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My mum has just gone into home at 68

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by AlexEJ, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. AlexEJ

    AlexEJ Registered User

    Nov 1, 2014
    22
    Hi there,
    I have been on talking point for sometime now and although never posted, I've been on here looking for answers and taking comfort that others have also been through similar situations.
    I am currently filled with guilt about my mum going into a home. My dad has been caring for my mum for years and although he was able to manage before, the decline in mum over the past 12 months as been rapid, especially in the last few months. So much so, it was effecting my dad and I was worried he too would become ill. We spoke with charities and social services and my dad was offered support for 2 hours a week, which although great, was not enough for the extremities of my mums decline. For instance, dad would go to the loo and mum would go out down the road looking for him. He had to resign from working temporarily as he couldn't leave her alone in the house any longer. He was becoming a prisoner trapped in his own home. He would get frustrated and mum would often say she was going to kill herself. They came to stay with me over Christmas and caring for mum was extremely difficult as she could do nothing for herself, dad would wash and dress her. All mum could do was feed herself and she didn't even remember at times she wasn't in her own home. After they left I saw the pressure on my dad and called for help. Between Christmas and new year she was put into a home. I feel unbelievebly guilty as I live 3 hours away from my parents am 6 months pregnant and have a 4 year old daughter and I feel I have failed her and not done enough to help her. I went to visit as much as I could, but my daughter found it distressing and mum did too and I'd hear her ask my dad when we were leaving. It's not like I live close enough to pop in for coffee to give dad a break, which undoubtedly I would have 100% done if I lived that bit closer. I would call almost daily and check in with my dad and give him support where possible. Since mum went into a home, Dad is now able to go out and 'live' a little, but through the grape vine I'm hearing that some people don't think I've done enough for mum and it's so upsetting as I'm not sure what else I could have done from 3hrs away. I went to stay with my dad for the past 4 nights, with my daughter and was able to support him at a time he needed me, but for mum I feel l have totally let her down and it's eating me up!
    Thanks for listening!
     
  2. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    937
    Hi Alex
    I've read your post and it certainly doesn't sound as though you are doing nothing for your mum. It sounds as though you have stepped in at just the right time before it became too much for Dad to cope with. It was a hugely important decision that needed making and your Dad needed the nudge and guidance to get her the care she needs. Well done on recognising what a strain your Dad was under and taking prompt action .
    Don't listen to people who have never done any caring but like to jump in offering their opinions. You have seen how much help your mum now needs and made sure that she is given that extra care now she is completely reliant on help.
    You have nothing to be guilty about. Visit your mum when you are able to and encourage your Dad to find some activities or interests for himself, perhaps something to build on in the future.
     
  3. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,042
    Welcome to TP AlexEJ am sorry to read of your Mum's illness and the whole situation. It is very difficult when you live far away and when you have a young family to care for yourself. It doesn't sound as if you have not been involved in their lives or situation and as for others saying you haven't done enough I would take no notice, I wonder what these people who say it have done to help the situation? Supporting your Dad is part of supporting your Mum, meeting her needs has been challenging for him and you have helped him by your intervention and your Mum and can continue to. You are also going through your own emotions involved in seeing your Mum decline which is not easy for anyone. You also need to look after yourself especially during your pregnancy and your family. Keep posting you will find lots of support.

    Best wishes and take care
    Sue:)
     
  4. Dazmum

    Dazmum Registered User

    Alex, I agree 100% with what Selina and Sue say. Nothing we say will make you stop feeling guilty, we all do, it just goes with the territory when you love someone as you love your mum and dad.

    You and your dad have done exactly the right thing by your mum, and you have done it before your poor dad went under with the strain of trying to care for your mum. As for you, your first duty is to your daughter and your own health, you can't be all things to all people - that's how I felt, and it does no one any good as you spread yourself too thinly.

    Now you and your dad can still care for your mum, by visiting when you can. You can also spend quality time with your dad, which I guess you haven't been able to do for a while. He will, no doubt, also feel guilty and will need support.

    As for those ignorant people who think you haven't 'done enough', ignore them as they clearly haven't a clue what pressure caring for someone and seeing them decline is like; it's relentless.

    Look after yourself now, and keep posting, xxxx
     
  5. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    171
    Hi Alex

    Be assured that EVERYONE on here feels guilty when they have to put someone they love into a care home, no matter how much they have done. It seems to be par for the course to feel you should have done more. BUT the truth is this is a 24 hours a day 7 days a week illness and no-one can provide round the clock care without COMPLETELY giving up their own lives (apart from the few hours of respite that SS can arrange-and that only works if the dementia sufferer will accept an alternative carer - often the person won't). My Mum went into care in September, age 76 she is aware of what has happened to her and I felt and still sometimes feel terribly guilty and that I have not done enough. However the truth is my Dad could not cope on his own and to try and keep her at home my sister and I would both have had to give up our jobs and do an 8 hour shift 7 days a week to help Dad out. I can only imagine how that might have impacted on our lives and that of our partners (thankfully no children) I do know that had we taken that option three more lives would have been ruined by this horrible illness on top of Mum's and I know she would not want that for us. As a Mum would you want that for your children? SO work on letting that guilt go. You have a life of your own to live and a child (children :) ) to think about and they must come first. You have done the right thing by your Mum and Dad. You love them and that shines through your post. Don't confuse providing care with loving her. You can't possibly do the first but you will always do the second. Sending you a big big hug! xxxx
     
  6. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    250
    Everyone on her whose loved one has dementia feels guilty and that is because we all care.
    It is easy to judge from the sidelines, people who only get brief glimpses and think it's just a case of the person being a bit forgettful.

    I keep telling myself it is not my fault these things have happened to my parents its Alzheimers fault.

    I'm sure your mum would not have wanted you to sacrifice your family life to look after her. My children are only teenagers buy I am already telling them to put me in a carehome if I ever can't look after myself. I did not bring them into this world to sacrifice their lives looking after me.

    Your mum would want you to enjoys your children's little lives and not miss a minute of it. I'm sure having young grand children will also bring your dad much happiness.
     
  7. AlexEJ

    AlexEJ Registered User

    Nov 1, 2014
    22
    Thank you

    Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my post.
    As some of you have said, I know that my mum would be upset to know I am feeling guilty, just as I would be if my children later down the line ever felt the same as I do now.
    I'm hoping the guilt will fade a little but, I know that my mum going into a home has helped my dad hugely. He has a weight off his shoulders in terms of constant 24/7 care and we know she is safe in a home. This week I went to stay with my dad to give him support and we had a lovely time. A time which wasn't filled with frustration on his part and he was smiling again. He obviously loves my my dearly as we all do, but he was struggling so much he couldn't see beyond this. I guess the silver lining in this horrible situation, is that my dad and I now have a wonderful relationship as we have become so close over the years as mum has deteriorated.

    Thanks everyone again, it's made me realise I'm not alone with these emotions.

    Wishing you all the best and strength to overcome your own struggles.

    Alex
     
  8. Egh75

    Egh75 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2016
    2
    Snap!

    Alex, I read your message and you could have been reading my mind. My mum went into a home in April, she was only 61 at the time. I have 4 young children, ranging in age from 2 to 9. I feel so guilty, and still do, even about how much I visit, but it's tough as my husband works away all week and it's almost an hours drive to my mums home. The kids hate going and mum can only tolerate them for short periods of time. My dad is finding things very tough at the minute, he's so lonely, and I feel guilty about that too.
    I have no advice, but just want you to know you're not alone xxxx
     
  9. AlexEJ

    AlexEJ Registered User

    Nov 1, 2014
    22
    Hi Emma,

    Isn't it so so hard?! Over the 2 weeks mum has been in the care home I've been feeling a real mix of emotions. Relief that she's safe, guilt that she's in there, sadness that she's in there, relief that my dad doesn't have to care for her 24/7, happiness that he's been able to go back to work and sadness that he's lonely. It's a been a time of ebbs and flows. I think what we should remember is that our mums would not want to to feel like this, just as we would for our children. If my daughter was old enough to understand the situation I'd sit her down and say, that if I ever (heaven forbid) developed dementia I would want her to live her life to the full and not worry/feel guilty. The nature of this awful disease is that it is so destructive for everyone involved. I don't have any answers unfortunately but, be assured, there are tonnes of people like us in the same situation. I take solace in the fact that I can share my feelings and listen to others on TP and I find it really does help. Xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     

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