Heavy Heart


Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
Mum was admiited to a care home yesyerday, and it was without question the hardest thing Ive ever done.
Stupidly I arranged a lunch for her and some old friends before we went. It meant nothing,she was bewildered and confused .
Aine if you read this, your quote "since I gave up hope I feel so much better" was running through my head last night.Im sure when I get to that point , life will be easier for me and mum...at least Ill stop trying to make useless grand gestures!
The staff at the home were warm and welcoming , but mum was shaking and frightened , she didnt want to stay there.
I stayed with her till late, and God Bless her, she ended up comforting me.Suffering a disease that has stripped her of so many things, she was so dignified .
This morning she was calmer and has appeared to accept that she is staying there and not going home. The staff tell me she had a settled night.
I fooled myself that life would be easier once mum was in care, but nothing could prepare me for how i feel today.
Suddenly I have time on my hands, the phone has stopped ringing, and I feel wretched.
We start a new leg of our journey through AD now, and stupidly I thought that this was going to be the easy part.


Registered User
May 14, 2006
Dear Allylee,
Yes it is hard to see your Mum in a Care Home, but when they are unable to cope at home and get frightened of their hallucinations or forget to take medication and keep falling, then sometimes it is better for them to be safe.
My Mum took a long time to settle in the Nursing Home after a fall, but now she seems content and likes the staff. Being in care does raise a whole new set of issues which have to be sorted out.
I'm sure everything will work out for the best and your Mum will not have to worry about looking after herself.
Take care and take advantage of having more quality time to spend with your Mum, rather than having to sort things out for her.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Ally

It`s so hard to leave someone you`ve cared for for so long, in the hands of others. It`s Guilt with a capital G.

But it does get to a point where there`s no alternative. It seems your Mum understands.

Life won`t be easier for a while, but it will. Then, as Kayla said, you will be able to have more quality time with your Mum, without the stresses and anxieties of caring.

Take care Ally.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Ally

I'm not surprised you have a heavy heart. Putting someone you love into must be one of the most heart-wrenching decisions anyone could make. I can say that because I've considered it and chickened out.

Your mum will settle down -- in fact it sounds as if she's already settled down! She sounds such a lovely lady.

It'll take you longer to accept it, but when you see her settled, and no longer have the stress of worrying about her, and can enjoy visiting her, you'll come closer to accepting.

Thinking about you,


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
New Journey

Hi Ally,
Yes, this is a new leg of the journey. It is very hard at first to have a loved one admitted to a care home. The guilt monster takes up constant residence for a while.

You are grieving - that's natural. Things will become more settled. You need to settle into the new arrangements as much as your mother does. We all talk about the person with AD "settling in" but I have found in my 6 years+ journey so far with my mother that I'm not far behind her in needing to settle in with all the changes myself.

Hang in there & take care of yourself. Remember you have far more fellow travellers than you realize & we all want to share our personal maps with you.



Registered User
Mar 3, 2007
leaving mum behind

hi ally, i know exactly how you feel, my mum has Alzheimer's and has been in metal hospital for the past 5 weeks now, the staff are very good the place is clean, but mum hates it she just wants to get better and come home! its heart wrenching and we all feel the pain every day, mum has good days and bad days but she still misses home, I'm sure your mum will settle down and will feel more better when she finds her own way in the home and she will developer her own little routine and hopefully make some friends, we have the hard time, the guilty feeling, the empty space that our mums leave us with, its strange getting used to thinking about them and visiting them instead of running yourself ragged around them.
i visit mum each week and sometimes take her out for the day and we enjoy ourselves, we still laugh and talk even if it doesn't make any sense, it doesn't matter its spending time with them and telling them how much you love them.
life is so precious, keep your chin up and keep in touch with TP you are not alone we all have good days and bad days
take care
sue :)


Registered User
Jan 8, 2007
hi allylee
i find myself in much the same situation as yourself. mam went into a care home one week ago, and it feels like one big dream (nightmare) how did we get to this stage (surely we could of kept her a bit longer) i ask the care staff if they think she is really bad enough to be there, i visit every day and watch her to look for signs to justify her bieng there and of course the signs are there but when your left adrift without them you think "could we of managed a while longer". friends ring up and say oh you can do what you want now and i am shocked to think that people think it will be so easy to just go out and have fun now, its an up and down ride that changes daily and i do know how you feel, you struck a chord with me.


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Don't beat yourself up....

Dear Allylee,

You have my utmost sympathy at this time. Everyone on TP who has placed a beloved parent in a Nursing Home will absolutely identify with how you are feeling right now.

Making the decision to put your mother in a Nursing Home is an utterly emotionally devestating step. Actually DOING IT on the day takes incredible courage and is without doubt one of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your life, as you say.

I felt like I was putting my parents in jail/abdicating responsibility/deserting them/admitting failure to cope, etc, etc, ad naseum. I can only tell you how it was for me. You may find some striking similarities in the grieving process of my letting go of caring on one level and setting up new parameters of care later on. I'm sure we are all shocked beyond belief at this stage at the horrible feeling of unreality of it all.

After the 'act', I went home alone loaded with pain and misery - to what? An empty house filled with the memories of happier times and the resonating echoes of yesterday's caring duties....... and then the 'what-if's' and guilt started.

I went through the 'What if AD never happened?' trip and how life would be so wonderful and controlled and so predictably normal - and that lasted for a few hours until I had thoroughly exhausted that tape.

After that, it was 'What if I'd been a better carer/more organised/able to stay up 36 hrs a day/had more day care sorted out/researched better medication/ taken Mum to the bathroom more often/organised more projects for Dad to try and sustain his basic skills' . [All this goes round and round in your head as you sit there alone and you know that you would DO just about anything to turn the clock back 24 hours!] At this point caring 24/7 seems like a heaven sent option......

So while I was barrelling along on the guilt roller coaster, suddenly panic set in with a vengeance..... and I had this awful 'WHAT HAVE I DONE'' feeling. Effectively WITHIN ONE DAY, I had reduced my parents' lives from a full on family home to a couple of suitcases filled with name-tagged clothes, half a dozen framed wall prints and a drawer full of photo albums - AND THIS WAS IRREVOCABLE...!!

This is one of the heart-stopping and paralysing moments when you suddenly realise that life has forever changed and that NOTHING but NOTHING will ever be the same again.

Ally - this is the 'new leg of the journey' which you have identified and which is causing you so much grief - on top of letting go of caring for your Mother on a daily basis. It's the gradual but inexorable removal of daily things like newspapers and discussing TV programmes - of the loss of the ability to go on walks together, hold lucid conversations, eating meals together.

It's an incredibly excrutiating process to slowly dismantle a parent's life piece by piece by removing once familiar objects when they are no longer recognisable - and it can personally tear you apart in the process. It feels like you are personally anihilating them bit by bit until their sum worth is a suitcase of clothes which you give to your best friend to take to a jumble sale because you cannot possibly bear to do it yourself!

I think it helps to adapt your role as a carer and to re-evaluate the ways in which you can care as time goes by - by holding hands and stroking arms when conversation skills fail; brushing hair seems to work wonders as well as gentle physical hugging. It replaces our normal modes of communication and gives great comfort to both the sufferer and the carer.

Altzheimer's is a whole new language by itself and it's one that takes time and dedication to learn, especially the new speech patterns. As your Mother's language ability diminishes you will need to try and understand her steadily diminishing vocabularly. I guess it's like having a child grow up in reverse, as the older the dementia becomes, the less articulate she will become.

You say that you 'stupidly arranged a lunch' for your Mother on the day that she was going into the Nursing Home. Hey, on reflection, all of our rites of passage are marked by ceremonies - birth, christening, engagements, marriage, funerals - and although we may be physically present for all of those, we probably aren't entirely mentally with it for all of them, - BUT they are all celebrations of life in its various forms. In at least 3 of these cases the ceremonies are really for our family and friends to get together and have a great party.

Ally - You gave your Mother the most amazing interim farewell! You gathered together all of your oldest family friends to say goodbye to her from her home to the Nursing Home. OK, your Mother may have been confused, but her friends had a chance to spend some last precious moments with her and to remember her 'at home'. Right now you probably don't realise how utterly brilliant of you it was to think of organising such a wonderful send off. It was a truly grand tribute indeed -
[and not in the way that you are feeling right now]! I wish I'd though of doing this on the day that I took my parents to their Nursing Home.

Losing somebody we love to AD is a double death trip in my opinion. We lose them when they are diagnosed with AD and start to fall prey to this awful memory loss until they haven't a clue who we are or what year it is. And then we lose them when they finally die.

As I've said before, when your loved ones start to lose the ability to make memories on a daily basis for themselves, then we need to step in and make and keep those memories alive on their behalf. Let's celebrate their lives and make every day count. I'm sure it will register somewhere and somehow in their memories too.

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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi j.j, It never fails to amaze me how insensitive people can be.

To think you are ready to celebrate your freedom now your mum`s in a home, doesn`t bear thinking.

I just hope these `friends `of yours never find themselves in the same position.

Take care of yourself. Your mum will be OK in the home. She`ll be safe and well looked after and you will be able to give her all the love you want, when you visit.

With love


Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
sort of north east ish
allylee said:
Aine if you read this, your quote "since I gave up hope I feel so much better" was running through my head last night.Im sure when I get to that point , life will be easier for me and mum...
Hi ally

That was a quote that was pinned on the wall of my GP surgery some years ago. It made a lot of sense to me at the time.

It's almost exactly a year since my dad went into a nursing home ....... I can identify with so much of what you're saying here that it's almost too painful to go there.

try to take care of yourself.



Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
Youve all summed up exactly how Im feeling.For the last three or four months Ive felt exhausted , burnt out with caring for mum, but Id do anything to have her back right now.
Leaving her in the home has left a huge void, I cant stop crying .
Jude , you have echoed exactly how I feel in your comments "what have I done".
Having to sort through mums personal belongings and reducing them to a pile of pictures and mementos felt such an intrusion.
Mum is faring better than me at this point , the staff tell me that she was unsettled early evening, but was up and dressed for "work" at 8am as always.

THanks to you all for your support, IM cliniging to TP like a life raft at the moment.

Ally xx


Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
allylee said:
We start a new leg of our journey through AD now, and stupidly I thought that this was going to be the easy part.
So often I thought exactly this, "the worst is over" etc. I think every new phase brings new challenges and none are ever that easy to cope with because we love those we're caring for so much. Just like Aine said in a different post, I felt better once I gave up hope. I knew things weren't ever going to go back to how they were and for some reason there was a small amount of comfort in that. It was that wee bit easier to deal with the here and now, instead of clutching to what once was. You're doing the best you can and your mum is safer where she is now. Once granddad went into a home I realised that now was my opportunity to give him 100% of my love and affection....it was quality time I was spending with him, rather than being exhausted caring for him and feeling like I was just existing. I hope this helps. xx


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I can not really add anything as my mother still at home with me .

But I can so relate to Jude when she said
It's an incredibly excrutiating process to slowly dismantle a parent's life piece by piece by removing once familiar objects when they are no longer recognisable - and it can personally tear you apart in the process.
As that is what I had to do for my mother when she moved into live with me and my brother , because he was living with my mother at the time . it really help me let go of some guilty feeling thinking I was the only person who had done that to a mother I felt so horrible , as if I was a horrible person for doing that , and then thinking I new it was for the best . what a horrible feeling it did tear me apart emotional , . thank-you for sharing , lovely to see you back on TP jude:) :) xx


Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
Dear Allylee

Just wanted to say how moving I found your post. It sounds to me that your mum isn't the only one who has been dignified. Although it must be awful for you, you sound as if you've dealt with it as best you can. I can't appreciate what it must have been like for you (my mum is early stages). I hope you can take some comfort from the other posts on here.

Best wishes

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England

Allylee, I'm sorry I can offer little to help except to thank you for your posts - as everyone else on this thread ...... didn't know I had that many tears in me .....

For me it has served as a timely reminder (for someone who has spent most of the morning grumbling to themselves about jobs/errands and "When am I supposed to get a weekend?" :eek: ) to appreciate being able to do what I can do while I can do it ....

My love goes out to all of you - and hope you know that through your selfless sharing those who have this hurdle to come (when we are not in denial) are being helped so much to prepare as best we ever can ...

Love, Karen, x


Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
Hi Karen,
believe me Ive grumbled over the last few months, and now Im "redundant "from providing the majority of mums care, Im moaning again.! :)
I bought mum to mine for lunch today as I have every Sunday, and for her it was much the same. After her intial anxiety when she was admitted on Thursday,she doesnt seem to be aware that shes moved at all now.She looked clean and cared for, the staff had set her hair in view of her outing today.
You mention denial, and I think that much of my grief at the moment , is partly due to the fact that I have been in denial too.
I think whilst mum was managed at home, the extent of her condition didnt really hit home. Seeing her sitting in an old folks home has bought with it the harsh reality that of how much she has deteriorated, if that makes sense.
Thanks for your kind words and support.
LOve Ally xx


Registered User
Mar 12, 2007
It is time to become your own person again, being a little selfish and thinking of what you would like to do with your life. Not one single person will stand against you for making some decisions for yourself now.

When you visit your mum you are allowed to be the child again, and you will be able to fill your visit with talk, and have quality time with her once more, rather than being the carer.

Your mum will appreciate everything you've done for her to date, it will possibly be a blessing for her that her daughter can now live her life again...

Dont feel guilty.
The emptiness will be a short lived thing. But its totally natural that you will feel this way. There is a lot of change happening in your life, you need to allow yourself to feel sad, have a cry, and take comfort in what others say, then pick yourself up and move onwards and upwards. Perhaps you could look around at adult education courses (during the evenings) doing something you enjoy and it will help you meet more people.


Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
Hi Ally

Can I just say that I am finding it very emotionally difficult now mum’s safely being looked after in her EMI home and the 24/7 work and worry should be over? I am finding it so so hard to get on with life. It is slowly sorting itself out but it definitely does not happen overnight. It helps to know I am not the only one with this concern.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Clive, No-one can just switch off from 24/7 care. It`s a form of grieving in itself and is bound to take time. It`s good to hear it`s sorting itself out for you, slowly, but I hope surely.
Take care

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