any advice?


Registered User
Apr 16, 2008
my mam has vascular dementia and went into a care home last july. i am the only family so i had to make the decision on my own. i know i've done the right thing by putting her into a home and i know she is cared for. but i still cant deal with it. i had a holiday in january and after lots of crying and fretting beforehand still managed to have a great time and tried hard not to think about her. when i came back i felt guilty for being away and have found it even harder to visit. before my holiday i went to visit everyday, it takes up so much of my time but im wracked with guilt if i dont go. my social life suffers as well as housework etc so i decided to go on alternate days, but when i missed a day i found it really hard to go back and it was over a week that i didnt visit her. i cant explain why ive gone from one extreme to the other but im finding it harder and harder to see her but also guilty for not going...
i have no idea how to deal with it all


Registered User
Mar 25, 2009
It must be so hard for you to be the only visitor. I don't know the answers but just wanted to send my support. When I had shingles in September, I didn't visit for about a fortnight, and I found it hard to go back, so I do understand how you feel.
When you don't feel up to visiting, could you ring the home instead so that you don't feel guilty? That way, if there was a reason that you needed to go, they could tell you. (I had decided to have a couple of days off, but then I rang and Dad had just had another mini-stroke, so I really wanted to see him.)
I'm sure we're not alone. Take care, and try not to feel guilty. We're all doing our best,
Love Sue xxx


Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
North East England
Hiya..There's no rule that says you have to visit every day, or even every week... your Mam is safe and secure. She has food on the table, no laundry to do, no shopping, no dusting, hoovering or decorating to do. You do. If you don't feel like visiting for a few days, well give the home a ring, they might be able to put Mam on the phone to talk to you, or post a card to her and tell her that you'll be there in a couple of days because you are cleaning or whatever. When you do go, take her a treat and share it with her, a special cake or some chocolates. Make your visiting a pleasure for you as well as her. Don't feel guilty about having a life away from her, you're allowed one. Love Maureen.x.


Registered User
Nov 23, 2009
I'm in the same position as you. Mum went into a home nearly two years ago now and it was the hardest decision of my life. It is a good home and I know she is well cared for but I still find myself feeling guilty when I don't visit. I had no holidays for 4 years due to caring for her at home but the guilt I felt when I went off for the first time after she went into care was enormous. I am her only regular visitor as we have no other close family and, sadly, the friends of her own age have all died.
I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to visit at times but then doing so because of the guilt trip. It is very hard being the only visitor because you feel you have to make up for the lack of other family. However, I know I can't go every day. To do so would leave me resenting Mum and I don't want to do that. If you think of it you would not have visited your mum in her own home every day before the dementia set in. Why should it be different now? She does not need you to care for her physically, but to give her love and emotional support. If you resent visiting you can't do that. I needed to find a routine which suited my life. I can't claim to have totally achieved this yet but I am finding I can miss days without being overwhelmed with guilt. It has helped me to find things I can do with Mum on my visits so they are not so difficult. I take old photos, magazines, picture books etc., things I can talk to her about. She can't hold much of a conversation these days but she likes to listen to tales from the past. Other people's visitors play dominoes or take knitting with them. I may take a sewing kit and sew on name tapes or fix buttons. I don't know if your mum is up to going out but when I can, I take Mum out for an hour or so, into town or to a garden centre. I try to have a purpose to these trips for myself, too.
I do find it hard to miss what I would call a "regular" visit. I usually go on a Saturday afternoon and If I want to do something else I find myself saying "I can't. It's Mum's day". I really need to get out of that one. I also find it hard doing things I used to do with her which she can't do now. It's senseless to miss out because she has to, but the guilt monster makes us all a bit crazy at times.
I don't know that any of this helps you but at least you know that others do understand and you are not the only person who feels that way.
Hope you feel better about things soon.


Registered User
Jul 23, 2009
Hi, I too can appreciate how you feel. My brother lives in Australia and my daughter has 3 young children and does not drive. It is therefore down to me. My brother just says he will back me in whatever I do, but it is not the support I need. I too wished I didnt have to put mum into a care home but I found I was beginning to resent the way my own life was going and needed to get my life back.
I was persuaded to find her a care home by my support workers. I was told I would start being a daughter again instead of a carer and it has certainly come true.
I dealt with the guilt, just kept telling myself that we are mother and daughter again and we were beginning to lose that!
I used to visit every day and it was tiring so I dropped it down to every other day, now I go about twice a week. I believe she settles better if I am not there anyway. She will join in with the others then.
I take her out for a drive when I can and she enjoys that, but we cant do the things we used to do and I miss that so much.
Anyway, dont worry, you are not alone with this one. I have found alot of help and support on this forum for a long time and it makes you realise you are not alone.
Visit your mum when you feel up to it, but in the meantime, get your own life back too. You need that as a release and helps you to enjoy the time you DO share with your mum. xxxx


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
Hello, oldsoulchild, I'm sorry you are feeling so bad. I used to be wracked in exactly the same way as you and eventually I found it better to visit my mum more often because during those hours with her, I felt more at peace with myself.. I just felt that she was getting frailer and frailer and I couldn't stop myself.

That's not to say that we did anything particularly riveting. A cup of tea and some biscuits, helping her with her meals, a push in her chair around the gardens. Or maybe she would sleep or doze and I would read a book or sew name tags on her clothes or mend things, water the pot plants.

Sometimes I would sing to her until she told me to shut up.:eek::(:D

I know that is not exactly the same thoughts that others are expressing. I am just saying how it was for me.

It is particularly hard for you, I feel because you seem to have no support from others in the 'visiting' bit. I did have sporadic support but as I rarely knew when other family members might call, it didn't really help me to pace myself.

But you do need a break yourself, an outside life yourself, a way of returning to something like normality when the sad day occurs and your mum pops off. I did take short breaks, and my mum was usually none the worse when I returned. I also got a part time job near her home so I could keep myself engaged in the world of work but still nip over to see her in my lunch hour or at the end of the day.

I'm just wondering whether you have met any of the other relatives in the home? There was one lady with a mum in the home who used to 'look out' for my mum at mealtimes, make sure she wasn't left out of things, as I did for her mum when she wasn't able to get to the home.

If you could strike up a rapport with other relatives it might help to ease the worry just a little bit at times when you really can't make it in to the home. I'd also speak to the home about your anxiety. A good home will understand your fears, ring you to tell you good things as well as contacting you in emergencies.

Please look after yourself. As Maureen and others have said 'You are allowed a life' and I am darn sure your mum would want you to have one, if she was her former self. Kind regards


Registered User
Aug 3, 2010
South Ribble
I'd like to thank you for your post oldsoulchild and for sharing as I feel exactly like you at times, and have gained a lot of comfort from the replies you have had. Sending you a hug xx


Registered User
Sep 8, 2010
I can completely understand this. I have no other family to help me also. My Mum died last year. She was from Spain and any family that I have over here, either live too far away to be of any help, are not interested or live abroad. I care for my Dad and just try and do the best that I can for him. I was told by someone yesterday that as long as you do your very best, you will ultimately ahve no regrets. Hold on to this thought. I am trying to.