Lately, my mom has become rather tearful when I tell her I have to head home after visiting her in the nursing home.
My brothers think I'm over there too much. I am usually there every other day; or sometimes a couple days in a row depending on an activity I participate with her just to get her to go.
The nurse told me today that she seems to be more weepy after I leave. The social worker told me that visiting should be left up to what I'm comfortable with. She said that if there is a small blessing by something my mom and I can share at that time I visit, then it's well worth it. I have to admit, if I don't see my mom for a couple days, I do miss her. Mom and I have a bond that she doesn't have with the boys. But if I upset her everytime I'm there...well, I just don't know what to do.
Yesterday I was holding her; trying to comfort her; and she said to me, "Oh Diane, it's h*ll to have to end up like this. I know I'll never see my home again and I just have to accept it." That was the most cognitive statement she has said to me in months. I guess that was a small blessing in and of itself just to hear my mom express her feelings that finally made sense!
I walk over to the facility as it's practically my next door neighbor, which is really a blessing. That's one reason I show up so much; because I can be there in less than a minute.
Is this something that has just started? How is she when you're not there? I would have to agree with the social worker in that you are the best judge, or, this might just be a phase she's going through. If she's ok when you're not there, you might add another day in between your visits so she not upset as much. I didn't have this experience with my DH but this sounds if this is all new, she might just be progressing.
I can empathize Sunny. I have wondered the same thing but on the other hand when nobody visits with Mom for a few days it's worse. Mom is at that stage that she knows something is wrong but doesn't know what. Her world has gone crazy. I have heard her express exactly what your Mom said to you... except he refuses to accept her situation. She will fight it with all that is within her for as long as she can. If I call every day she seems better over all. I always have to have an excuse to hang up. Sometimes she just keeps talking. There are time that I can tell she doesn't want to hang up. Other times, when she is angry with me, she hangs up on me. She became tearful when Sister 2 left last weekend and myself the weekend before. I have come to the conclusion that her tearfulness has nothing to do with me leaving or hanging up...... it is all about the crazy world she has to live in. You are probably the bright spot in her every other day. But only you known.
You can try not going for a few days and see what happens. Go more often and see what happens. Watch her while you are there. Is the depression just when you leave? Is the delight of the visit worth the sadness of separation? Take your time, vary your schedule, and see what happens. It might just be the stage of the disease she is at. You will figure it out.... or the situation will change. One thing about this disease.... it is forever fluid and doesn't stay the same for long......
I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers....
I feel as if you are talking about me! I have been through this one thoroughly. First of all, how is this effecting you? Caretakers are known to wind up sick and dying before the patient in some cases. When my mother first entered the NH, she was recovering from a hip replacement with dementia progressing extremely fast at the same time. The doctors' hopes was that she would walk again unassisted. It took 6 wks. for the hip to heal. Cognitively, she did not understand or care about the doctor's orders. The AD kept her from feeling any pain from the hip. The staff tried hard. I stayed 6 to 8 hours a day for most of 6 weeks. If I turned my back and took 3 steps, I could be assured that when I looked around, she would be standing on the hip. I wanted to get her to the point of the hip healing so badly. During this time, she took three falls. None of them hurt bones or caused more problems with movement, but with each fall came a TIA and her cognition dropped like stairsteps each time. By the time she was out of skilled therapy, the best we could hope for because of her cognitive condition was to be on a walker. She progressed well with this. She was okayed to move to assisted living. She hadn't been there a week before she had another huge drop in cognitive ability. This one actually took some of her walking ability with it. They tried to give her medication to ease confusion, but she had to be taken off of it in three days because it did right the opposite of what was wanted. She would turn the walker upside down and attempt to walk on it. After spending so many hours a day with her at the NH, I moved her to an assisted living center right behind my house...a nice walk any day. The crying started happening when I left, she would constantly ask them to call me to come there and take her home, and saw no reason that I shouldn't spend every waking minute there. I finally talked to a social worker I had become close to at the NH. By this time, I was just about sick. I had already quit my job to help and had no sense of self anymore. I felt like a robot, and the depression I am still fighting! The social worker made me promise to stay completely away for three days and then go back and visit as if nothing had happened. It hurt terribly, but I did it. When I went back to visit, she never mentioned the days that I had been away. Sometimes she would still try to talk me into staying longer when I needed to leave, but I remained firm and told her there were things that I had to get done. This may sound terrible, but I don't mean for it to. It's just a part of the disease. It is unbelievable how long some dementia patients can remain manipulative after you would think they had completely lost that sort of capacity.
Just remember, keep your own feelings in check. It's very hard to deal with depression on top of more depression and grief.
I just read your message about your mom, I feel as if you just described what I go through every time I visit her. My mother is almost an hour drive away from my home. I visist 4 to 5 times a week, she lived with me before she fell and ended in the hospital, now she is in rehab.. but she crys and has bad hallucinations about being raped every night, I know that she is having very bad hallucinations she also has dementia.. I feel bad and guility that she isn't at my home but, her mobility has gotten where she is in a wheel chair all day long..I hope you just keep up what you are doing and visiting her.. but take care of yourself because you can't get yourself sick either god bless
Well, things are going somewhat better. The nuerologist put mom on a very mild anti-depressent and after two weeks, she seems to be dealing with things better and not becoming so emotional. She even seems sharp at times!!
I've not been going over every day or every other day...maybe every two days or so. Mainly because I've had doctor appointments of my own; medical tests needing done; etc. I'd needed another CT scan of my lung nodule (benign in previous tests) and I was so afraid to have it done again as I put it off for two years. I had it done a week ago and got my results today...CT was just fine...no changes!! What a relief! I scheduled for my Thyroid scan on Monday...as I have nodules in there as well, but I'm not worried about that one, I've gone every year and no changes.
Then at the end of October, my 82 year old aunt is having her hip replaced. She never married so I'm like a daughter to her...you guessed it...here I go again with being the one in charge of her affairs, POA, etc. Luckily, she is as sharp as a tack, so I don't think I have to worry about her state of mind just yet. Plus, I have her scheduled for rehab at the same facility that mom is at. So I'll be doing double duty at visits for awhile over there.
So those of you who say to take care of oneself above all, I echo that too! If I needed some kind of serious treatment with anything, I shutter to think how I'd handle that with dealing with a mom who has dementia and an aunt that depends solely on me.
I'm thanking God that I got the answer to my prayers today in regards to my health...sometimes it's just so overwhelming and knowing I can come here and vent is truly a blessing.
Last edited by sunnydaze1; 09-30-2008 at 02:48 PM.
That is excellent news Sunny. I am so happy your test results were good. I know that is a weight off of your shoulders. I understand putting off appointment you know you need. I did it myself. The first thing I did after Mom and Dad moved to AL was make myself an appointment!
Glad your Aunt and your Mom will be in the same facility. That should make it easier for you. I do hope your Aunt comes through the surgery well.
Yes, we have to take care of ourselves first so we will be able to take care of the others we care for!!!
Congratulations on improved visiting and especially on going to the doctor. I know that I need to have a physical myself and shouldn't be putting it off. I'm proud of you. Hate to hear about your aunt and the hip surgery. That alone is bad at 82 years old...my mother's age, but with dementia complications! Much different. Proud to hear that you can visit simultaneously. Much less strain on your time that way. Hang in there, and it very much sounds as if you are!
I wanted also to say how wonderful it is to hear good news of your health......god bless you for taking care of your aunt now as well, and thank goodness for the fact they are in the same facility. I truly believe one day all of you amazing caregivers will be paid back a thousand times for your kindness......
Love, Caroline xo