Sunday Duty? Sunday Dread?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Kit Kat, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Kit Kat

    Kit Kat Registered User

    Feb 10, 2008
    :confused:My Mum has alzs and my Dad is her carer. I help out when I can and when I am needed.

    Mum is 77years old and takes Aricept.

    My Dad attends the local Alzs Group each month and receives good support and encouragement there. I have recently joined TP because I am baffled with how I feel.

    Every Sunday I visit my Parents in a social setting rather than a caring one.

    Every Sunday I dread going because I really can't handle it and I find it really hard to see the way the illness is progressing in Mum. As soon as I arrive I want to leave. My Dad asks me each time I see them how Mum looks and if I think she is improving. I cannot lie to him, so I either talk about her medication or say that Mum looks tired, which she always does these days.

    It's Saturday morning and already I'm dreading seeing them tomorrow, just thinking about it has me in tears.

    It's not that I don't want to see my parents. I guess it's because I miss my Mum so much, in so many ways.

    Anyone got a magic wand I can wave? Failing that, does anyone identify with how I feel.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Oh I can identify with you Kit Kat. For years we visited my grandmother every Sunday, first in her own home and then in her NH, and it occupied the whole day.

    It wasn`t dread, but it did became duty, as we were both working full time and never had any time for family outings. If we hadn`t gone, she would have been alone.

    It is worse for you. My grandmother didn`t have dementia, she was just aging. You have the additional upset of being unable to handle the thought and sight of your mother`s decline.

    But I`m sure your father must rely on your visits and look forwards to a bit of support. So try to put yourself in his shoes and think how he waits to see you.

    And your mother is your mother, however she may seem to you. I know you miss her. You never know, she might be missing you too.

    Love xx
  3. SusanB

    SusanB Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    Kit Kat,

    Hello there - I have a great deal of sympathy for you and can totally relate to your dread.

    I see Mum 2-3 times per week and to be honest, it's mostly out of duty (there I said it) but I do truly care about her and I get very drained and distressed when she gets taken over by the dementia monster. Maybe a couple of suggestions:

    If you drive, could you take your Mum and Dad out for lunch or even just for a cup of tea and a sticky bun somewhere? Is your Mum well enough for that? It may break up your visit and help a bit perhaps.

    Could you break the routine now and again - maybe take a day's leave and visit then, so that you could have a free day on Sunday? It may help to do this.

    Could you have something to look forward to when you get home - a nice meal or a hot bath with bubbly stuff or even - dare I say it - a stiff drink?!!

    Just some ideas (and lots of empathy at your situation)

  4. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    Sunday duty

    Hello Kit Kat
    I can identify with your dad, I know how much I look forward to our son coming on his weekly visit.

    But do not lie to him, answer his questions as truthfully as you
    can, without sounding uncaring. He really needs your support and love to help him through this most diffucult time.

    I think it is much harder for a child to accept dementia in their parent, than it is for a spouse.

    Susan's suggestions are excellent if you can use them in your circumstances.

    None of this is easy for anyone concerned and you can only do your best, and if you have done that you will have nothing to reproach yourself about.

    Cheers Barraf
  5. Kit Kat

    Kit Kat Registered User

    Feb 10, 2008
    Thank you for your replies. It't such a relief for you to identify with my feelings.

    Thanks to GrannieG for the reminder of how my Dad looks forward to Sunday. I know he is having a tough time too and I suppose I can't cope with his pain as well as mine. I guess Sunday's are not like they used to be.

    Thanks to SusanB for the suggestions. We have tried to break up the "routine" on a Sunday but for lots of reasons they didn't work out. I have tried going on another day instead of Sunday but I then feel guilty if I don't visit on Sunday - I feel like I have abandoned them.

    Thanks to Barraff - I do my best and on a good day I do not reproach myself. However, on a bad day, my best doesn't seem good enough.
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Kit Kat your best is always good enough.

    Love xx
  7. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #7 Margarita, Feb 16, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008

    I would say that what your feeling in seeing your mother changes is Normal

    My son says that to me , Nanny just getting old ( mum 77 ) . I don't argue back , because it must help him cope with seeing the changes in my mother . to him she has not change because she still know who he is , that all he care about .

    How do I cope ? I don't see the disease I see my mother how she is now , not how she was in the past .

    Its like she spilt in two, how she was then , how she is now . she still my mother no matter what this disease does to her

    I've been though all the emotion , 6 years of seeing her change , am just getting use to it . I've just learn to live with the changes and yes it does not get any easer , emotional , I just learn to balance it out more .

    Sounds like really good advice Susan

    yes :D but Just try to not get to dependent on the drink , to block out what your feeling.
  8. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Barraf
    nice to see you back,how are you?
  9. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Dear Kit Kat ...... I know the sense of 'duty' too well ..... when I was helping to care for my dad years back (when mum was his main carer) I never for one moment thought of anything I did as out of 'duty' ..... such was my relationship with dad I gave up work, moved down, moved area and home just to be 'on hand' ...... ......I would have done anything for him ..... (mindful of balancing my own family's needs, too) and never once did I think of it as 'duty' ..... I loved him. End of.

    With mum..... different ball game. Different relationship .......yes, there are days I love her desperately and sob at her demise .... but there are others too when I just want to jump off what is essentially a treadmill .......

    The 'Sunday' theme provoked a thought .... your mother is a similar age to mine ... growing up in a generation when people met at someone's house (in later years it was mine!) and there was a family gathering and roast dinner every week? ...... we are of a generation where shops now open on Sundays, football matches are played and the traditional 'family gathering' or 'family outing' has been eroded ....... I have learnt myself the importance of maintaining 'routines' in terms of my mother - but there are, too, times when tradition needs to be broken for our own sakes .....

    It is another balancing act, I'm afraid, of looking after one generation when our own (and the next we are trying to care for too) is experiencing great change .....

    Hope that makes some semblance of sense,

    Love Karen, x

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