Visiting mum in home for the first time

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by AlexEJ, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. AlexEJ

    AlexEJ Registered User

    Nov 1, 2014
    Hi all,

    My mum went into a care home at New Year and it was advised that she had no visitors (even my dad) for a few weeks while she settles. I live 3 hrs away from my parents and I went back 2 weeks ago to spend sometime supporting my dad but, wasn't able to visit mum as it still hadn't been long enough for her to settle.
    So, I'm going back tomorrow to spend the weekend with my dad and will also be seeing my mum for the first time in the home. I have no idea what to expect and I know I will be tearful (especially at the minute being 7 months pregnant and very hormonal). It sounds silly but I try and envisage what it might be like, how she will react, how I will react etc and the worst part, how to say goodbye. I'll be going back the next day too, so I'll be saying see you tomorrow, but I know I'm going to hate walking out of there without her. Does it get easier each time you go? My 4 year old will be with a family friend whilst I visit for the first time as I don't want her to see me upset, but was hoping she could visit my mum the following day as I know my mum would love that. Is that a sensible idea?


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  2. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    Hello Alex. Its difficult isnt it? I had a long journey home after visiting Mum and I think I went through every emotion on the way back.

    Can i suggest that you try to go before a meal time? You can then use that as a natural break and reason to leave and you will know your Mum is "occupied" rather than worrying when you leave.

    But it is natural to be upset. I hope it goes as easily as possible, let us know how you get on. Take care x
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I think it is a great idea to take your 4 year old, children and animals have a natural empathy and honesty and a therapeutic effect - anything that gives your mum pleasure is a good thing to do xxxx
  4. Wigan

    Wigan Registered User

    May 5, 2013
    Gosh, I have never heard of that before. I don't know if that's good advice or not as your mum wouldn't have known what was happening to her and not to see any familiar faces would possibly have made it harder.

    I hope all goes well for you and your mum is settling in.
  5. CHEZA27

    CHEZA27 Registered User

    Jan 8, 2015
    I found seeing my mum in a care home the hardest thing ever and I kept blaming myself and still do for not being able to care for her. It was the safest and best thing to have done for my mum,the visiting doesn't get any easier you just learn to accept it for what it is.

    We made the environment fun and colourful for mum,there are really bad days and there are lovely days which you cherish with everything you have. It's amazing how quickly your mum will adapt to the environment she's in ,just make sure that your dad is getting support to as this will be a massive strain on him being separated from his wife. My dad masked how he felt for ages and ended up very poorly himself because he was hurting so much for mum.

    My brother takes his 3 year old daughter into see mum and it's amazing how she connects with her (sometimes better than adults) we make it a fun visit by reading books,colouring,singing etc...get your daughter to try and do things with you and your mum if she can. It may help.

    When I have to leave mum I never say goodbye,I always say 'I love you,see you soon'.

    I hope ive helped you a bit.

    Cheryl x
  6. AlexEJ

    AlexEJ Registered User

    Nov 1, 2014
    Thanks all. I went yesterday and found it the hardest thing. She just sobbed when she saw me and was very distressed. She said she thought I'd left her. I didn't used to see her for a few weeks at a time anyway due to living a fair distance but that comment and her reaction made me feel so incredibly guilty and I could have packed her bags right then and put her in the car. My dad was with me who was my mums carer and he had tears in his eyes watching my mum. After 15 minutes she'd calmed right down and I was showing her photos of things we'd been up to since Christmas, silly stories of what my 4year old had been doing, gave her a hand massage and she was laughing and fine again. When it was time to leave I said 'see you soon' and she accepted that.

    It had got to the stage at home where he was not able to go to the loo without her walking out the front door trying to find him, if I was there with my young family she would get het up and ask when we were leaving. I feel I should have done more for her, but in reality people keep saying to me that I couldn't visit anymore frequently and I couldn't have moved my family from London, asked my husband to find a new job or take my daughter away from her friends and husbands family (who she adores), but even so, the amount of guilt I feel for not living closer I don't think will ever fade.

    My dad has been amazing through this whole ordeal. And I try to keep thinking that even though mum is in a home, my dad has been 'saved' and he has a bit of a life back. So a disease that was was affecting 2 people (dad was becoming depressed), isn't anymore. My dad and I constantly discuss the decision we made and deep down, I know it was the best decision for both my mum and dad. Mum is safe and although has bad days in the home, she has good days too and likes to 'help' other residents. My dad in himself is much happier and is able to return to work and live a bit more of a normal life- whatever normal is!!

    I am going to see her again today, whether she remembers I visited yesterday or not I'm not sure, I just hope she is less distressed and tearful. God this disease is awful!

    Thanks everyone, TP is really so helpful xx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  7. Wigan

    Wigan Registered User

    May 5, 2013
    I am glad your mum was ok. My mum went into residential care over 12 months ago as my brother and sister thought it was the best decision as mum was actually happier than when she was at home.

    I still can't accept she is there even thought it is like a 5* hotel and not like a care home at all. I visit almost every day and yet the guilt mum is there and not at home, is still with me and always will be.
  8. Mo88

    Mo88 Registered User

    Nov 20, 2014
    Hi Alex. My mum went into a home two weeks before Xmas.. It was the hardest decision my dad and I ever had to make , but his health was suffering too and he just couldn't cope anymore .. They're both 86 been married 65 years and dads partially sighted. I too dreaded taking her in and then visiting for the first time .. It's now nearly 7 weeks.. I still want to bundle her up and bring her home every time I visit and dad found Xmas really hard this year.. But we both know it it was the right decision for everyone .. Mums safe and well cared for , dads able to concentrate on looking after himself and I'm happier knowing they are both ok. It's early days for us, but my mum seems to be settling in ok as she and her new carers get to know each other.. I found it hard 'letting go' and someone else taking over her caring role as I was so heavily involved before.. But I'm now getting used to having some quality time with her , reading, talking etc instead of worrying and dealing with her everyday needs and I'm sure dad feels the same.
    I always say -I'll see you later too ..rather than goodbye and tell her I love her when I leave.
    I still don't like any of it and would change things if I could .. ... but I can't ... you can only do the best you can for everyone ... So be kind to yourself too.. I keep telling myself my mum wouldn't want me to be so upset.. She'd want me to enjoy my time with my own husband and family without feeling this awful guilt ..easier said than done! I swing up and down depending how the visit has gone .. So try to take each day as it comes ..they will all be different! I wish you and your family well .. It's such a horrible disease. Take care X

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