Hospital visits

perfectpatience

Registered User
Oct 3, 2006
64
Essex
My mum has been in hospital now for three weeks...and though Iam so glad she has pulled through ..(we thought we were going to lose her) she still looks so ill and frail. Some days she doesn't even recognise me...and just sits staring in the hospital chair by the bed. She still has a catherta...but is off the drip. Her eating is very poor...and her drinking even worse. Iam getting so depressed visiting her lately at the hospital (it is 7 miles away from my house) and I dont know whether its the dark evenings now or what...but I just dread going to visit these days. Does anyone else ever feel like me? I feel so guilty....as I love my mum so much....but I find the whole experience of the elderly ward...her so poorly...and the hours I have to spend going there and back a real 'heartache'. Iam sure this is only a phase....but was wondering does anyone else have the same situation as me? Iam the only one who visits my mum everyday....my brother goes once a fortnight...and other members of my family hardly ever visit her.
 

mw52

Registered User
Aug 25, 2006
32
Leeds
Visiting

Hi PP
I'm sure there will be loads of replies for you to read once everyone has got back from visiting and logged on - and will feel exactly the same as you do! I feel awful every time I go and see my mum and sometimes the tears just roll down my face and then she says are you cross with me, have I made you cry - which just makes it even worse. These places are awful and I just sometimes want to ask the staff why they don't sit with the patients/residents and talk to them instead of chatting in the office!
It is hard and there is no right or wrong answer and no easy solution. Well meaning people will say if she doesn't recognise you, don't go so often. I think really what you have to do is put yourself first for a while and do what's right for you. If your mum was well what would she want you to do? Also, you have to think of your own immediate family as well.
Oh dear - don't know if any of this is of any help but anyway thinking about you.
M
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Perfect patience

My Mother is in the same boat as yours and I live 2 hours drive away

The kindest thing they could have done for my Mother is to have allowed her to slip away

Her quality of life before the pneumonia was poor now its non existant
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
Visiting in the nursing home

I usually try to visit Mum two or three times a week in the nursing home and I never know quite what to expect, as she varies a lot. I should have gone today, but I've got a cold, which is not too bad, but it seems silly to take illnesses into a place where people are so frail. I feel guilty that I've not visited, but I'd feel even worse if she or another patient became ill because of me.
No one else visits her, as I haven't got any brothers or sisters and my children only visit if I go with them. Mum is 10 minutes drive away, but it seems as if she is in another world. Mum is still my Mum, but so thin and frail and unable to do the most ordinary of tasks, as she can't walk now. She lives in her own dreams and memories and I don't always understand what she is talking about. The staff do talk to the patients, but there are no organised activities at the moment.
I don't think we are in a position to judge what quality of life people have, as dementia patients seem to live in a completely different reality to the rest of us. I dread visiting her, but I know that I must make the most of the time we have together. I've learnt things about her childhood and the War which I might never had known about, if she'd not been reliving the past. My aim is to try and write down some of her memories, and make a book of her life, and the way people of her generation thought about things.
I don't know the answers, but I suppose as people get older and into their eighties, different parts of the body begin to fail. It might be the heart or lungs or kidneys, but in dementia patients it is the brain which is failing. It is a physical disease which dramatically affects the mind and social relationships. I am thankful that Mum is in a NH where the staff are kind and caring, and I know she is being well looked after, even if I'm unable to visit.
I'd hate the idea of her needing to go into hospital again, and being amongst strangers in unfamiliar surroundings, but I guess it's best to just take one day at a time and not worry about something that might never happen . I think we can only do our best and we may have other members of the family to worry about as well. I do think that elderly patients in hospital should be put into smaller, cosier wards which are not too clinical and white, as those with poor vision can't see where they are so well. Bright contrasting colours would make a huge difference.
Kayla
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
hi pp

im not visiting mum tonight the one half feels glad as i hate seeing her in the hospital and dread the visits but im also feeling guilty as ive had a night off.
my dad goes everyday to the hospital and so did i but it was just taking over my life and my family were suffering so ive made the decision not to go as much.
like you my brother goes when he feels like and then only for 30mins the most but he dosent feel the guilt like me perhaps its a daughter thing.
im so glad mum has pulled through a bit hope she continues to get better
take care xxx
 

perfectpatience

Registered User
Oct 3, 2006
64
Essex
Hi all. Thanks for your replies. It really has helped me. I felt a bit down today with it all...but when I read other peoples experiences....I dont feel so alone.
Came back from hospital tonight....so glad I went....there was an emergency in the ward and all staff had disappeared...so I was able to help feed my mum...get her ready for bed and even 'toilet' her. If I hadn't have gone...she would probably been left till alot later. Still I mustn't think like that. I know I should try and visit every other night....so Iam going to give myself a talking to...take on board some of your comments ....(easier said than done) but I really will try. Thanks again. PP x x
 

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