1. sheilarees53

    sheilarees53 Registered User

    Apr 11, 2006
    Beckenham Kent
    Yesterday my Mum moved from hospital, where she has been for the last three months into a Nursing Home. When I arrived she was sitting in a chair in one of the lounges looking so lost and scared and kept asking me to take her home with me.

    I feel so guilty that we have had to sell her flat to pay for her care without her even knowing what we have done. We have cleared out all her belongings and thrown so many things away. It feels so wrong to have to do these things when she is still alive.

    All the nursing staff I spoke to yesterday seem very kind and caring and I hope and pray that Mum will get the care and attention she deserves.

    I dreamt about Mum last night, how she used to be, not as she is now a shadow of herself. a scared, frightened, lonely, confused lady.

    Thank you for taking the trouble to read this. Sheila x
  2. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    I do so sympathise. We had to do the exact same thing for my Mum after my Dad died, we had no choice and it was the hardest thing I have ever done, even worse than watching my Dad coming to the end of his life, we had no choice in that, but felt we were betraying them both by selling the home they loved so very much. Going through cupboards and drawers made me feel somehow guilty, but it had to be done.

    My Mum wanted to go home when she lived there, so asking for a couple of weeks was very hard for us, it stopped, though and she really is in the right place for her, she is safe and well looked after by lovely staff 24/7 and we visit as often as we like, not perfect, but it works for us. The home has become her home and the staff and fellow residents are her new type of "family", in the loosest sense of the word.

    I have a mass of her "treasures" taking up a room in my house, just in case she ever mentions them, so far 18 months on, she hasn't. I still think she looks lonely, but that is because she and Dad were inseperable and I still think he ought to be by her side.........maybe he is and we just can't see him.

    Our loved ones are badly let down by the powers that be, I am glad Mum is unaware of losing her home to raise the money to be looked after, she would be absolutely livid!

    Hopefully your Mum will soon settle and become familiar with her surroundings, it is a huge upheavel to move to a strange environment, but as you say the staff seem kind and caring they will get to know her likes and dislikes and your Mum will soon feel at ease with them too, this will relax her and lower the stress she is feeling at the moment.

    You love your Mum and are looking out for her the best way you can, be kind to yourself, it is another yet another element of grief, I think, we have to say goodbye to visiting our parents in their own home

    My best wishes to you all,

  3. pammy14

    pammy14 Registered User

    Dec 5, 2005
    I also think that selling and clearing the house is the worst thing. We have had to do this for my sister but she knows nothing about it. I have told her but this makes her extremely upset and she only forgets so now when she says am I going home I tend to keep quiet. It all makes me feel very guilty but it had to be done. We couldnt leave a property empty for good it just deteriorates but she still thinks she is going back, in fact she thinks she only came to stay this week although she has been living with us for about 9 months.

    I dont blame her for being upset, if someone sold my house and I didnt know I'd feel the same. Thats what makes it so awful and me so guilty.
  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I ended up working out a legal separation between my mother & stephfather with my stepfather, packing up all the belongings my mother wanted to take with her (& dissuading her from taking large furniture) and cooking Christmas dinner before shipping everything to my home, 3,000 miles away from my mother. I then brought my mother home & she ended up in a retirement home for 2 years & then on to a nursing home.

    I had over 50 LARGE cartons, full of all her clothes (going back to the '70s), dishes, books, knickknacks, linens, lamps, silver, paintings, you name it, my sister & I went through it. And yes, it didn't feel right. For at least the first 6 to 8 months, I worried & felt guilty about what we had to do. We kept what we felt was appropriate, kept some thing for ourselves & gave the rest away. My poor mother, all her things that she was so passionately attached to, gone.

    It has taught me to go through cupboards & closets and to be less of a packrat myself. I certainly don't want any one to go through my belongings the way I had to go through my mother's. I'd like to leave everything in an orderly fashion. That's pretty much a pipe dream for me but I do try.

    I had to do all this over 5 years ago and had forgotten how it felt. So yes, the guilt will recede in time. It's something that you had to do to take care of her properly. You're doing the best you can.

  5. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Know how you feel ,I had to do all that 4 years ago , even thought my mum is not at the stage your mum is , I look at old photo loads of littlie things I keep & I can see feel in my mind eyes my mum home that I was brought up in.

    My mum seem to be forgetting , only thing she loves is a photo of her wedding with my dad & stories of her wedding dress
  6. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Sheila, hope things are a little brighter for you.

    Not mentioned this before although I know the subject of 'clearing out' (whether by the sufferer or carer(s)) has been mentioned before. Broke my heart last week when mum 'gave' me a bag ful of photos she 'didn't want anymore' - first thing I noticed was her 1950s wedding album was on top of the pile... 'But, mum'... her response was 'what do I need that for? Do you want it?'

    I know the idea of memory books etc that I have learnt from this site has stuck with me ... but what if she doesn't want those memories (and why?). How could she reject my dad? (loves of each others lives I have no doubt) ... soz, just a different perspective on 'clearing out'.....

  7. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    TF, have done the albums for Lionel. Not being part of his early life, and given the attitude of his children, this has not been easy...........Is he interested, not one bit.

    Still I have them, maybe for a rainy day.
  8. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    TF, I have been pondering your questions,
    maybe mum doesn't need those particular memories. Maybe the wedding day is insignificant to the memories that she has of the rest of their lives. Maybe she needs to let go of some of the past, not rejection, but a peace and acceptance. Maybe mum is moving on; maybe she just needs to declutter her life in an unconscious bid to keep her head less cluttered. Oh, I don't know the answer, just wanted to pose some alternatives to the idea of rejection.
    Love Amy
  9. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Monique definitely does not want 'good memories' either - not interested or finds them threatening or just boring....

    Talk of the 'good days' just make her sad I think? If I talk about the children she just shrugs and goes 'what children?' partly not remembering but partly - I think - just irritated by them.

    She does not want to look in a mirror any more and actually just wants to feel secure and of course that is so difficult when you are suffering from paranoia... She has also started to 'want' to commit suicide recently... Now she is still quite a drama queen and I am never quite sure where the line is between 'her reality' and 'attention seeking behaviour' - suspect she is not quite sure either! The 'suicide' line is an attention grabber and when she used it to a carer she got a big reaction so....

    Dunno... I confess I am not one for living in the past - really does not interest me much except to see pix of the kids with happy faces - reminds me there were some good family times but most of it does not have much of an Oooo factor for me. Maybe Lional is like that as well...

  10. LindaD

    LindaD Registered User

    Nov 17, 2004
    Two things here

    Selling Mum's house:

    We had a meeting with Social Services way back when my mum and stepdad were both finally in a care home (him with stroke - her with dementia) and everyone agreed that we sell the house. Social Worker even put it in writing afterwards.

    Clearing it was a traumatic nightmare and when we did try to involve her she just got very stressed and so cross that in the end we did it without telling her - so much was thrown away, some stuff went to charity shop or in a skip - had house clearance and house cleaners in (the place really smelt horribly of old people and wee) and everything else went in my brother's garage!

    It has taken best part of a year to find a buyer and in that time of course she has forgotten that they agreed, she feeds my stepdad her take on things so he has "forgotten" too. We have an EPA for them both.

    But every time you visit it is - when can we go home? - You're not selling that house are you? At first we tried to continually explain the situation - it was on the market but not sold and there is no way now that they could "go home"etc. In the end though with the same questions coming every time I just agreed with her, no we haven't done anything at all Mum. Now we have a buyer do we tell her? if so she will get extremely cross but she won't remember the next time and will ask the same questions - I think we carry on agreeing with her that we haven't done anything! Not going to be easy to do.


    Originally I gave Mum all the photos from the house to put in their room - irreplacable pictures of the two of them in happier times, looking fresh and younger, pictures of her Mum before she died, his son, children and grandchildren etc. She tore them all up before they could be rescued! I really really wish I had taken them home and scanned them before she had them but it is too late now. I am trying her slowly with more recent scanned pictures, she has one of her with my little granddaughter which so far she has kept so I will try her with another soon. (Although she thinks she is the grandmother and nearly had an argument with me about it!)

    Same with birthday cards, she tears them up or hides them. And on a lighter note she has a chocolate stash in her top drawer which I check everytime and she has always forgotten it is there!
  11. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Selling the house

    I think you should keep on agreeing with your mum that you won't sell the house. Eventually, she will forget the house - my mother did. There's no point in telling her the truth, she'll simply get very upset and agitated, which could last for hours. Then there will be 2 of you upset, not just you.

    And what is the point of the truth right now? It will be traumatic to her and in my opinion cause only harm & hurt. I've said it before - in AD, honesty can be an over-rated virtue. Your focus should be keeping her as happy and calm as possible, and if telling massive lies works, so be it.

  12. pammy14

    pammy14 Registered User

    Dec 5, 2005

    I have exactly the same problem with my sister who is living with us now since last July. We are now selling the house but when I have explained it to her she is very upset and after a few hours she forgets anyway. Although the lying makes me feel awful I know it is best and i try not to say any thing when she asks when she is going home. WhenI think of all we have done like clearing out the house and selling and giving things away it is just so bad, but there is no way she would ever be going back. I just hope in time she may forget.
  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    A few (a lot) of thank yous

    Sorry Sheila, if I hijacked this a bit - would be good to know if things are a little brighter for you... thanks to everyone who 'picked up' on my comments about the wedding album... just to trigger more thoughts....

    Connie, I am sure the 'rainy day' will come when mum accuses me of 'taking it' (wedding album) as she has already done with other things which she has 'given' and I am actually stashing for safe-keeping...... I think I'll have to rename it the 'rainy day' cupboard, thanks!!!! (And start looking to finance the 'Rainy day extension'!!!)

    Michael, what an interesting point that good memories may actually be painful... the pain that those 'good times' are gone? or a particular person is gone?... Memories for anyone can generate sadness as well as celebration for what has 'gone', I guess....... bear that one in mind.....

    Amy, yes you did start off another thought process. Latest illogical logic: Mum won't get rid of empty milk cartons because 'they might come in useful', whereas historic images of dad are useless to her now. (In fact, I remember her calling him a 'useless something or other' many times... only kidding - warped sense of humour evolved from my dad :) )

    Thanks all for sharing... love, TF

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