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Feelings of guilt and separation :-(

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by looviloo, May 24, 2015.

  1. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    #1 looviloo, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
    I may be posting this in the wrong place but...

    Dad moved into a new care home a few days ago, after a bad fall and a stay in hospital and a period of intermediate care. I'm struggling to cope with all the feelings it's bringing up... I'm completely shattered, emotionally and physically.

    Dad was independent till now, with no outside help except family. His health was in decline though (symptoms of dementia though not diagnosed). So I've been visiting most days since his fall, taking care of the washing & ironing, checking on his house (40 minutes away), sorting out finances, making decisions that I'm totally uncomfortable with, all while taking care of my own family. Thankfully I'm not working (which is a result of my own health problems... diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago).

    So this weekend is my first time 'off' and I'm wracked with guilt. I want to see him but know I need the rest. But I can't rest because I'm wracked with guilt!

    I hope it gets easier :-(. Friends kept telling me it'd be a relief once dad had moved into care and I knew he was safe, but it's just not feeling that way right now...
  2. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    British Isles
    I think, from your pervious posts, that your Dad was agreeable to going into the care home? So absolutely no guilt due about that.

    If you are just guilty because you have been too shattered to visit this weekend, well no doubt you will be going in a few days. Perhaps other family members have been able to visit. I'm sure he's been getting loads of attention from the staff to make sure he feels at home and settles.

    I've shed many tears about my Mum going into a nursing home, we torture ourselves about this move as in our hearts feel it is somehow a failure yet our heads tell us it is the best or only option. Do hope that when you do feel able to visit that your Dad is thriving.

    Hoping you get some rest tonight.
  3. shark2

    shark2 Registered User

    Aug 22, 2012
    n ireland
    Been there, done that! My mum has been in a home now for 5 weeks. It's awful and even though you know it's been done for the best reasons it still sucks!:(

    I was advised not to visit my mum the first night but I knew better :rolleyes: so wish I had taken their advice . Cried for days but didn't visit for a few days to give her time to settle.

    I try not to go every day and it is weird having the free time - I try to do something for me at these times. It does get easier and you will be able to enjoy your new found free time.

    Take care xx
  4. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    Thanks for your kind replies, and sorry for not replying sooner - I was seriously tired when I wrote the post, after a month of intense anxiety, and running here there and everywhere.

    The guilt I mentioned is on all different levels. Could I have done more to prevent dad's fall (he was seriously dehydrated)? I'd visited just a few days earlier and he was 'out of sorts' - perhaps if I'd alerted the GP again? Then there's the decisions I've had to make - have I made the right ones? Why do I love and care and break down sobbing one minute, and resent him the next? That one's a tough one, and the feelings of resentment lead to guilt :-/. And so on and on. Although I'm slowly coming to terms with it all, I still wake up in the night with it churning around in my head.

    We moved dad to a care home of our choice last Thursday. He had visitors Friday/Saturday, and I went Monday. He was grumpier than I've seen him for a long time... nothing was right. He kept talking about going home, feeling sure he could manage with care visits. Now this is a man who just the week before was almost begging me to make the care home arrangements because he'd realised he couldn't look after himself any longer. This is a man who at 86, has fallen twice, has a broken shoulder, needs a stair lift, gets confused and very forgetful etc. And even knowing all that, I STILL feel guilty that he is where he is... and that somehow I might have failed him. I hate to think of him being unhappy, but I also want him to be safe.

    Sigh :-(. I'm taking a few days off this week, and leaving my next visit till tomorrow/Friday. I'm hoping it'll give him time to settle a bit, and me a much needed break :)
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    ((((hugs))))) looviloo. Its such a difficult time and you are still coming to terms with it. Your dad isnt settled yet and you know without me having to tell you that he wont remember previous conversations nor what it was like for him at home and still feels like he can cope even though everyone else knows that he cant.
    My mum ended up in hospital before she went into her care home and was seriously dehydrated too. You cant plan for all eventualities and the plain fact seems to be that your dad - like my mum - needs someone with her 24/7 now. So stop beating yourself up with the "what-ifs". You havent failed him by getting a nice care home for him - on the contrary, you are keeping him safe and getting his needs met.
    Mum is now settled and content in her care home. It was the best thing for her, but it took a few weeks, so its still early days.
  6. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    Thanks canary, for your hugs and concern... it's great to be able to come here and know that people will understand.

    Sorry to hear about your mum. Your situation sounds similar to mine, and I'm grateful to know that your mum has settled down in her new care home, it helps me to think that dad might do the same. I hope your mum continues to do well :).

    Dad's memory loss is the cause of a lot of the issues... he forgets why he's in need of the care, and that he was lonely/depressed at home this winter and wanted to move out. I keep telling myself that we can only do our best, and need to give it more time.
  7. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I felt very much like you when mum went into care. I would never have chosen fo her to, but circumstances dictate as she was quite poorly ( awarded Full CHC which was a blessing)

    I used to go home so upset, maybe I could have tried harder to have had her at home, done more, done this , tried that.....


    I went in one day, and something seemed to switch. I can't remember what was going on in the home ( Mum wasn't a person that liked to join in anyway) but she was taking an interest in what was going on.

    the staff were excellent, so kind to her and us, because they knew I didn't want her there. They seemed to understand.

    it took time, and I cried for weeks, but with time, I knew it was the right thing to do. I like you was exhausted, and it wasn't until I felt better ( and less tired) tht I could see it was best for everyone.

    Give it time. xx
  8. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    #8 looviloo, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    Thank you Jessbow x

    My emotions are all over the place. I think about dad most of the time at the moment. Today I managed to go into town for a coffee with my OH and while we were there I missed a call from dad - so dad left a garbled message pleading with me to call back (he sounded pitiful). I tried but it went to voicemail, so I called the care home who were unaware of anything being wrong, and had just been up to give him a cup of tea, saying that he seemed to be fine with them! The trouble is, he'll pour out all his worries to me, and give a smile to everyone else :-/.

    I'm starting to think that having his mobile with him is a bad idea, especially as he doesn't seem able to use it properly anymore.

    I'm very pleased to hear your mum settled down, Jessbow, and that your stress has become less. I hope that dad will settle too. He's there for at least a month initially so we'll see how it goes.

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