1. Carolann

    Carolann Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    59
    Nottinghamshire
    Hi, This is the first time I have posted even though i have read many of the postings. I feel really guilty this afternoon as I have not gone to visit my Mum who has some form of Dementia and is in a Care Home. I will try to explain the situation in as few words as possible and hope I do not bore you. Until the beginning of Feb this year my Mum, Dad and sister lived together. My Dad had a stroke approx. 3 years ago and at the same time Mum started with the first signs of Dementia. My sister needed to support herself and had a full time job so she looked after Mum and Dad during the night and as I lived nearby and could afford not to work as my partner supports me I gave up work and looked after them during the day. The Dementia got much worse towards the end of 2005 and it was decided Mum would go into respite for 2 weeks which she did on 4th Feb, but on 6th Feb my dad was admitted to hospital and sadly he died on March 6th. Mums respite care has continued into full time care and unfortunately she does not seem to be settling in very well, she still knows us all by name and when we arrive to visit her which is every day she cries and wants to come home. Mum is also profoundly deaf which is agreat problem to her and also us when we are trying to expain things to her. She came to Dads funeral but I'm not sure she knew whose funeral it was - and she really enjoyed the tea afterwards when she saw all the family - I think she thought it was a party!! She is having good days and bad days and the staff in the home are kind to her and her specialist is trying to get the right balance of medication. Yesterday was one of my worst visits as she kept asking how Dad was. she has done this before, but yesterday she just went on and on saying that she must get home and do his tea as he would be annoyed if she was late, she was really agitated and asked why he had not come to see her.obviously losing my Dad is still very raw for me - I am at the very weepy stage at the moment, and I just did not know what to say to her because she would have forgotten in minutes - she just wanted to know why I was crying.I don't usually cry in front of her but yesterday I am afraid it just came. The Care Home manager suggested I did not visit today, and I have taken her advice but I feel so very guilty because I know Mum will be looking for me, even though she forgets I have been. If you are still reading this saga .thanks, as I am not really talking to anyone about how I feel at the moment - its just good to get it off my chest, even though I am now crying my eyes out.
     
  2. daisymaid

    daisymaid Registered User

    Mar 7, 2006
    15
    lincoln uk
    Carolann

    i no just how you feel a very similar scenario happened in my family would take ages to write it all down. Dont feel guilty i no its easy to say but take each day as it comes .

    Ive just been on another link and had to come off cos i couldnt see the keyboard to wet from tears to carry on.But read yor thread and just had to say thinking about you during this sad time so take care i can say with experience that you will start feeling happier but at the moment more sad than glad.

    Once again take care

    Daisymaid
     
  3. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    #3 Lynne, Apr 19, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
    Hi CarolAnn

    I'm so sorry you are having a bad day with the guilt monster. It must be "your turn" for him today!

    We ALL suffer with guilt, even people who have got everything worked out as perfectly as it is possible. We feel that because we love Mum (or whoever) we ought to be able to put things right for them, no matter what. We all do our best (often of course limited by other essential obligations like work, children, other family needs, AND the essential need to look after our own health. That's not selfish, it's what we have to do to make sure that we're there for Mum next week, next month etc. If that means taking a day or a weekend off from visiting, that's what we have to do to allow a few hours for relaxation from the awful strain which caring for dementia puts on us.

    You said
    and I'm not being unkind, but that doesn't make sense. In all likelyhood she won't be looking for you, and won't remember that you didn't visit today. So don't waste your "time off" by agonising about it. Do whatever you do to relax, take Mum a little box of chocs (or whatever) next time you visit, and DON'T apologise for not going today. I bet she won't even think about it unless you remind her!

    Sympathy & Hugs
     
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Hi, and chin up

    Hi Carolann

    and like everyone else, my heart goes out to you. My Mum also went into a home recently when I knew it wasn't what she would ever want in a million years, but we had no other viable option. After 7 weeks, the 'I wanna go home' is a lot less frequent and a lot less strident, and she is slowly starting to settle. If the home are suggesting against visiting today, they are doing so in both you interests and your Mum's and they are probably right, much as that only adds to the feeling of guilt.

    Everyone's advice so far is very wise, and I'd go along with it. Use the time to unwind as much as you can, even if it is difficult. Beating yourself only makes it harder in the long run, even if its a hard habit to break.

    One other suggestion: work with the home staff as much as you can, as theyare the people who will have most contact with your Mum from now on. Give them as much detail as you can on her history, personality, likes and dislikes. If it's a good home, they'll use this information to work to make her happier (and if they don't, you should ask them why). It's certainly making a big difference with my Mum, who's actually pretty happy most of the time now. Not always (and we get the brunt when she's not, as she doesn't want to upset the staff - or the other residents), but mostly. I've arrived unannounced a couple of times and found her having quite a chuckle with someone - which makes iot hard for her then to turn around and moan.

    Your Mum is where she needs to be: if there's no other option, do what you can (and not necessarily all yourself) to make as good for her as you can.
     
  5. Carolann

    Carolann Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    59
    Nottinghamshire
    Hi everyone, Thank you all for taking the time and trouble to read my posting and for your ' Words of Wisdom '. I do agree with you Dave that its a good thing to work along side the staff at the home and I like you have also arrived unannounced on the odd occasion and found her sitting there quite happily. I am probably being over sensitive at this time because I have lost my Dad and also feel that I have lost my Mum as I knew her.
    We will cope, we have to don't we? Some days are better than others.
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    One day at a time

    Hi - and glad my words were of some help. It's very easy at the stage you are at to wonder how you will ever cope, especially when you're still grieving your Dad. (Mine died years ago, although my Mum's problems suddenly emrged at the same time as I was moving house, moving in with my partner and got made redundant: in terms of 'major life stresses all at once', I suspect I've been there too).

    It's taken me a few months to feel like I can begin to cope and get parts of my 'normal' life back, and it will for you too - but try to remember (even on the bad days) that it will happen. Human beings are much more resilient than they think they are - even if the elastic doesn't respond as quickly as you want it to some days :)

    Work as best you can with the home, and keep in touch with the specialist too (ideally, get the home and the specialist to work together if they're not doing so already). The right balance of medication (my Mum having tried quite an assortment of cocktails) can make a huge difference, especially with agitation and emotional upset. And it will take her time to settle (8 - 9 weeks isn't a long time, even if it might feel it to us - she is probably already fairly lost as to durations of time; mine certainly is).

    If you re-read your own first message, it may help with the feelings of guilt: if your Mum wasn't sure who's funeral she was attending and is asking how/where her husband is only a few weeks after he died, then she is at a stage where she needs full-time 24 hour care to ensure that she is safe. (I oddly find more comforting so far on Mum's more confused days - it makes me realise she's in the right place for her: I've stopped allowing myself to feel so guilty.)

    In the meantime, if you need to cry - cry. It may be a cliche, but better out than in. I didn't let myself cry for months, and then did nothing else for hours one Sunday. It was very "cleansing". When we cry, we do so for a reason - standing in its way won't help anything.

    And as Lynne said, take good care of yourself. You need you as much as your Mum does.
     
  7. Carolann

    Carolann Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    59
    Nottinghamshire
    Dave,I know what you mean about feeling better when Mum is more confused and agitated because then I am really sure she needs to be in the Care Home. I only have to remember the few weeks before she went into care as my sister and I were taking it in turn to sleep on the floor at the side of Mums bed because she was wandering in the night and we were worried that she was going to fall down the stairs - I KNOW she needs to be in care - and I know it will take time for me to come to terms with the events of the last few weeks. Once again thank you for your time and understanding.
     

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