Family fading away


Registered User
Feb 28, 2012
Mum is in a home away from her home town and it is a little difficult for people to get there but she is three times the distance away from me .

I go when I can but it is hard ,I work so I go every other weekend and make it a long weekend when possible ,and I spend all my time with mum,I take time off and make sure I go to appointments etc ,but I'm finding other people are going less and less

I feel this is leaving mum more and more isolated from her family and roots ,I know as the disease progresses it won't matter so much as she won't even remember if we've been or not but just now she needs us

Do people grow away from family members like this ,is this what I should expect them all to do ?

I'm coming to terms with mum needing to be in a home ,she's well cared for and seems to be settling but is this how it is ,we drop away ,the job is done .

Just when' i think I can cope with that bit ' another bit hits me full on

I always start posts knowing what I want to ask ,then i start tying and the issue overwhelms me,sorry

I think i just need someone to tell me this is just another part of what happens or they are just differant but that's ok too


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
I'm sorry you feel so isolated. It must be hard with your mum livIng so far away. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by everything. You're doing so much for your mum. Could you have a heart to heart with your family and tell them his you feel?


Registered User
Feb 28, 2012
I'm sorry you feel so isolated. It must be hard with your mum livIng so far away. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by everything. You're doing so much for your mum. Could you have a heart to heart with your family and tell them his you feel?
Thanks Izzy,not sure how to do heart to heart with them anymore,tried once ,they give the impression they think I'm "not getting it" .
I think i'm coming to terms with it but I don't think I can pull away from mum while she isn't completely 'lost' to us (I don't think I can do it then either) and I don't want to

I did ask one of them why and was told they couldn't deal with seeing her in there ,neither can I but that's just how it is .
Another said ,she won't remember it was weeks since I saw her

I don't know ,maybe I expect too much

Thanks for your reply Izzy ,it all helps

edited to add....................maybe it's because I don't think mum has gone that far yet and they keep telling me she has and I'm just not seeing it
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Registered User
Sep 20, 2011
Hi. I felt very sad reading your thread. You are trying so hard to do the right things for your mum,even though you live so far away. We know how hard it is to go and see someone we love who has changed a lot, but like you, we go to give the other person pleasure. It's so easy to say "i cant bear to see her like that". I see that as a cop out!

Is it possible to move mum closer to you, so at least your visits would be easier? I feel it makes such a difference to the resident to have visitors. There are some people in my husbands CH who never see anyone, and my heart goes out to them. It keeps them more motivated when they see visitors.

As to family dropping away ... It's the easy answer for them! Sorry, maybe I've maybe said too much, but I get so annoyed with people who use an excuse not to visit.

You are working very hard to achieve the best and seem to be lacking the support of the others.

Try to keep strong. Sending you a hug.

Jan xx


Registered User
Dec 31, 2009
I was sorry to read your post also and that other members of your family aren’t as committed to visiting your mum as you are. It must be a heavy weight to carry with everything falling to you and sadly this is something that seems to be quite common in some families, one person doing a lot more than others. Are not any of them willing to go once every fortnight like you do so that your mum at least gets one family visit a week? Am sure it would make a big difference to her and give her something to look forward to. The carer's at my dad's home always find it perks him up when they tell him we'll be coming to visit later. You’re doing wonderfully well for your mum especially given the distance and the fact you work. I can only reiterate what Izzy says that it might be worth trying to speak with them again or even writing a letter about how you’re feeling, perhaps approaching who you think might be the most receptive initially. Even though they might be right that your mum might not remember their visits, seeing a familiar face will still mean something to her in that present moment.Wishing you all the best.
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Registered User
Feb 28, 2012
Thank you Jan.s and Pheath for your replies

When this first happened I wanted mum moved closer to me and to bring my brother here too (he has lived with her for the last 16/17 years and took good care of her too )

Funnily enough those members who barely visit at all now are the ones who said it was a great idea ,the others who didi at that time visit said NO,mum would never want to move from her home town ,and even now when she is miles away from her home town they still don't want her moving as far away as where I live

This is why it upsets me ,they want her kept close but are now 'falling away'.it makes me very angry but also very very sad ................poor mum

this coming friday she has her eye op (fingers crossed) ,I will be there of course

I think I will have to try and speak with them ,this is just not fair on mum ,if they can't visit they need to let her come here so I can and more often
I don't want to lose her until I have to and she shouldn't lose us


Registered User
Sep 20, 2011
You obviously care very much about your mum.

It may well be worth pointing out to the others that Mum wouldn't have awareness of where her new home is, and that if she were closer to you that you would be happy to undertake the visiting on a regular basis. That would take the responsibility off their shoulders and they could make any visit on an irregular basis.

I think they need to think about your mum's needs and not what looks good to others or what suits them. Your mum would benefit from regular visits.



Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
I'm not sure you can, or indeed should, insist that other family members visit more - they will have their own take on the situation - but now the reality and practicalities of your mum being in care has perhaps sunk in, perhaps they might be more receptive to her moving nearer to you as Jan suggested.

If you suggest it in a positive way ie that it will be easier for you to be Mum's regular visitor/cover appointments etc etc, rather than admonishing them for not doing their share of visits (which is just likely to get their backs up :rolleyes:) then perhaps they'll be more receptive to the idea, as it gets them off the hook.

Good luck.


Registered User
Mar 25, 2009

I agree that it would be helpful if you could get your Mum moved closer to you. My Dad died last month and was in a Nursing Home for over 2 years. His dementia was quite advanced, so he wouldn't have remembered who had visited him, but it was helpful to him to have the visits. I visited every day, but other family members drifted away, so I know how you feel. Carers at Dad's home always said I was Dad's best advocate, because I was the only person who saw him every day. I could see subtle changes before illness was apparent, and the staff listened (most of the time!)when I suspected an infection, so it could be treated quickly. So, I would say that the more you can visit, the better. Dad may not have remembered who had visited, but at the time he enjoyed them. He was always pleased if he knew his sister was going to visit, and he knew some of his grandchildren right until the very end.

I'd say try to talk to other family members, but don't expect them to change their opinions. My brother didn't visit because he felt it would be too upsetting, but he did eventually come and sit up all night with me the day before Dad died. He could see then that he should have been there more, but it was too late.

Good luck, you're doing a great job balancing work with travelling to see your Mum. I hope it can be made easier for you,

Love, Sue

Big Effort

Account Closed
Jul 8, 2012
Hello Outofmydepth,

I will share my experience of family with you. For the past 3 years I have done everything alone, including giving Mum a home. The more I did, the less they did. No respite and lots and lots of criticism of them being shut out of decision making, care and so on.

The social worker came to visit. She wasn't worried about Mum, she was worried about ME!!!!! ME!!! She said that I risked losing Mum to dementia and siblings to quarreling about it. Her experience was that grief did strange things to people, each acted differently, motivated by denial, shock, revulsion, envy, mistrust of siblings and so on. Indeed, as I mulled over what she had said, I could see the potential for serious family fallouts in the pipe line.

I wrote a round robin explaining this, saying new decisions re Mum were pending, and I hoped we would all pull together on this one. Happily two of three are being absolutely super, improved relationships, and one is being difficult, bossy, full of recriminations and threats. At least I am not facing this alone, as the other two are being gentle and considerate and focus on the big picture: best solution for Mum.

It looks as if the first thing on your family's agenda is to get her closer to you all so more visits can happen. You cannot make others visit, so you can only take responsibility for your own behaviour and visit as often as is right for you. Forgive, forgive, forgive I say, as this is a beastly illness that has stolen our parent, and offspring do not manage to deal with this particularly well.

At some point your Mum will die. Like the social worker said, you will really want a comfortable sibling network for the decades after that.

Hope this doesn't sound too prescriptive or know-it-all. I'm fumbling myself, but find I can ignore the grief-induced silliness, and focus on getting our communication as honest, warm and worthwhile as I can.

Good luck, and hope you get her closer to you as long distance visits are very draining.


Registered User
Oct 8, 2011
Something you might say to the non-visitors - even when our loved ones no longer know who we are, they still get the emotion they always connected with us. So, they may not know our name, but they feel they know us from somewhere, and might smile at us because they loved us once, and that emotion is still inside them somewhere.
My aunt did exactly that, and never lashed out at me, although she did to others.

The other thing is that you also need the help of not being solely responsible. You need other folk to visit and be the pairs of eyes to check all is well.

I can only send you a ((hug)), and wish there was a way to make this dreadful journey a bit easier.