Can finally visit Mum again

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Canadian Joanne, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    The restriction on visiting the nursing home was lifted this week. My sister is visiting from Quebec and we went to visit yesterday. It was the first time I had seen her in at least 4 weeks. My sister hadn't seen Mum for a year,

    When we entered, Mum was dozing in her wheelchair, both hands curled up like claws, her mouth open. She looked the worst I have ever seen her, in that she looked the furthest along in her AD. I was upset but my poor sister was very shocked.

    From about 2007 to last June, Mum's decline had been very slow and subtle. My sister could see only very slight changes on her yearly visits. In June we had to thicken Mum's fluids. A few months we had to thicken them again. We've just had to switch her diet to pureed food. I kept my sister advised of all this but, as she said, seeing changes is vastly different from hearing about them.

    We have definitely entered into a new stage. It will be very hard for us to come to grips with this, but we will not have a choice.

    I am grateful I can visit again and hope we don't have another shutdown. But I'm starting to feel we are embarking on the final leg of the journey and that is more than unsettling. Because Mum seemed to float along on a plateau for years, I think I pushed the mortality of this disease to the back of my mind, I guess I thought we would go on forever.
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Sorry that your Mum's progress with this disease is going a little quicker than you would like or ready are ready for. We do seem to be lulled into a false expectation that things will carry on nicely. It has to be heartbreaking for both you and your sister.

    You know we are thinking of you, take care,

    Jay xxxx
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Your last sentence rings so true. My mum is still living with me, but there are definitely changes afoot that even I'm noticing and then realisation that this illness does not stop. Pleased to read you can visit again.
  4. Tears Falling

    Tears Falling Registered User

    Jul 8, 2013
    Glad you are able to visit sorry that there has been a decline though. X
  5. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    Feeling for you - I too remember so well those times of "plateau" with my husband also feeling that nothing would ever change - but the changes were insidious and gradually I had to realise that each downturn was the next "plateau" which could last a short or a long time. Sadly we reached the final stage - inevitability and the end of a long, stressful, heart breaking journey for us both. Take care of yourself - be strong and know you are being thought of at this very sad time. WIFE
  6. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    I'm sorry to read of your mum's progress Joanne. I can so identify with thinking that we can go along like this forever. Thinking of you and your sister, and of course your mum.
  7. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Good that you are able to visit again but I'm so sorry to hear of your Mum's decline, these things are so hard to bear, thinking of you and your Mum.
  8. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    I'm sorry to hear about your mum's decline, Joanne, and can identify with the feeling that my mother's condition would rest unchanged for ever. She too had a very gradual decline for quite a while.
    It's good at least that you and your sister were able to share a visit together and to be with one another at this stage of your mum's life.

    I hope your next visit is less shocking for you both. Sending you love and kind regards.
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I'm really pleased to can get to see your mother again Joanne, but so very sorry about her decline.
  10. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Oh! Joanne. When we visit on a regular basis (as you have until your enforced absence) the changes sort of creep up on us. It must have been such a shock for you and your Sister to see your Mum as she was.

    I'm so sorry


    Lyn T XX
  11. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    So sorry you now see this change in your dear Mum. It must hit you harder as you have not been able to visit but glad the visiting restrictions are lifted at last.

    Glad you have your sister with you to share the emotions.
  12. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Our visit started out very emotionally difficult but Mum did revive a bit, started making eye contact and laughing a bit so it did improve. We went at lunch and I was feeding Mum. I asked my sister if she wanted to feed Mum for a bit, which she did. She normally finds it too hard to do but she really wants to be able to do something for Mum. I am going to turn over all the clothes buying to her now. She bought nighties, trousers, tops etc and put the package in the post before Christmas and told me she felt like she was finally able to do something for Mum.

    In many ways, Mum's AD has been harder on Carole. I have had the day-to-day struggles but my sister and mother always had a tumultuous relationship so I suspect there is more room for regrets with her. I was always close with Mum, in fact I used to think no other mother and daughter could possibly be as close as we were. Carole and Mum were often at loggerheads (because they are so much alike) and that created a lot of tensions.

    I went through a long horrible period during the beginning of Mum's illness, as she was no longer my mother in an emotional sense. Carole, on the other hand, says she had the relationship she had always wanted once Mum was into the disease.

    So we will plod on, making the best of the situation and enduring.

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