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How to cope with distress.


New member
Aug 19, 2019
My mum has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia and is in a nursing home but things are so up and down and I am struggling to know how to cope with it.
My dad passed away 10 weeks ago very suddenly and the grief of that is awful but knowing how to support and manage mum on top of that is really taking it's toll.
She was ill last week with a chest infection so when we visited she was very sleepy and we couldn't really get her to wake up when we were there but today she was much better physically but not so great emotionally.
She has gone from thinking she is in luxury b&b on the Yorkshire Moors (we live nowhere near Yorkshire!) to today saying they are torturing her and she wants to go home right now. I calmly tried to explain that she hadn't been well and she then got cross when we said she looked a bit better than the weekend, then just kept saying we had to get her out of there and begging to go home. She is disabled following a stroke 9 years ago so is not able to get out of bed unaided etc.
I had no idea of the best way to deal with it, should I have tried to distract her, although I don't think that would have worked? I tried to get her to explain what was wrong and what was going on to upset her but she couldn't answer and just kept saying the same things. I don't want to make her more upset.
We ended up saying that we were going to get a cup of tea and would be back later and we didn't go back in, I just couldn't face it and for that I feel so guilty. But I know that next time she won't remember it.


Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
Hello MollySW

Condolences for your loss of your Dad.

I think more experienced people will be along to offer advice, but just a couple of things that came to mind when we are with Mum. She has been in a nursing home for 12 months now, she went in straight from hospital - perhaps we were "fortunate" in that - and similar to your Mum - wasn't well when she went in, although fit enough to be discharged from hospital. Since then we have always called the carers nurses and the floor that her room is on became a ward, and in her mind (we think) she is still in hospital as she very often says she is waiting for the doctors to visit. Not sure if that will help with your mum, I don't think I have ever commented on how she looks apart from when she has her hair done, I feel a bit of a coward, but as you have found out if you say they look better then they may think that is going to mean they can go home. I have found that distraction usually works the best and you can get very inventive with what works best. Sorry can't be more help, and I totally understand the feelings of guilt, even after 12 months I still feel guilty leaving Mum and usually say we are going shopping and my see her later. She never remembers that we have been at all