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.
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.
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.