I don't want to visit my mum anymore, but feel so guilty.

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by StephenP, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. StephenP

    StephenP New member

    Apr 22, 2019
    My mum is 88 and in a care home. She no longer recognises me and hardly reacts to anything around her. She no longer reacts when I speak to her (we've not had and meaningful conversation for months now). She's lost a lot of weight and I barely recognise her. I dread visiting her. I feel guilty if I don't visit and when I do, I feel guilty that I don't stay very long. She has no real quality of life despite the loving care and attention of the staff at the home. I'd rather not go at all. Does that make me a bad person?
  2. MrsGriff

    MrsGriff New member

    Mar 2, 2019
    Please don t feel guilty having such feelings. You have done your best and your mum is being well cared for and is safe.
    Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Do what feels right for you-there is no right or wrong answer. If it is simply too painful, then visit less or not at all. You can phone regularly to check o your mum. look after youself.
  3. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Welcome to TP @StephenP
    No, it doesn’t make you a bad person. We all have our limits & we just have to do what you think is best.
  4. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello and welcome @StephenP.

    I endorse the statement that you are not a bad person and agree entirely with what @MrsGriff has said.

    Now that you have found the forum please don’t be slow to ‘talk’ here as you are now among people who will understand so it’s a great place to vent frustrations or feelings.

    BTW, welcome to the forum to you too @MrsGriff.
  5. MrsGriff

    MrsGriff New member

    Mar 2, 2019
  6. MrsGriff

    MrsGriff New member

    Mar 2, 2019
    Thankyou-I'm a new member finding lots of support already.
  7. StephenP

    StephenP New member

    Apr 22, 2019
    Many thanks, MrsGriff, and to everyone who responded. It feels really good to know I'm not alone in this.
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I hated visiting my mother. She just sat staring into space and whatever I did got no reaction from her. We weren`t the closest of people anyway.

    I did go at least once a week just to show she still had someone who was keeping an eye on her well being and her care. I stayed for as short a time as possible but went on different days so no one could set the clock by me.
  9. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I found it very difficult to visit and do nothing. So once my mother needed to be fed, that's what I did. I went at meal times and fed her. I must have fed her for close to 9 years. I would also tidy up her room. I needed to do something concrete so the feeding worked well for me. Because Mum ate so quickly in those days, I started feeding other people at her table. I became a volunteer for meals only.
  10. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    High Peak
    Oh dear, @StephenP - you are a little further forward than I am with my mum, but I've already worried a lot about what I will do when mum reaches that stage.

    Mum is 87, care home for the last 2+ years. I visit once a week and already dread it. We are not close and I do it because there is no one else. I suppose it is my duty. I have a brother but he lives at the other end of the country - fortunately he supports me. We've talked about what we'll do in the future as mum is deteriorating rapidly now. Although very talkative, her speech is starting to go and she makes no sense. (And lives in a world of delusion and confabulation.) She is struggling with recognising people and swears blind I am not her daughter. But... she does still recognise me as someone she knows and - usually - knows my name, though she often thinks I am her sister/cousin or whatever.

    But if that goes I don't know if I will still be able to visit her, so I am dreading the next stages. She has few co-morbidities so could live for many years. I'm really not sure I could continue the weekly visits when she stops recognising me or communicating.

    So I feel for you - I really do.
  11. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    I concur with those who have mentioned having an activity during visits. I sew - labels into her clothes, embroidery etc and this means we don't always have to make stilted small talk or sit there like a lemon while she sleeps. She likes to watch me sewing now she isn't able to do things like that any more.
    She also asked to have her shoes cleaned - which sounds strange but her Dad was always a stickler for this when she was little so it is a comforting thing for her. The shoe cleaning went well, so much so that she took a brush and shoe and did some herself - which amazed me.
    We also choose photos to go into frames for her room. I sometimes read poems to her but increasingly she finds it hard to concentrate on this.
    Whatever you do (including not visiting) - and different things work for different people, don't judge yourself.
  12. DianeW

    DianeW Registered User

    Sep 10, 2013
    Lytham St Annes
    My advice would be to absolutely not go if you didn’t feel up to it, you know your Mum is Well cared for, and her needs are being met, also that she in herself is not aware you are not visiting her.

    That above would be my justification in not going, however if you are going to be feeling guilty then that is another matter........ maybe in that case to limit your visits to once a month, that way you can ease your guilt (unfounded in my view by the way), but not feel too upset by more regular visits.
  13. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    Hi Stephen. I know exactly how you feel. Your mum sounds like she's at the same stage as mine and visiting her... well, let's just say I'm going through a rough patch, emotionally. She doesn't really engage with me at all now, and it's not that our relationship was that brilliant to begin with, so whenever I visit (or even think about visiting!) I get a horrible sinking feeling. It's never been something I've looked forward to, but I'm really struggling right now.

    Anyway, what I wanted to tell you, and maybe remind myself too, is that I've been at this low point before. It must've been when my mum had yet another 'decline' and the visits became a bit of a clock watching exercise for me. Then I got to a stage that felt like an emotional brick wall. I really didn't think I'd be able to keep going to visit.

    So I let it be for a bit and then I kind of perked up a little, enough to carry on with relatively frequent visits. I reminded myself that I don't just go to see her for myself (if I'm honest if it was about that I wouldn't bother) or for her, but also for the staff to see that she's got someone looking out for her, and to show my sons that we don't just walk away from responsibilities. They were very close to her when they were little so me going encourages them to carry on visiting which I think is good for them.

    So I understand where you're at, and I hope you find a path through those feelings. I'm hoping for the same for myself. xxx
  14. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    Dear Stephen,

    You've done your best so don't feel guilty. My brother came here for a flying visit today but he hasn't seen dad since the 27th December. He hasn't asked how dad was after his last fall and he didn't like me mentioning it. You've done your very best and your mum would have been proud of you.

    Look after yourself


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