Long Distance Visiting

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Fiji, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    My Mum has been diagnosed with AD in the UK, but I live on the other side of the world in Fiji.

    With my wife I made a trip, literally around the world, to visit Mum for 5 days last week, and now that we are back home, the care givers report that Mum misses us and that her health has deteriorated significantly as a result.

    There is almost a case to be made for not having visited her.

    I wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience, and/or whether anyone reading this might have any suggestions.

    Fiji
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hi there, welcome to TP.

    I live in the States but my mother lives in the UK. She has had several strokes, and has certain aspects of dementia (no short term memory, no sense of time etc). I'm not quite so far away as you, but far enough, and I do try to visit every 3 months. Unfortunately, as soon as I've gone back, almost the first thing she says when I call is "I don't suppose I'll be seeing you anytime soon?". Once I've gone, it's as if I've never visited. If she misses you I suppose it's inevitable that she will decline, but to be honest, she might have declined anyway. We all have some level of guilt over this, so it goes with the territory. Honestly, if you have a loved one at a distance there's a whole set of guilt issues that come into play, not least of which is the recognition that as you're not dealing with it day in, day out, it is possible to put it out of your mind, at least at some level. In some ways it would be easier not to visit, but that would only make me feel better (on one level, more guilty on another).

    Another thing to remember is that even with a diagnosis of AD or something similar, there is also no reason (in fact every reason) that they can't have something like depression as well. My mother is now on anti-depressants and they have made a remarkable difference in not only her general outlook, but also, surprisingly, her memory.

    Jennifer
     
  3. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Hello Jennifer,

    How very kind of you to reply.

    I clearly understand what you are saying, I suppose that there is no sense in beating oneself up.

    I hope that you and your Mum are OK.

    Best wishes,

    Ray in Fiji.
     
  4. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Hi Ray,
    Welcome to TP! I feel very much for you in your difficult situation and wish I could offer some words of wisdom. I do echo what Jennifer says about not beating oneself up over it.

    Just for interests sake, I live 10 minutes from my Mum and every time I speak to her she says "I don't suppose I'll be seeing you anytime soon?" ust like Jennifer's Mum! I visit about 4 times a week and ring every day (at least once). The reason I'm telling you this is, if your Mum says the same sort of things to you, try to recognie it as the disease and not a personal comment or criticism.

    Decline happens inevitably with people with AD so you cannot hold yourself responsible for your Mum's decline. I know that "gult monster" we at TP talk about only too well! Believe me, he (she??!!) is everyone's unwanted guest on this voyage of AD. Whatever happens, we feel guilty!

    I do urge you to visit when you cn altho' I know how hard it is from our side of the world. (I'm in Australia.)

    On another point, we are worrying about all of you in Fiji with this possible coup looming tomorrow.:( I hope you are all safe and that, if it happens, the disturbances are kept to a minimum.

    Thinking of you, Nell.
     
  5. Sabato

    Sabato Registered User

    Jan 18, 2006
    14
    Sardinia
    hi Ray,

    Yes, it's so hard not to feel guilty and feel you're not doing enough.
    I'm in italy & my sister is in Sydney.
    We visit separately to make the most of our visits.

    I cherish the time I have with my Mum and I'm very lucky to have the wonderful support from my husband (the times we're dropped everything & changed flights etc and he also wants to go with me) and sister who is also there for me as I am for her, with talk and cry over the emails many times!

    You are doing fine and the best you can.

    Fiji is a beautiful place.

    Regards, Sabato
     
  6. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Thank you Nell and Sabato

    Thank you both, Nell and Sabato,

    So kind of you both to write. I had hoped to write earlier, but there have been a few distractions.....

    I suppose that it is easy to see this as a bit sureal, sitting here at home in the 30 degree plus heat that is Fiji at the moment, enduring a total military overthrow of our government just four days ago, with military (fully armed with automatic rifles) checkpoints, in fact 7 no less from here to work, where many soldiers wave at us with big friendly smiles calling "bula" which means hello, but which literally translates as "life" as in "have a good life".

    Then calling my Mum in the UK whenever I can, and getting muddled inconsistant conversations as her AD health deteriorates, and as she undergoes an operation for a broken hip taken in a recent fall.

    And then, just two days ago, my wife and I were made Grandparents, that is for the first time, to our eldest daughter.

    Two thoughts have come to mind.

    1. Such is the cycle of life, and

    2.There is hope amongst adversity.

    Keep well,

    Best wishes

    Ray in Fiji ...........(in an uncharacteristically philosophical mood)
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Congratulations on your grandchild! Commiserations on being stuck in the middle of a military coup. :eek:

    Although you're not going to be there, I assume, you might want to review the information below, which was compiled by Skye (one of TP's members). We have all had problems when our loved ones are hopitalized, and this is a bunch of the "biggies". Perhaps you could higtlight the most important one for whoever is acting for your mother in the UK.
    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/discuss/attachment.php?attachmentid=926&d=1164567882

    Jennifer
     
  8. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Hello Jennifer,

    Many thanks for your assistance.

    Merry Christmas to you and to anyone else who might read this read this.

    Ray
     
  9. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Mery Christmas Ray!
    Love Helen
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Merry Christmas to you too, Ray.

    I hope your mother is doing as well as can be expected.

    Jennifer
     
  11. jan.

    jan. Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    405
    Cheshire, UK.
    Congratulations Ray, on becoming 1st time grandparents, the joy of being a 1st timer is overwhelming. I`ts so nice to have a bit of sunshine in amongst the gloom. :D

    Hope things settle down in your country soon. :eek:

    In between times, have as good a Christmas as you can muster.

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS! :)

    Jan.
     
  12. maria29al

    maria29al Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    426
    Warwickshire
    I hope you had a good Christmas day...Happy Boxing Day...and CONGRATS on becoming Grandparents!! :)

    Hugs
    M
    x
     
  13. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Hello Blokes and Blokesses

    Happy New Year to you all,

    Many thanks to M (Maria?), Jan, Jennifer, Helen, Sabato and Nell,

    Was I ever chuffed that you all took time out to post a reply.

    Thank you all for your support.

    In Fiji, things are coming good again. It's steamingly hot as I write, and it is times like this that I wish I was back home in the UK.

    Then, 3 nanoseconds later, I bless my lucky stars that I am where I am.

    In the light of what we are all facing, and what we have faced, I wish you all the best and may you have a peaceful 2007.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  14. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Long Distance Closure

    Hello All,

    Many of you who have visited this site will have gone through this, and I hope that like me you are much the stronger for it.

    Mum, peacefully, passed away last month, under very good NHS care in Essex.

    My wife and I were there to see her off, but what a shock it was to see her in such a poor physical and mental condition.

    Some of the most powerful people in the world resist specia, they claim controversial, research in Alzheimer's.

    Will it require those most close to them to pass away in such circumstances to get them to understand the scale of the problem and change their mind?

    Best wishes to all surviving family and friends.

    Ray (in Fiji)
     
  15. ROSEANN

    ROSEANN Registered User

    Oct 1, 2006
    909
    staffordshire
    Dear Ray
    So sorry to hear about your Mum but glad you were with her at the end.
    Take care of yourself and every good wish for the furture.
    Roseann
     
  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Dear Ray

    I am so sorry to hear about your mother, but very glad you were able to be there at the end. When you're as far away as you are (and to a lesser extent I am) it is something that bubbles below the surface: will you make it in time when you need to.

    Love

    Jennifer
     
  17. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Ray,
    My sincere condolences on the death of your dear mother. I'm so glad you were able to be there - even though it is such a distressing time. May you find comfort in the knowledge that she is now at peace.
     
  18. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Hello Roseann,

    So kind of you to take the time to reply, thank you.

    Hope your summer is treating you well, last I heard you weather has been foul.

    It's our winter here, which means lows of 23 degrees....

    All the best

    Ray
     
  19. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Hello Nell,

    I am touched by your reply, thank you.

    All the very best to you.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  20. Fiji

    Fiji Registered User

    Dec 2, 2006
    20
    Fiji
    Hello Jennifer,

    It is very good of you to take the time to reply.

    To yourself, Nell and Roseann, vinaka vakalevu, as we say here.

    May you all , and your families and loved ones, keep well.

    Very best wishes

    Ray
     

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