1. rudolph

    rudolph Registered User

    Feb 19, 2007
    10
    Glasgow
    Hi all,

    I know I'm not on here very often but I do read the forums a lot and I was hoping some of you could give me some advice on what to do when visiting my mother.

    I don't get to see her very often because she lives in Ireland and I'm working and trying to build a life in Scotland. I saw her in February and I was really upset at the time at the deterioration since I had last seen her. She was so thin, conversation was really limited, and she couldn't sit herself up in bed. She thought I was my sister. I didn't stay long, I didn't know what to say.

    I'm going home again tomorrow. I'm really scared and nervous. I want to spend some time with my mother because I'm always afraid it will be the last time I see her. I just don't know what to talk to her about, or do with her. I've never told her about my partner or my work because I don't know if I should introduce strange names and ideas at this stage. Is it okay to show photographs or will that just confuse her? Should I just let her talk if she wants to or is able to and just sit there and listen? What do you do? What should I be doing?

    I struggle not to cry when I'm with her. I don't always succeed but she doesn't notice. I'd really like to have some pleasant time with her but I don't know if it's possible.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    K.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    Oh dear K, It`s such a strain, isn`t it?

    The two most difficult things are your own distress, seeing your mother`s deterioration, and an inability to communicate.

    I feel you will see another change tomorrow, if you haven`t seen her since February. Don`t be scared. Just go to see her, to settle your own mind that you`ve been. If she is unaware whether you`re there or not, there`s no point trying to make the visit memorable.

    Ask the staff how she is, see what they have to tell you, take your mother some lovely flowers and ask if they can be put in her room, take a photo just of yourself, framed if possible, so it can be left out where she can see it, and go, when the strain of trying to connect with her becomes too much for you.

    It really depends whether or not she knows you are there and knows who you are. Play it by ear and let us know how you get on.

    I do feel for you. It`s so difficult to visit someone without any feedback.

    Take care
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Just sit with her, maybe play her some music, stroke her hands and arms.

    Communication can be so very difficult, and I would not attempt to introduce any new topics, about people and places, into the conversation.

    Don't be worried if she does not recognise the people in photographs, sometimes they do not even see what we see.

    She is still your mother inside, just as she always was. Just try to relax and enjoy.
    If you have no special expectations, you will have no disappointments.
    Thinking of you,
     
  4. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi K,

    Music always seems to lift my dad (and me :) ). May be worth taking in some music that you know your mother likes and putting it on while chatting. It may also stir some memories. I've also found dad likes to be touched while we are talking, holding hands or just having his back rubbed - helps things flow a little better. Eye contact is always really important too if you can. Often dad's sight focuses low on the ground now, so it means getting on my knees sometimes.

    It does depend on the stage and personality as well. These are just my experiences with dad.

    Kind regards
    craig
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi K

    I can only echo what others have said. I don't think there is any point in raising new topics or introducing new people. Your mum wouldn't rememer them, and it might just agitate her.

    Just be guided by her. Talk about whatever she wants to -- the past, today, anything that she is still aware of.

    Craig's right, touching is so important. It's the only means of communication left when memory and language have gone.

    Don't be afraid -- just don't go in with any expectations, and be prepared to accept whatever you find. It doesn't matter if you cry, so long as it doesn't upset your mum. If it does, you may have to excuse yourself for a while.

    Good luck, let us know how the visit goes.

    Love,
     
  6. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Hazel,

    must admit, I think dad still seems to have a sixth sense for emotions now. We had a few tears after a lot of visitors on saturday and dad himself got very upset (he rarely gets upset on visits). He seems to pick up well on other peoples feelings and moods, even if it is just for a moment. It was upsetting to see him like this, but then I thought why shouldn't he have a cry around the people that know and love him. A bit of a cry isn't so bad now and then.

    I remember in the early stages he just couldn't bare to hear someone crying and particularly hear children upset, it was just to much for him. Not saying he wasn't always sensitive soul, but it is a side of him that is quite endearing now.

    I agree about with your fine advice on 'being guided by her'. The hardest thing for dad to deal with is constant changes in the subject.

    Kind Regards
    Craig
     
  7. rudolph

    rudolph Registered User

    Feb 19, 2007
    10
    Glasgow
    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to let you know that I spent a good few days with my mother and I feel much better for it.

    She was in good form and, though she has a lot of difficulty speaking, we managed to piece together some stories and have a laugh. We looked at some old photographs and she seemed to really enjoy that. I just let her talk about what she wanted. One evening she just wanted to watch TV and she was laughing away at it, so I left her to it. It's still hard to see her deteriorate but at least she seems to be in a happy place at the moment - I hope it lasts forever!

    It was so good to see her again and I feel a bit more positive about everything. Thank you all for your advice and support. This forum really is a lifeline sometimes!
     
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Rudolph

    Glad the visit went so well. Your mum seems to be quite happy, and that's all we can really ask.

    You must feel so much better now.
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    Hi K,

    So pleased it all worked out. Sometimes the things we dread the most, often aren`t as bad as we expect. It sounds as if you had a good time with your mother, and she must have had a good time with you.
     
  10. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    I definitely agree with that :)

    Glad it worked out and so glad you had some laughter!

    Kindest Regards
    Craig
     
  11. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    So glad it worked out, and you had some 'special' time together.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.