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First meeting since March 21st

Zebra123

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
15
0
I got a phone call from mum's care home to say that I could see mum on May 30th. I was so excited but was sensibly aware that there was the chance that she wouldn't know who I was - it had been weeks since we'd last met. I was visiting her every other day and my brother the every other other day - so she had a visitor every day. It was a lovely sunny day - she was in her wheelchair with her carer and I was the other side of a fence near the lovely pond they have there. When she came out she was screaming, crying, shouting and [because of her particular type of dementia] every other word was the f word. I was so so upset to see her like that, even though I thought I had prepared myself for that possibility. What was hardest was the carer was stroking my mum's hand trying to console her - that should have been me! She looked wild - kept saying 'that' not my f-ing daughter' etc. I left after a quarter of an hour in tears saying that I'd never go back to see her if I couldn't be able to hug her, console her. What would you do? Do you think that if I go again = that she might remember me? I am distraught - I'd been so looking forward to seeing her after such a long time. She'll be 99 on July 1st - I am 74. I told my brother what had happened and he said he didn't think he could handle the upset.
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
54
0
74
Watford
I got a phone call from mum's care home to say that I could see mum on May 30th. I was so excited but was sensibly aware that there was the chance that she wouldn't know who I was - it had been weeks since we'd last met. I was visiting her every other day and my brother the every other other day - so she had a visitor every day. It was a lovely sunny day - she was in her wheelchair with her carer and I was the other side of a fence near the lovely pond they have there. When she came out she was screaming, crying, shouting and [because of her particular type of dementia] every other word was the f word. I was so so upset to see her like that, even though I thought I had prepared myself for that possibility. What was hardest was the carer was stroking my mum's hand trying to console her - that should have been me! She looked wild - kept saying 'that' not my f-ing daughter' etc. I left after a quarter of an hour in tears saying that I'd never go back to see her if I couldn't be able to hug her, console her. What would you do? Do you think that if I go again = that she might remember me? I am distraught - I'd been so looking forward to seeing her after such a long time. She'll be 99 on July 1st - I am 74. I told my brother what had happened and he said he didn't think he could handle the upset.
I feel so sorry for you this is what am afraid of as well. The care home have said I can visit my husband but will have to been in the garden and be a distance away from him and wear a mask and gloves. I haven’t seen him since March so don’t know how he will react so I have been putting it off. He will wonder why I don’t cuddle him and give hims kiss.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,138
0
Kent
How terrible for you @Zebra123.

If you do go again perhaps you could arrange to see your mother before she sees you just to ease your mind to see if she is contented. Also perhaps the care staff don`t tell her in advance that you are visiting. Just let her see you as if by chance.

The face she saw you on the other side of the fence rather than face to face could have confused her.

I have thought if my husband was still alive I would be worried about him seeing me in different circumstances to those he had grown used to . I`m sure he wouldn`t have been able to cope.


Hello @Bezzy1946
I wouldn`t have wanted my husband to see me in a mask. I`m sure it would have caused him even more confusion.

If I`d wanted to check on him I would have asked if I could see him without him seeing me.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
831
0
I too saw my mother last week, and though she did calm a little, she was not best pleased to be wheeled outside and I am not sure she knew who I was.
It is a very hard situation. I am now wondering if it is worth going back while we have to visit outside. Mummy hates the cold. But, if I don't go, will that make it all the harder when I can see her inside? Horrible decisions. You have my sympathies, so much to do with dementia is just awful, without all the COVID restrictions on top of everything else. Might it be worth talking to the care home staff if you do decide to visit again? I know certain behaviours are very ingrained with dementia but maybe a certain time might be better than another?
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
3,001
0
Sorry you had such a bad visit @Zebra123 I saw my mum recently too and she was not her usual happy & smiley self, had lost weight and seemed to no longer have any recognition of who I am (a complete change since before lockdown). Relatives are only permitted to visit in the garden, and only once every two weeks, but I will be going back for a further visit this weekend but wearing a clear face visor this time rather than a mask to see if it makes any difference. I too found it difficult to not give mum a cuddle or even a drink in the warm weather. Perhaps a visor might may work better for you than a face mask @Bezzy1946
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,716
0
Hello @Zebra123 . I'm so sorry to hear that your visit went badly. It's traumatic to see our parent so distressed. My mother has advanced vascular dementia and sounds to be much like yours. I used to visit every day and sometimes she would be cheerful and calm but I could often hear her screaming from outside and the slightest thing can trigger it. I have been in knots trying to decide whether to risk a distance visit outside but I think it would probably just upset her. I would feel like you - how could I not try and comfort her? This is probably not a popular view but I feel the unfamiliarity of this type of visit, with no physical contact, tactile show of affection or easily visible eye contact, is too much for those relatives like ours, although I'm tearing up just typing that. If time goes on and it is still the only sort of visit we are allowed, I expect I'll try it eventually. Thinking of you and so sorry about your visit.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,571
0
Hi @Zebra123 , I'm sorry that visit was so traumatic for both of you. I assume your mother was looking for a much younger version of you, and facemasks etc must be confusing.
I've just emailed my mother's home to see when they will be allowing visiting. I haven't spoken to mum since the middle of March. I'm deaf and phone calls are tricky for me and mum has extremely poor eyesight so I don't think she'd recognise me on a small tablet screen if we tried zoom. However if we have to be at a distance and wear marks I doubt I'll be able to hear her. I have difficulty hearing and understanding her when I'm right next to her as she speaks softly and rambles rather a lot.
This disease has so many vile knock on effects.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,280
0
I think to get to the bottom of this you need to look on the whole event as a play and think of the part every person had to play in it.
As a carer I would be creating a big build up to the daughter visiting. ‘ you need your hair washed your daughter is visiting’ you can’t stay in your dressing gown today, your daughter is visiting’
From your mothers point of view she will have got used to a very lazy lifestyle during lockdown and all the interventions that are now taking place due to the ‘ daughter visiting will be unwelcome indeed.
Add to that the tidal nature of dementia, that the person you get one hour may not be the person you get next.
Also she may now think of her daughter as a child not the woman that stands before her.
Would it be possible to arrange‘ waves ‘ from the window as a build up?
Are current photos of you and your brother in her room? Maybe even with labels with your Christian names on them, so even the less regular staff can say things like
‘ Graham will Be excited about your big birthday approaching’
I think the problem is that people have such high hopes of the reunion meeting, and it is breaking hearts when it doesn’t go well, but over the next few weeks things will relax and I am sure it will improve .
 

Zebra123

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
15
0
Apologies to all the kind people who replied to my last year's text. Things intervened and I didn't answer/acknowledge your replies. So Sorry. Time has now gone on . Mum celebrated her 100th birthday on July 1 [2021] albeit with only 5 family members. Since then she deteriorated badly and was hospitalised with osteomyelitis a few days later. After 13 days in hospital - with me sleeping beside her bed overnight as she was put on 'end of life care' she returned to her care home. She has not had food or drink now for over a fortnight!! She is still with us but I'm living by the phone 24/7 waiting to hear that she has died. I've visited every day - spending hours with her virtually waiting for the breathing to stop. Has any one else known of someone in that situation living so long? The care home say that they are totally amazed she is still with us. As you can imagine it's been awful during the vigils I've been keeping. One thing though, she is reacting to my voice - I'm told the last sense to go is hearing. Also, this may be wishful thinking, but I think she does know it's me - after months of her dementia rendering her unable to recognise any family member. I am thinking of all you out there who are dealing with this horrible illness - but I do think mum is aware of my being there with her.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,550
0
South coast
I am so sorry to hear your news @Zebra123

My mum went 17 days with no food or fluid before she passed away. In the final days there was a little trickle of carers coming in to say goodbye to her before they went home after their shift ended, only to come back the following day and be amazed to find her still alive. I have heard of other people with dementia doing the same. It is amazing how the body holds on to life. So, so hard to watch, though. It is a twilight world where you are just waiting for the inevitable.

You are doing everything right. I too was told that hearing is the last thing to go, so I read to mum, talked to her and played her favourite music. Im sure you have already done this, but make sure you say the important things to her - I love you, thank you, Im sorry and tell her that you will be alright and its OK to go.

It will be over soon
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
 

Zebra123

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
15
0
I am so sorry to hear your news @Zebra123

My mum went 17 days with no food or fluid before she passed away. In the final days there was a little trickle of carers coming in to say goodbye to her before they went home after their shift ended, only to come back the following day and be amazed to find her still alive. I have heard of other people with dementia doing the same. It is amazing how the body holds on to life. So, so hard to watch, though. It is a twilight world where you are just waiting for the inevitable.

You are doing everything right. I too was told that hearing is the last thing to go, so I read to mum, talked to her and played her favourite music. Im sure you have already done this, but make sure you say the important things to her - I love you, thank you, Im sorry and tell her that you will be alright and its OK to go.

It will be over soon
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Thank you much for your kind words canary. Mum died on the night of 31st July and we had her funeral yesterday. I did as you did with your mum and I reverted to calling her 'mummy' as I had the feeling she was remembering things from years ago. Love and peace to you.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,550
0
South coast
I'm sorry to hear your news @Zebra123 although I am glad she didn't linger much longer

Please look after yourself now. Quite often the funeral arrangements can focus the mind, but it's once the funeral is over that it tends to hit you

(((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))
 

Zebra123

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
15
0
I'm sorry to hear your news @Zebra123 although I am glad she didn't linger much longer

Please look after yourself now. Quite often the funeral arrangements can focus the mind, but it's once the funeral is over that it tends to hit you

(((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))
Thank you.