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Feeling depressed and confused about visiting restrictions.

Norfolk Cherry

Registered User
Feb 17, 2018
298
My mum has been in a very good home for two years. I chose the home for it's approach to care, but it's a 50" drive away. I visited three times a week at first then twice a week. The last year, once a week. To be honest it was a relief when we were stopped from visiting as I find it increasingly stressful as she can't converse, and is restless, and wanders. However now we are allowed in the garden and she is a lot worse. I feel so confused by my feelings. I miss here, I feel so guilty I put her in a home and I know that she is happy to see me when I first arrive. But I find it really hard to visit in the garden where she looks uncomfortable, and stressed. I can't do her nails or walk the corridors with her and I feel I can't make the visit work. I've decided I must visit more frequently to stop myself feeling guilty, but I long to not have her in my head making me feel so sad and as if I will never be properly happy again. I'm sorry to have these selfish feelings, but I wondered if anyone else is struggling with visiting under covid restrictions?
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
715
My mum has been in a very good home for two years. I chose the home for it's approach to care, but it's a 50" drive away. I visited three times a week at first then twice a week. The last year, once a week. To be honest it was a relief when we were stopped from visiting as I find it increasingly stressful as she can't converse, and is restless, and wanders. However now we are allowed in the garden and she is a lot worse. I feel so confused by my feelings. I miss here, I feel so guilty I put her in a home and I know that she is happy to see me when I first arrive. But I find it really hard to visit in the garden where she looks uncomfortable, and stressed. I can't do her nails or walk the corridors with her and I feel I can't make the visit work. I've decided I must visit more frequently to stop myself feeling guilty, but I long to not have her in my head making me feel so sad and as if I will never be properly happy again. I'm sorry to have these selfish feelings, but I wondered if anyone else is struggling with visiting under covid restrictions?
@Norfolk Cherry just to let you know you’re not alone feeling like this. My garden visit was horrendous because I was masked up and two metres away my husband just walked straight past me and the staff couldn’t persuade him to turn round, in fact I had to tell them to stop it and take him back in, I was just broken hearted. I can’t wait for the day when I can go back in and he’s greets me with a big hug and we can sit and listen to music and eat cake. So they’re not selfish feelings. I hope things can change everyone in this position as soon as possible for the residents and families equally x
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
553
My first socially distant visit to mum was pretty awful, I'd not seen her for almost three months and she looked awful, gaunt, unkempt and very scrawny having lost a lot of weight ( probably when in hospital prior to going into the care home) I was with my sister and it was really hard to keep the conversation going and mum got quite upset.

We went again today and things were a lot better, Mums hair had been brushed, she was much brighter and did not appear to have lost more weight - she is now on a special high calorie diet and weighed weekly. I took in several packs of cake bars which she enjoyed looking at, reading out the ingredients and thinking where she was going to keep them so no one else could find themselves! My sister gave her some flowers which really pleased her and so the half hour went much quicker with no awkward silences. Mum was happy to go indoor with a Carer at the end as she was looking forward to having her tea and the Carer made a fuss of her with all the gifts

After my first visit I did wonder about the value of going again but we've now booked another visit for next weekend and I'll take her some chocolates then and maybe some hand cream.
 

CardiffGirlInEssex

Registered User
Oct 6, 2018
186
My mum has been in a very good home for two years. I chose the home for it's approach to care, but it's a 50" drive away. I visited three times a week at first then twice a week. The last year, once a week. To be honest it was a relief when we were stopped from visiting as I find it increasingly stressful as she can't converse, and is restless, and wanders. However now we are allowed in the garden and she is a lot worse. I feel so confused by my feelings. I miss here, I feel so guilty I put her in a home and I know that she is happy to see me when I first arrive. But I find it really hard to visit in the garden where she looks uncomfortable, and stressed. I can't do her nails or walk the corridors with her and I feel I can't make the visit work. I've decided I must visit more frequently to stop myself feeling guilty, but I long to not have her in my head making me feel so sad and as if I will never be properly happy again. I'm sorry to have these selfish feelings, but I wondered if anyone else is struggling with visiting under covid restrictions?
I'm in a slightly different situation, in that my mum is still in her own home with my dad. But they are in Wales and I'm 200 miles away in Essex, haven't seen either of them since 17 March. Mum is no longer able to use the phone, she is almost totally deaf, so I can't speak to her at all though I do have short calls from Dad at least once a week. Visits will not be a practical possibility until is considered safe for me to stay with them. I'm too far away for it to be sensible for me to be their extended household, that's been taken on by a cousin of my Dad who lives close to them, and I'm very grateful for that.

But...much as I want to see Dad, I am not sure how mum will be or even if she will recognise me. And that makes me not want to go, which in turn makes me feel like a bad daughter. And if it has to be with social distancing, face mask and constant cleaning of everything I touch, will that confuse her even more? Care home visiting must be an absolute nightmare if even visiting at home feels this complicated. It's almost as though mum has died even though she hasn't, no contact at all and we used to chat regularly for hours at a time on the phone.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
567
I must confess that I was also relieved when the option of visiting was taken away. I used to visit my mum every day but she is still very unsettled after two years in the same care home and not always pleased to see me. I had to abandon some visits but sometimes they went well and I would do her nails or show her a magazine where we could criticize all the clothes, or take her for a walk along the prom in the wheelchair on a good day. Those good visits made up for all the bad ones but my stomach still lurches at the thought of starting again. Mum can get very easily distressed and I have not even tried a distanced visit, as I fear it would upset her and I know that she is not in a good way at present. It is mum's 90th birthday on Friday and I don't think I will even try to visit then...
 

Norfolk Cherry

Registered User
Feb 17, 2018
298
@CardiffGirlInEssex I completely understand the feeling that it's almost as if our mum's have died, I have that a lot. I look at a rose that she loved or see a book title she enjoyed and I feel broken hearted, as if she's gone. Instead there's a tortured soul left, which is almost worse, and then I feel bad for, as it were, wishing she wasn't here at all. I hope that if and when you can visit, she recognises you. Don't feel like a bad daughter. @Baker17 Thank you for sharing, I can't imagine going through this with my husband, here's hoping for brighter days ahead. @Lynmax that is such a great idea about bringing flowers and chocolate, it makes something positive happen, and I will definitely try that on Tuesday . @lemonbalm, I'm so sorry, you are going through this too. Your experience is very similar to mine. It's very comforting to know we are not alone with all these complicated basically unacceptable feelings. Dementia was bad enough but Covid has made it so much worse! Thanks for everyone's responses tonight, I'm hoping to sleep better tonight as a result! I feel like we all need a hug!
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
220
I'm in a slightly different situation, in that my mum is still in her own home with my dad. But they are in Wales and I'm 200 miles away in Essex, haven't seen either of them since 17 March. Mum is no longer able to use the phone, she is almost totally deaf, so I can't speak to her at all though I do have short calls from Dad at least once a week. Visits will not be a practical possibility until is considered safe for me to stay with them. I'm too far away for it to be sensible for me to be their extended household, that's been taken on by a cousin of my Dad who lives close to them, and I'm very grateful for that.

But...much as I want to see Dad, I am not sure how mum will be or even if she will recognise me. And that makes me not want to go, which in turn makes me feel like a bad daughter. And if it has to be with social distancing, face mask and constant cleaning of everything I touch, will that confuse her even more? Care home visiting must be an absolute nightmare if even visiting at home feels this complicated. It's almost as though mum has died even though she hasn't, no contact at all and we used to chat regularly for hours at a time on the phone.
Don't forget that the so-called rules on visiting are now just guidance not law so you can make your own judgement about whether to visit. I am visiting my father weekly and staying overnight as part of his care arrangements, a three hour drive away, and with the infection rate now very low the risks are outweighed by the benefits.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
715
My first socially distant visit to mum was pretty awful, I'd not seen her for almost three months and she looked awful, gaunt, unkempt and very scrawny having lost a lot of weight ( probably when in hospital prior to going into the care home) I was with my sister and it was really hard to keep the conversation going and mum got quite upset.

We went again today and things were a lot better, Mums hair had been brushed, she was much brighter and did not appear to have lost more weight - she is now on a special high calorie diet and weighed weekly. I took in several packs of cake bars which she enjoyed looking at, reading out the ingredients and thinking where she was going to keep them so no one else could find themselves! My sister gave her some flowers which really pleased her and so the half hour went much quicker with no awkward silences. Mum was happy to go indoor with a Carer at the end as she was looking forward to having her tea and the Carer made a fuss of her with all the gifts

After my first visit I did wonder about the value of going again but we've now booked another visit for next weekend and I'll take her some chocolates then and maybe some hand cream.
@Lynmax that’s good that you can take something with you for your mum, where my husband is we’re not allowed to take anything. The ironic thing is all these weeks I’ve been doing window visits I’ve taken sweets and strawberries and have even taken new clothes when they’ve said he needed new ones but all of a sudden I not allowed to take anything. I really wish they would sort things out. There are no actual rules only guidelines and it seems to depend how these guidelines are being interpreted 😔
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,858
Chester
Don't forget that the so-called rules on visiting are now just guidance not law so you can make your own judgement about whether to visit. I am visiting my father weekly and staying overnight as part of his care arrangements, a three hour drive away, and with the infection rate now very low the risks are outweighed by the benefits.
The Welsh rules are very different from the English rules - and the Welsh rules still carry the force of law.

The 5 mile travel limit was only lifted on 6th July, cafés/pubs etc can only open for outside service from today (has been takeaway only for now) and don't open for inside service for a couple of weeks.

Only 2 people can meet up still if not same household and not inside unless part of bubble.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
567
@CardiffGirlInEssex I completely understand the feeling that it's almost as if our mum's have died, I have that a lot. I look at a rose that she loved or see a book title she enjoyed and I feel broken hearted, as if she's gone. Instead there's a tortured soul left, which is almost worse, and then I feel bad for, as it were, wishing she wasn't here at all. I hope that if and when you can visit, she recognises you. Don't feel like a bad daughter. @Baker17 Thank you for sharing, I can't imagine going through this with my husband, here's hoping for brighter days ahead. @Lynmax that is such a great idea about bringing flowers and chocolate, it makes something positive happen, and I will definitely try that on Tuesday . @lemonbalm, I'm so sorry, you are going through this too. Your experience is very similar to mine. It's very comforting to know we are not alone with all these complicated basically unacceptable feelings. Dementia was bad enough but Covid has made it so much worse! Thanks for everyone's responses tonight, I'm hoping to sleep better tonight as a result! I feel like we all need a hug!
I hope you slept better. Your comment "I long to not have her in my head making me feel so sad and as if I will never be properly happy again" is very poignant and sums it up so well. Hugs all round x
 

CardiffGirlInEssex

Registered User
Oct 6, 2018
186
The Welsh rules are very different from the English rules - and the Welsh rules still carry the force of law.

The 5 mile travel limit was only lifted on 6th July, cafés/pubs etc can only open for outside service from today (has been takeaway only for now) and don't open for inside service for a couple of weeks.

Only 2 people can meet up still if not same household and not inside unless part of bubble.
Yes, the rules are still different in Wales. I probably could see them with the justification it's on compassionate grounds or to provide care, but they are actually doing ok and have two or three care and nursing visits between them every day. Plus Dads cousin is now their extended household so she goes now and spends time chatting. If I'm sticking to the rules, as my dad is keen we should, I don't think I can really go until after 3 August and even then might stay in the Zip hotel nearby so that I'm not sharing their bathroom.
 

CardiffGirlInEssex

Registered User
Oct 6, 2018
186
@CardiffGirlInEssex I completely understand the feeling that it's almost as if our mum's have died, I have that a lot. I look at a rose that she loved or see a book title she enjoyed and I feel broken hearted, as if she's gone. Instead there's a tortured soul left, which is almost worse, and then I feel bad for, as it were, wishing she wasn't here at all. I hope that if and when you can visit, she recognises you. Don't feel like a bad daughter. @Baker17 Thank you for sharing, I can't imagine going through this with my husband, here's hoping for brighter days ahead. @Lynmax that is such a great idea about bringing flowers and chocolate, it makes something positive happen, and I will definitely try that on Tuesday . @lemonbalm, I'm so sorry, you are going through this too. Your experience is very similar to mine. It's very comforting to know we are not alone with all these complicated basically unacceptable feelings. Dementia was bad enough but Covid has made it so much worse! Thanks for everyone's responses tonight, I'm hoping to sleep better tonight as a result! I feel like we all need a hug!
@ Norfolk Cherry, sending hugs (((((:)))))))) Its tough trying to cope with all that the dementia produces and then the additional complications from the pandemic just makes it a bit more overwhelming at times
 

CardiffGirlInEssex

Registered User
Oct 6, 2018
186
I must confess that I was also relieved when the option of visiting was taken away. I used to visit my mum every day but she is still very unsettled after two years in the same care home and not always pleased to see me. I had to abandon some visits but sometimes they went well and I would do her nails or show her a magazine where we could criticize all the clothes, or take her for a walk along the prom in the wheelchair on a good day. Those good visits made up for all the bad ones but my stomach still lurches at the thought of starting again. Mum can get very easily distressed and I have not even tried a distanced visit, as I fear it would upset her and I know that she is not in a good way at present. It is mum's 90th birthday on Friday and I don't think I will even try to visit then...
@lemonbalm so difficult for you. I don't have any answers except to say be kind to yourself. And sending virtual hugs. (((:)))))
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
553
@Lynmax that’s good that you can take something with you for your mum, where my husband is we’re not allowed to take anything. The ironic thing is all these weeks I’ve been doing window visits I’ve taken sweets and strawberries and have even taken new clothes when they’ve said he needed new ones but all of a sudden I not allowed to take anything. I really wish they would sort things out. There are no actual rules only guidelines and it seems to depend how these guidelines are being interpreted 😔
I'm afraid we did not ask first! At my first visit I gave a bag of goodies to a carer when we first arrived but this time I just took the bag with me to the gazebo. I used the gel they provided to wipe the bag and only went at arms length to hand it to mum. The asst manager came to collect mum at the end of our visit and did not tell me off!

I'm really not likely to have the virus, I've still not been out of the house other than to collect my grocery order - and I don't get out of the car then. I wash my hands after putting the food away and as I live on my own, I'm probably fine.
 

Norfolk Cherry

Registered User
Feb 17, 2018
298
I've got (wrapped) raspberries and custard tarts to take tomorrow. I'll smuggle them in to the gazebo, wipe them with gel, open them, and pass them over the top of the screen at ( gelled) arms length! I'm feeling a bit more up for it thanks to you all. Decided I need to adjust my expectations. I need to go regularly, even if she can only sit still for five minutes, and accept that it's the best I can do. I haven't been on here for a while, I used it daily when looking after her in her own home. Last night I found myself reading threads from people whose mum's were at the same stage as mine a few years ago and it helped remind me of the good times, and how we got to this stage. I do get huge support from connecting to people going through the same experience and always recomend this site. Take care all, don't feed the guilt monster and remember we all have a right to happiness in our lives
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
220
The Welsh rules are very different from the English rules - and the Welsh rules still carry the force of law.

The 5 mile travel limit was only lifted on 6th July, cafés/pubs etc can only open for outside service from today (has been takeaway only for now) and don't open for inside service for a couple of weeks.

Only 2 people can meet up still if not same household and not inside unless part of bubble.
Oh yes my comments were about England only.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
553
At my visit yesterday, after I'd given mum a bag full of cakes, she asked if I could get her some nuts, she loves salted cashew nuts. I'm now wondering if I need to check about nut allergies, just in case the care home has to be nut free.. Her next favourite snack is liquorish allsorts so as I don't think mum will eat all the cakes by next week, I think nuts and sweets might be in order while my sister buys the flowers.
 

mydiamondmum

Registered User
Nov 10, 2015
166
I know that my mother will be stressed out and confused if I visited and wore a mask and couldn't touch or hug her, but is it not the case that there about to be an announcement this week about new guidelines to allow us to visit and be regarded as key workers so that we can have more normal visits? that was on the news on Friday does anyone know when we are likely to hear this week?
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,374
@mydiamondmum Last Thursday Matt Hancock stated "'People are yearning to see their loved ones and the residents of care homes get so much from visitors It's been a very, very long period and that period where there hasn't been any visiting to care homes, that's coming to an end very soon. I very much hope that in the next few days we'll be able to make this change. We've been very careful about it and we've got to get it right."

At around the same time a letter had been produced and presented to government by various charities (including alzheimer's society) suggesting that family members could become 'key workers': https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/news/2020-07-09/open-letter-secretary-state

Whether this is what Matt Hancock actually has in mind hasn't been confirmed though. If family were designated 'key workers' it doesn't mean that they wouldn't need to wear a face mask though, they'd still be subject to the same stringent infection control procedures as other key workers.

Various media channels have interpreted what Matt Hancock said/meant in different ways but there's been no further updates so I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the changes will be and when they will be announced. Hopefully soon.
 
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monkeygirl15

Registered User
Oct 1, 2017
64
I’m so glad (in a warped way) to have read this thread. At least I know I’m not alone in my totally mixed and screwed up thoughts and feelings about visiting my mum.

I went to see my mum for the first time since lockdown three weeks ago. It devastated me. She looked skeletal. The worst thing was, after all this time, she didn’t recognise me.she didn’t even look at me. She was sat inside and I was outside, a window between us. I’m not sure she could even hear me. She was more interested in the gazebo I was sat in than me. I ran out of things to say -getting no response at all.

I had a migraine for a full week after -a new record for me. A friend unhelpfully told me how she got understood as she sat with her dad in his final hours of cancer and got no response from him. I sat with my dad in his final hours of life, with no response, and I wanted to scream at her that it’s really not the same. It’s totally different.

before when I visited there was a glimmer of recognition. I wouldn’t say she knew I was her daughter and I would never dare ask her, but I felt like she knew I was someone. Now there is nothing.

This is a truly terrible thing to admit, but they have had COVID in the home and it has taken people who were healthier than my mum. My mum also has stage 4 cancer and I’ve found myself thinking why couldn’t it have just taken her? That is such an awful thing to think and yet I really don’t want her to die.

I couldn’t face visiting the following week but I did go this Monday. There was still nothing but I think because I expected it to be as it was I coped better.

actual face to face visiting would be better. I wonder if I could just hold her hand if she would maybe recognise me in some way