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Can’t cope with visiting any more...

RFG1982

New member
Aug 20, 2018
3
I hadn’t seen my mum in around 8 months for various reasons. The times I visited before this were very difficult and always ended with her shouting and screaming at me about how awful I am and how selfish I am to have put her in the home (I simply could not manage with her living at home any longer). We’ve spoken on the phone several times but the calls end the same way as my previous visits, so I’ve been putting off going to visit again.

I finally plucked up the courage to go to the home today, not least because they had asked me to take some personal supplies in for mum. While visiting isn’t officially allowed at present, due to it being months since I’d seen mum, the fact she’s been constantly asking for me and recently has been getting more and more difficult towards the staff insisting they are stopping her from seeing me and refusing to eat until she sees me, they made an exception and allowed me to see her very quickly (with face mask and PPE). It did not go well.... As soon as she saw me mum shouted that she didn’t want me there and told me to get out. I said that wasn’t very nice and she said ‘I don’t care. I know who you are, you haven’t come up those stairs since I got here, well I don’t want you here now, the police can take you and lock you up, now get out, GET OUT!’ and grabbed her book and hairbrush and threw them at me, hysterically screaming at me to get out, so I left.

I sat outside in my car a bit shell shocked at how she’d acted, and also at how far she has deteriorated since I last saw her. She has lost a ton of weight and is now bed bound and incontinent. She was walking around no problem and in general taking care of herself with assistance from the staff previously, but they tell me she’s now extremely resistant to all personal care and they have a real battle with her.

After today’s visit, I’m not sure I can bring myself to visit again. I feel terrible for thinking this way, but if I’m honest I’m not 100% certain she actually recognised me. Also, me visiting didn’t help her in any way. I called this evening and the staff said she’s been screaming and shouting at them ever since I left. In addition I’ve been feeling extremely low all afternoon, the lowest I’ve felt since I had a breakdown last year, and I just don’t feel I’m mentally strong enough to cope with a repeat of today’s visit. Am I a terrible person if I don’t visit her again?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,507
Kent
You are not a terrible person at all @RFG1982

If you`ve had a breakdown and your mother is as confused and damaged as this you can step back. There is nothing for anyone to gain if your visits do nothing to calm her.

The care home will have realised this and I doubt will ask you to visit again. If you have any personal requisites to deliver in future you can hand them in to reception.

Your mother`s deterioration is worrying . She cannot be forced to eat but it is up to the home to try to manage her behaviours.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,604
cornwall
I hadn’t seen my mum in around 8 months for various reasons. The times I visited before this were very difficult and always ended with her shouting and screaming at me about how awful I am and how selfish I am to have put her in the home (I simply could not manage with her living at home any longer). We’ve spoken on the phone several times but the calls end the same way as my previous visits, so I’ve been putting off going to visit again.

I finally plucked up the courage to go to the home today, not least because they had asked me to take some personal supplies in for mum. While visiting isn’t officially allowed at present, due to it being months since I’d seen mum, the fact she’s been constantly asking for me and recently has been getting more and more difficult towards the staff insisting they are stopping her from seeing me and refusing to eat until she sees me, they made an exception and allowed me to see her very quickly (with face mask and PPE). It did not go well.... As soon as she saw me mum shouted that she didn’t want me there and told me to get out. I said that wasn’t very nice and she said ‘I don’t care. I know who you are, you haven’t come up those stairs since I got here, well I don’t want you here now, the police can take you and lock you up, now get out, GET OUT!’ and grabbed her book and hairbrush and threw them at me, hysterically screaming at me to get out, so I left.

I sat outside in my car a bit shell shocked at how she’d acted, and also at how far she has deteriorated since I last saw her. She has lost a ton of weight and is now bed bound and incontinent. She was walking around no problem and in general taking care of herself with assistance from the staff previously, but they tell me she’s now extremely resistant to all personal care and they have a real battle with her.

After today’s visit, I’m not sure I can bring myself to visit again. I feel terrible for thinking this way, but if I’m honest I’m not 100% certain she actually recognised me. Also, me visiting didn’t help her in any way. I called this evening and the staff said she’s been screaming and shouting at them ever since I left. In addition I’ve been feeling extremely low all afternoon, the lowest I’ve felt since I had a breakdown last year, and I just don’t feel I’m mentally strong enough to cope with a repeat of today’s visit. Am I a terrible person if I don’t visit her again?
Hi.No I don’t think so. There doesn’t seem to be any benefit on either side. You have done what you can . That is all you can do. Sometimes it is better to step back for your own mental health. You know that she is safe and cared for. Sometimes that is all there is... Take care and (((hugs)))
 

RFG1982

New member
Aug 20, 2018
3
You are not a terrible person at all @RFG1982

If you`ve had a breakdown and your mother is as confused and damaged as this you can step back. There is nothing for anyone to gain if your visits do nothing to calm her.

The care home will have realised this and I doubt will ask you to visit again. If you have any personal requisites to deliver in future you can hand them in to reception.

Your mother`s deterioration is worrying . She cannot be forced to eat but it is up to the home to try to manage her behaviours.
As I left they said I should book in for another visit when they are officially allowed to open for visiting, and they said the same when I called this evening too, saying she must have been feeling grumpy today as she’s always asking for me....

They are very good at encouraging mum to eat and drink, and with washing etc too, but some days it can be impossible and mum will get hysterical to the point they don’t see any value in upsetting her further. In that situation they will leave her be and try again the following day when she will usually be a bit more willing.
 

DaveCr1968

Registered User
Jul 5, 2020
43
I hadn’t seen my mum in around 8 months for various reasons. The times I visited before this were very difficult and always ended with her shouting and screaming at me about how awful I am and how selfish I am to have put her in the home (I simply could not manage with her living at home any longer). We’ve spoken on the phone several times but the calls end the same way as my previous visits, so I’ve been putting off going to visit again.

I finally plucked up the courage to go to the home today, not least because they had asked me to take some personal supplies in for mum. While visiting isn’t officially allowed at present, due to it being months since I’d seen mum, the fact she’s been constantly asking for me and recently has been getting more and more difficult towards the staff insisting they are stopping her from seeing me and refusing to eat until she sees me, they made an exception and allowed me to see her very quickly (with face mask and PPE). It did not go well.... As soon as she saw me mum shouted that she didn’t want me there and told me to get out. I said that wasn’t very nice and she said ‘I don’t care. I know who you are, you haven’t come up those stairs since I got here, well I don’t want you here now, the police can take you and lock you up, now get out, GET OUT!’ and grabbed her book and hairbrush and threw them at me, hysterically screaming at me to get out, so I left.

I sat outside in my car a bit shell shocked at how she’d acted, and also at how far she has deteriorated since I last saw her. She has lost a ton of weight and is now bed bound and incontinent. She was walking around no problem and in general taking care of herself with assistance from the staff previously, but they tell me she’s now extremely resistant to all personal care and they have a real battle with her.

After today’s visit, I’m not sure I can bring myself to visit again. I feel terrible for thinking this way, but if I’m honest I’m not 100% certain she actually recognised me. Also, me visiting didn’t help her in any way. I called this evening and the staff said she’s been screaming and shouting at them ever since I left. In addition I’ve been feeling extremely low all afternoon, the lowest I’ve felt since I had a breakdown last year, and I just don’t feel I’m mentally strong enough to cope with a repeat of today’s visit. Am I a terrible person if I don’t visit her again?
The short answer is no because her reaction does not seem to be doing her or you any good. I would just call the care home regularly for updates. Your mum cannot help herself and you need to look after yourself.

My dad went in residential care just over a week ago now. He is out of isolation and with the general population (of on 28 residents). They say he is settling in well but has occasions where he is getting very agitated and they have started to sedate him a little with very low doses of Lorazepam, which is pretty understandable, particularly with what I experienced in the evenings.

This care home are offering "garden visits" where you sit at opposite ends of a table in a patio area and to be honest, I am dreading visiting just in-case he reacts the same to me. He only occasionally got verbally aggressive with me when I was staying with him. I'm timing my visit to the time of the day when he is normally most lucid (late morning/early afternoon) and can be somewhat normal for short periods.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,246
South East
No you aren’t ! There is no benefit to either of you , i agree with the others , you have had good advice ,please don’t feel you have to put yourself through that experience . Take care .
 

MrsV

Registered User
Apr 16, 2018
168
Northamptonshire
I hadn’t seen my mum in around 8 months for various reasons. The times I visited before this were very difficult and always ended with her shouting and screaming at me about how awful I am and how selfish I am to have put her in the home (I simply could not manage with her living at home any longer). We’ve spoken on the phone several times but the calls end the same way as my previous visits, so I’ve been putting off going to visit again.

I finally plucked up the courage to go to the home today, not least because they had asked me to take some personal supplies in for mum. While visiting isn’t officially allowed at present, due to it being months since I’d seen mum, the fact she’s been constantly asking for me and recently has been getting more and more difficult towards the staff insisting they are stopping her from seeing me and refusing to eat until she sees me, they made an exception and allowed me to see her very quickly (with face mask and PPE). It did not go well.... As soon as she saw me mum shouted that she didn’t want me there and told me to get out. I said that wasn’t very nice and she said ‘I don’t care. I know who you are, you haven’t come up those stairs since I got here, well I don’t want you here now, the police can take you and lock you up, now get out, GET OUT!’ and grabbed her book and hairbrush and threw them at me, hysterically screaming at me to get out, so I left.

I sat outside in my car a bit shell shocked at how she’d acted, and also at how far she has deteriorated since I last saw her. She has lost a ton of weight and is now bed bound and incontinent. She was walking around no problem and in general taking care of herself with assistance from the staff previously, but they tell me she’s now extremely resistant to all personal care and they have a real battle with her.

After today’s visit, I’m not sure I can bring myself to visit again. I feel terrible for thinking this way, but if I’m honest I’m not 100% certain she actually recognised me. Also, me visiting didn’t help her in any way. I called this evening and the staff said she’s been screaming and shouting at them ever since I left. In addition I’ve been feeling extremely low all afternoon, the lowest I’ve felt since I had a breakdown last year, and I just don’t feel I’m mentally strong enough to cope with a repeat of today’s visit. Am I a terrible person if I don’t visit her again?
Hello,
I’m so sorry to hear of your visit to your mum in a CH. no your not a terrible person, don’t feel bad, she probably didn’t recognise you. My mum is in a CH now, but before she went in, her behaviour was horrendous. She would be nice one day and Disgustingly vile the next. My children stopped visiting Grandma because she would scream at them, seethe with vile Language, she was violent and wound often push, punch and physically throw us out of the house when we visited. So I would go on my own but not stay long, even my husband wouldnt go anymore. She didn’t know who we were, said we were stealing her things and run to the neighbours for help ( saying there were thieves in her house). She drove everyone away with her vileness. The doctor eventually prescribed meds that helped a little. But she would revert to vile comments and I’d just leave. It was horrendous and like you I felt shell shocked, neighbours didn’t understand it was dementia, we often got dirty looks, they assumed we were somehow hurting her or holding her against her will, it was a nightmare. Mum was admitted to a CH for her worsening dementia, and I actually breathed a sigh of relief that the nastiness she showed us was over, someone else would have to deal with it. The phone used to ring day and night with verbal abuse from her. Thank god ghat stopped. The CH will put her on anti psycotic meds that will calm her down, so they can manage her. It’s a horrible disease, and no one should have to put up with that kind of vile behaviour that dementia patients have. Don’t feel bad, it’s just the disease. For your own mental wellbeing, I’d stay away for a bit, until they get her under control. Maybe just ring for updates instead. I feel for you, please put yourself first. Your mums life is nearly over due to this horrible disease , you have to think about yourself and your own health and well-being now. Take care.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
400
I'm sorry to hear about your visit. I have similar experiences with my own mum. A visit like that is much worse than no visit. I agree that you should just call for updates (which is what I do) and send cards and small gifts by post. My mum has been particularly "agitated" for the past few weeks (there's a lot of screaming I'm afraid) and I asked for a med's review. Perhaps you could ask for the same> It can make a massive difference and I think, for mum anyway, regular med's reviews are essential to keep up with the changes in dementia.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
788
High Peak
Ask the GP to see her with a view to tweaking meds - it might reduce her anxiety. (Or get the care home to contact the GP)

It's interesting that your mum asks for you all the time yet when she sees you she wants you to go immediately. It could well be that the person she seees in her mind when she thinks of you is completely different to how you actually look so she thinks you're some sort of imposter.

My mum recognised me as someone she knew but swore blind I wasn't her daughter because I was much too old! Many people with dementia imagine themselves as being much younger than they are or seem to be living in an earlier time, hence why they often think their parents are alive. And they often believe their children are young so you probably just don't fit the picture!

As others have said, it will achieve nothing for you to visit at the moment. Perhaps instead you could send cards or letters? She might find that more acceptable/comforting than seeing you in person!

Take heart - none of this is your fault.
 

LHS

Registered User
Oct 5, 2018
72
when your loved one rants and raves there is no pleasure in the experience for either of you. I already grieve the loss of my mum because it is just not her anymore.
 

MrsV

Registered User
Apr 16, 2018
168
Northamptonshire
when your loved one rants and raves there is no pleasure in the experience for either of you. I already grieve the loss of my mum because it is just not her anymore.
Hi LHS,
Thank you LHS . You have put it more succinct rather than my ramblings. Yes “ it’s just not her anymore” Sadly.
 

SouWester

Registered User
Dec 11, 2012
36
Devon
Part of my son's education was the concept of Tough Love. Sometimes we have to do difficult things for the best of the person involved. Now we are caring for his mother he understands that the painful move to a home is in her best interests, (and mine). Yours is another example, however hard it is not to visit, if it is in the best interest of the resident and yourself then it is the "right" thing to do.