I am worried about my wife being left alone

At what stage do you broach the topic of independance with a terminally ill patient?

My wife has always been very strong willed and extremely independent. Losing the ability to drive hit her hard, and she has found that tough to deal with. She now has to rely on people to take he anywhere that isnt within walking distance, and as we live in the countryside, that isnt many places.

She used to drive to visit her mother, which is a couple of hours away, and now again that entails more planning for me to either take her, or for her aging mother to come and collect. For a formerly proud and strong woman, this has really taken a toll on my wife.

She frequently mentions trying to see if her eyesight has improved enough to drive again. It was her stroke that left her without vision on her left side. Unfortunately the specialists have not seen any improvement in that aspect. She is also way too frail and slow thinking these days to not be a danger on the roads. It is sad, as the cancer has taken away something else, a topic I have discussed previously – https://mywifehascancer.blog/archives/615.

It is the frailness that is worrying me today. Yesterday she fell over going out the back door, when our cat ran past her and distracted her. She told me her foot caught, and she woke up face down on the patio. Her face is horribly bruised and cut, with a swollen knee, though luckily it doesnt appear that anything is broken, which is a surprise as her wrists are very thin. If you didnt know, it looks like she has been beaten up.

This isnt the first time that things have happened by accident. She has fallen over in the past, tripped over the stairs for instance. Glasses frequently jump out of cupboards by themselves, and plates often seem to slip from the table. One off would be an accident, but more than once becomes something I need to be concerned about.

She is losing her ability to do things safely, but wont accept that, and will continue to keep doing what she used to do. Is this safe? I cant tell her not to do things around the house, but I seem to spend most evenings fixing things that have broken or gone wrong in the house, ‘by accident’. When do we reach the tipping point?

And how do I broach my concerns with her? Telling someone you dont think they are safe to be left alone for extended periods of time must be devastating. She is 48, not old. She doesnt have a disease like dementia or parkinsons whereby she might be struggling, but the cancer has affected alot of her body, and she has started to waste away really badly.

We have been put in touch with a hospice in the past, but I dont feel we are at that stage yet, and she would fight tooth and nail against something like that. But I do worry the burden has become too much for me to look after her, along with all my other duties around our lives.

A further thing is that her back has now become bad, seperately from the trip. This will entail trips to a chiropractor, that isnt covered by health insurance. We thus need to find a way to take her twice a week to get this sorted as it is causing her chest to be in constant pain. She has a hot water bottle to try and ease it most of the time. Another worry for us all. I am hoping to raise some money to help pay for this treatment, so please consider donating.


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