New empathy

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Hi friends,

I have a new empathy for everyone that has had to place their loved one in a nursing home or is about to. We placed Mom on Monday in a home that has a secured unit for AD. Leaving her there was the most excrutiating thing I have ever had to do. I have experienced every bad emotion from guilt to remorse and almost kidnapped her out of there a day after she went in.
I had no idea it would hurt so much or be so difficult. I just thought when the time came it would be a natural transition. I was SO wrong! It is hard and I cried rivers over it. I say cried in the past tense but I'm sure I have more tears left in me ! But it is getting better and I will overcome this and learn to take care of my Mom in a different way.
I want to thank everyone that pm'd me with love and support.

Hanging in there,
Debbie
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
My Mum had been in a Care Home for four months and it seemed just like she was in her own home, but a studio flat with lots of personal assistants. An enormous weight just fell from my shoulders and I knew she was happy, well cared for and had plenty of company or could be on her own in her room.
The hospital, where she went after her fall, was awful and she hated it because it was so impersonal. When she had to go into the NH, everything seemed so different from the Care Home and I felt like she was in a hospital environment, rather than a home. Now she is more settled, we know the staff and everything is as good as it can be.
I can't look after Mum, because her needs are too great and complex. The staff in the NH can, and they are trained and know what they are doing. I am able to enjoy Mum's company without having to worry about her day to day needs. There is still a lot I need to do, like looking after her house inbetween Lets, but fortunately the Agent has found a new tennant, subject to references.
I think you will get used to the new situation, in time and the staff will help to support you through any bad times, so you won't be alone.
Kayla
 

jarnee

Registered User
Mar 18, 2006
181
leicestershire
Hi Debbie,

When I placed dad in care, I, too, cried rivers. I know just how you feel....and I didn't know how it felt until I did it !!!!

Utter despair, helplessness, grief, shame, you name it, I felt it (And I'm sure you do too)

We are now nearly 6 months on. Dad has settled (it took a while). I am getting used to it. We take him out and bring him here to our house for the day. BUT we are now finding that after he's been here for a while, he's starting to say, "Can you take me home now" and when we pull up outside the home, he says, "Here we are, home at last".

I was terribly worried that he'd read the sign on the door, "Residential Home for the Elderly". I managed to steer him around it, ....until last time, when he read it. His response?...."For the elderly?....cheeky buggers!!!" and he laughed

It DOES get easIER.....but I don't think it will ever get easy

Jarnee
XXXXXXX
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Debbie, thinking of you. You have my utmost respect how you have travelled this road supporting your parents, especially mum.

Don't beat yourself up about things now. You can only ever do your best, and I think you have done that.

Love,
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Hi all,
Thank you so very much for your helpful comments and support. This has been more difficult than I ever imagined!
Yesterday I visited my Mom before going to work. I took her out of the locked unit and we walked the halls. Every worker there stopped to say "hi Mary" and gave her a big hug. We sat in a lovely living room area and just talked and talked. She only in half sentences and I didn't understand a thing she was saying. But she thought she was having a conversation and I just played along. I gave her big hugs and took her back to her room.
For the first time I felt I had done the right thing and that she is in the right place. It isn't ideal but she isn't alone, is watched after and has things to do. One of us visits her every day and gets her out of the unit for awhile. When it isn't over 100 degrees I will take her outside for a walk. She has lost 4 lbs this week and is down now to 94 lbs. I am guessing that is the natural course for the end of this illness? They are talking about giving her a supplimental drink, she won't drink it and I will tell them not to force it on her.
I am ok. It still hurts that she won't be apart of my daily life any longer but I know time is the great equalizer ( one of my Mom's sayings) and every day will get better.
It's been one heck of a month!
Thanks again, I couldn't have gotten through this with all my hair and my sanity without you!
Debbie
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Debbie

I'm so pleased things have eased a bit for you.

Regarding weight loss, often that happens during the period of adjustment in a new place. Once she feels as comfortable as she can, she will probably begin eating again.

Jan went through a similar thing, though she began to reduce her food when I was still caring for her at home. Several years on, she may well eat more than I do, and certainly seems physically stronger than I am!

Best wishes
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Thanks Bruce,
That makes sense. Thanks for your insight and as always, you and so many others are the light that brightens me up on TP !!
Debbie
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Can not enter any words of wisdom, as, mum not n a care home yet just pop in to read how your getting on. Its nice to read that you have family that can share going to visit your mum , how your dad getting on?
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Hi Margaurita,
My Dad is hanging in there. He has been so busy getting their paper work in order for Medicaid that I don't think it has really sunk in yet. I think he will be ok.
Thanks for asking.
Hugs, Debbie
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Debbie, thank you....

Saw this thread a couple of days ago but just couldn't reply .... but kept mulling over and over your title 'New Empathy'....

One of the greatest gifts that members of TP give to me (and therefore my mum) is of foresight...... I shy away sometimes from 'what might be', I bask in the 'how I hope it might be'.... sure, I can read books, listen to the docs ... but I feel so much better prepared for what may be ahead thanks to generous people like you sharing what comes - gut-wrenchingly - from the heart .....

I know it's only being 'theoretically, emotionally-detached-prepared' though..... but at least that's a start.

Debbie, just wanted to say thank you for sharing such pain and in doing so showing such courage in this next phase of 'adjustment' - not just for you and yours but to an infinitely lesser degree the likes of me...

Love, and prayers, Karen (TF), x
 

Libby

Registered User
May 20, 2006
625
62
North East
Hi Rummy

I do hope that the home works out for you and your mum. I thought I would be devastated when we took Mum all those months ago - but it was just a relief to know that she was safe and that we wouldn't need to be worrying about her all the time.

Take care

Libs
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Hi Karen,
That is very nice of you to say. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone and it seems that we at TP are just all too familiar with it from one stage or another! Trust me, I don't like thinking of what is next either. We are settling into a routine and the shock of the events over the last three weeks is fading. I know Mom is better off, she is clean, hair washed, well fed and never alone. No place will be like home for her, or ideal, but this is probably as good as it can get.
If you have to go through something similar I hope it will easier for you. We are just all here doing the best we can and if sharing any of it helps anyone then it has served a good purpose.
hugs, Debbie

but it was just a relief to know that she was safe and that we wouldn't need to be worrying about her all the time.
That is right Libby, If I could keep her safe and cared for at home I would but I would need to clone myself a couple of times!

I've included a picture of me and Mom taken this morning.
 

Attachments

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
update

Hi all,
I just want to tell you all that I am adjusting to my Mom being in a nursing home. It is hard to get used to her not being around daily and the thought that she will never live in her house or come to mine is still hard. But, yesterday I didn't visit Mom, (needing a day to myself,) so I called her instead. She was giddy because they had taken her to the beauty shop and she kept telling me how pretty looked. She was very chatty and happy. Kept telling me how pretty her new house is and that I needed to come see it. ( of course I've been there every day but her recall is down to about 40 seconds)
So I just wanted to tell you that things are better and I am emerging from a very sad time and feeling more like myself than I have in a very long time.
Thanks to all for your help and words of encouragement, you were right, this was for the best.
Debbie
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
Debbie,
I'm so glad that your Mum's new home placement seems to be working out. Beauty room, no less!! I'm pleased that she's settling in, and you are getting over the shock of 'the awful day'.
What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger
(Someone might be able to tell me who originated that saying.)

I know this may seem an irrelevant question, but you said that when you are physically with your Mum, her conversation is 'half sentences' and difficult for you to make any sense of. However, when she talks to you on the phone, she can talk better than when you are face-to-face. Did I understand that correctly? Does anyone else observe similar differences?
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
I only wish someone could explain to me why sometimes my Mother can make sense , other times she uses totally wrong words , and when you do not have a clue what she is on about she tells you that you must know or says "forget it" and slams down the phone

The immense variability from her and her poor understanding is bad enough but if you challenge her / query something etc she gets very aggressive and says "stop treating me like a child" or that theres nothing wrong with her its me or rest of the world thats mad

She sure would not believe any doctor or consultant who told her she has Dementia but its us that are left struggling with the abuse from her
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Debbie,
You have done brilliantly! Well done. Enjoy your mum, enjoy rediscovering yourself. How is dad doing?
Love Helen
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Helena,
It must be so frustrating for both you and your mother. You, who has to deal with her anger and frustration, and your mum who sounds to be aware that she has a problem but is denying it, and angry at herself that she cannot make herself understood, or remember things.
Just take one day at a time Helena, and try not to respond to your mum's anger.
What contact does she have with her GP? Is she on any medication?
Take care,
Love Helen
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Hi again, Helena!

Empathy here too for you on an emotional level this time..... yesterday, I wasn't needed, mum could manage quite well without me, 'get on with your own life' kind of talk ..... spent most of last night crying buckets - she'd said some mean stuff.... .... today I've returned from her and main task tonight is polishing my halo.......!!!!!!:rolleyes: Tomorrow it might be back to the 'hard hat' again.:(

Love Karen (TF), x