1. MrsP

    MrsP Registered User

    Mar 19, 2005
    Dear All

    It's been ages since I've posted; been trying (succesfully) to keep busy. Dad, now aged 54, went into a nursing home last month (3 years since he was diagnosed). Went through a whole range of emotions before convincing myself that it was a positive step. Unfortunately, I have found out that he isn't settled there, and wants to go 'home', which we know he can't.

    He's still aware enough to know what's going on, but too affected to live alone any longer. It breaks my heart and reduces me to tears every time I think about my Dad in a nursing home. I know it takes time to settle, and that given time things will probably be ok, but I really can't face going to visit. I live several hours away and know perfectly well that I need to go, that time is ticking away and sometime soon he may not (or rather will not) know who I am any more. But it doesn't change the fact that I really dread going there. I can picture his haunted face looking so embarrased at his situation (as I know he will be) and I simply can't face it.

    I recently met 2 kind ladies who were in the same situation 10 years ago and I asked them if it gets any easier. They said no.

    I feel like I've been grieving for the past 3 years, and on it goes, each new hurdle making the hurt even more painful. I guess the hardest thing is forcing myself to go and visit someone who is only a fraction of the person that I know and love, and forcing myself to act happy to see him, when really I want to scream that my Dad is gone, and no matter how much people say you have to learn to love the new person it's just too hard to do.

    I WILL go and visit, but not this week..................

    Thinking of you all, cos I know how damn hard it is.

    Love, Kate x.
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Dearest Kate, know exactly how you are feeling, although from a partners point, not daughter.

    Or do I? Why should I presume to know how you are feeling? Can I tell you things get easier? No.

    We are all unique. We see situations and feel things differently.

    You are still there for your dad. I sincerly hope things get easier for you, as I hope things become more settled for dad.
  3. nemesisis

    nemesisis Registered User

    May 25, 2006

    I do know what you are feeling I have to steel myself to visit mum
    last week it was her 75th birthday and I felt I must go so I went with cards and presents from me and her grandchildren she opened all the cards and presents and then said "when are you going I want to go back to bed" so I looked around and the other people seemed clean well fed happy and looked after so I thought well she may not know me but I have put her in a safe and happy place and the carerers had all ready put a banner up saying "rose is 75 today" so sometime residential care is the best for all
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Kate,

    How I sympathize with you. I used to visit my mother once a week and dreaded every minute. The NH was a few minutes drive away so I had no excuse, but if I had the slightest sniffle, it was as good an excuse as any not to go. [Well Icouldn`t take an infection into a home full of such vulnerable people, could I]

    Fortunately for me, my mother became [seemingly] unaware very quickly, but it sounds as if your father knows when you visit, but are you sure he`s embarrassed? Could it be discomfort, because he is so confused, and not really sure what`s happening in his life.

    Is there anyone who could go with you, or would that make it harder rather than easier for you.

    There`s no easy answer, it`s something you have to work through. Just don`t leave yourself with regrets.

    Love xx
  5. jackie1

    jackie1 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2007
    Oh Kate I can only begin to imagine how difficult this is for you.

    Take care.

  6. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    North East
    Hi Kate

    It's over 2 years since my mum went into a home after dad died, and I've been through a range of emotions. The 'wanting to go home' was a constant mantra and at times, was just too dificult for me to deal with.

    I started off visiting 2 to 3 times a week and my brother was visiting about 4 times - but then we cut this down as we weren't sure if this was contributing to her not settling. As the disease has progressed, she's forgotten about poor dad and just talks about going home to HER mum and dad - but it's just words now - I know she doesn't really mean it - I just have to say 'Well you may well stay for a few more days as it's all paid for' and she seems quite happy.

    I wish I could say that I was happy with the staff, but although some of them genuinely seem to care, you can tell with others that it's just a job, and probably a verly low paid one at that.

    I think it does get easier with time, but I say that as someone who doesn't live too far away and can visit every week. My sister is more like you - lives quite a long way away and only visits once a year and I know that she finds it really hard.

    Only you can know what is right for you, but if you only visit every now and again, don't feel guilty about it, as it's the guilt that drags you down and encroaches into all other aspects of your life.

    Your dad wouldn't want that for you

    Take care

  7. sammyb

    sammyb Registered User

    Sep 19, 2007
    I hope it is OK to feel worried, frightened and hugely anxious about going to visit. I am awaiting 4.30pm when I will drive off to the hospital for the tea-time visit. As I get in the car my anxiety levels will start to rise and by the time I get to the hospital door I could easily be sick, turn round and run away. I presume it is all to do with not knowing what you are going to find, is your loved one going to be fine with you or not, are you going to be able to keep that plastic smile on and, if so, is that really what your loved one wants to see - you all smiley whilst they are in such torment. Who knows? We have to give ourselves permission to be scared I think.

    Love from sammyb
  8. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    Absolutely right, Sammy. Even after more than two years I never know if Mum will be fine - or not. She has just had quite a few calm weeks (lovely!) but is now getting very agitated and upset again. Complaining about everything, not happy with the home, etc. It is such a roller coaster for us all.

    It is PERFECTLY OK to feel anxious (eetc.) about visiting. It is a pity we do feel that way, but it is perfectly normal.

    Here's hoping your visit goes well!
  9. MrsP

    MrsP Registered User

    Mar 19, 2005
    Thank you all for the support, sometimes you just need to know that you're not the only person who feels that way.

    I know that I will go and visit in the next week or two, but there is another issue which I would like to ask advice............ do I take my two young children with me? My Dad adores my 6 year old (doesn't really know my youngest who is 14 months), but I don't know whether I want them to see him at the moment. Obviously I want him to see her while he can still enjoy her, but at the same time I don't know if she will be frightened by the new environment. I know children are probably more resiliant to things than adults sometimes.

    What have others done in this situation?

    Many thanks again, Kate x.
  10. KezzieB

    KezzieB Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
    Suffolk, UK
    Hi I am Kerry and my mum is 53 and in hospital waiting for a place in a residential home.
    I understand how you all feel about the visiting thing - I constantly feel guilty that I do not go and see mum enough. I am sorry I have no advice to offer, but just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
    I also wanted to say that sometimes I do take my son with me (he is 5 and a half) because he loves to see his Nan and it's really lovely to see mum's face when she sees him. First of all I was worried about taking him and actually once when my sister took him with her, she did not have a very nice experience as one of the ladies there thought my son was someone else and tried to "snatch" him away from her. He took it on the chin though!! I think at that age children take things all in their stride, my son knows that nanny is not well, but he still enjoys seeing her and I like to think it does him and my mum good to maintain some kind of relationship.
    Take care xxx
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    To some extent I believe we are protecting ourselves by not visiting as often as we think we should, because it`s so upsetting to see the change in people who were once so vibrant.

    I admire you Kezzie for taking your son to see his grandmother. I think it will stand him in good stead for the future, knowing how pleased she is to see him, even though she`s so poorly.

    Take care xx
  12. cariad

    cariad Registered User

    Sep 29, 2007
    Hi, it may be best to go on your own first so that you get used to it. Children are MUCH MUCH better at coping than adults. My Mam came to live with us in Aug (after the very sudden and unexpected death of my wonderful Dad).
    My children are 7 and 9 and they cope really well with my mam. I've tried my best to explain things to them (something along the lines of she has a bad brain and she is like a little girl in a ladies body). They truly are amazing with her (making sure she washes her hands after using the toilet, encouraging her to speak when she hasn't very a while, calming her when she is hallucinating etc etc etc!)
    People say that it must be hard for me having young children and a mam with dementia but in many ways I think children break the tension. Your youngest is too young to know any different and as long as you prepare your eldest, I can't see there will be a problem. I wish you all the best xx
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
  14. KezzieB

    KezzieB Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
    Suffolk, UK
    I agree with that!! My son has grown up with his nan's memory loss really and he is wonderful with her - he very kindly finishes her sentances for her when she forgets what she had started to say and things like that!
  15. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Kate

    I can totally understand where you are coming from. I used to hate visiting mum in the NH, all her anger etc etc was directed at me. But I am pleased to say, that phase has gone. I now look forward to my visits and even bringing mum to my home for the day. So it can get better.

    On taking your children. We did have to stop my bro's grandchildren from visiting their great gran, she was way too aggressive, but now she is fine. What my niece does do however is to take along a load of toys to keep the children occupied, (it can get boring for them), they are 6 and 2. There is also two lounges in the NH, one for residents and one for residents/visitors, which does make it easier. Only you know how your children would cope, but I would give it a go, also having the children with you, might just make it easier for you, a bit of a diversion with luck.

    Cate xxx
  16. JMW

    JMW Registered User

    Jun 14, 2007
    Hi There,

    Can totally relate to everything you are saying. Mum has been in a home now for nearly 2 years, in some ways seems longer but i dread going to see her. Know it sounds awful but i'm never sure whether she's having a good day or bad day so never know what to expect. Sometimes its a good day and she seems happy even though i;m not sure she really knows who i am. Other days are awful but hey that's life, good and bad. It may sound silly but usually it takes me a few days to get over going so i can't go every week hopefully that doesn't sound selfish. The only thing that really keeps me going is that most of the family seemed to have turned their backs and say "they can't go and see her like that"! So in a small way at least i do go albeit perhaps not as often as i would like or feel i could cope with. From my own experience i don't think it ever gets any better you just learn to deal with it.

    Know that others are thinking of you.

    Best wishes,


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