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