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Old 09-14-2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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jannar HB User
Not fun visiting my mother

I've been going to visit my mother every weekend at her care facility where she lives. She is 91 and diagnosed with the beginning of severe Alzheimers. She claims I'm the one who is responsible for her being a prisoner. She has to wear an ankle monitor to keep track of her. She can't leave the facility to attend all of the meetings that she has been going to over the years. She use to be a race walker and they won't let her out to race walk or work in her flower garden. She constantly repeats the same stories (mostly filled with paranoia), and has to tell everyone she meets the same story over and over. People in the facility are actually seen trying to avoid my mother when she heads their direction. She is not fun to be around and I find myself wanting to visit her less and less. When I start to feel this way, I try to remind myself that she has Alzheimers and it isn't her fault but needless to say it is not easy to make the hour and 1/2 drive every week to visit her. Any suggestions to help me?

 
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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petal*pusher HB User
Re: Not fun visiting my mother

Hi Jannar...your story could be my story...in fact, most of us here have felt those same feelings you're having!

What you describe about the repeating...paranoia...blaming you for her situation; that's what this horrific disease is all about. Part of her does realize the changes going on that she has no control over...and YOU'RE the closest "target" she has. At the beginning of my Mom's disease, I seemed to be who she was most mad at...and sure questioned my own sanity for driving the hour to see her every week! The first 2 years were awful!

The progression of Alzheimer's will soon make her think she IS already home...and memories of walking and the garden will cease to be.

I have had to think of this as "an interesting disease" in order to continue any relationship at all with Mom. For 10 years I have made the weekly drive (Toledo)...she has not known who I am for several years...but, even now sometimes will give me a spectacular smile and make a kiss shape with her mouth...she does know I'm someone who loves her.

I remember pledging to myself that I'd never return after particularly awful visits where she'd curse, hit, kick, or spit at me! After each visit, I felt drained...and cried most of the way home...............but I'm glad I did not quit visiting! There will also be warm visits that will surprise you with happy tears.

I wish I could help you realize this is just the start of a long journey...it will be different.........Pam

(I see you're from Jackson...the fella I work with drives from there every day!)

 
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:15 PM   #3
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Re: Not fun visiting my mother

Your story Jannar is also the story of my relationship with my Mom at this time. I arrived home a couple of hours ago from another round with my mom who was weepy, angry, and accusatory. She opts to blame everybody that is not there. If I am there then it is the other sisters that in a conspiracy to keep her prisoner in her hell hole. If she is talking to another sister then I am part of the conspiracy. She is SURE, absolutely sure, that if we just let her go home that all will be well. When we moved her AL she was SURE, absolutely sure that if she went to AL that all would be well. Her world has gone crazy and it is surely not her. So if she can just be somewhere else it will be ok.

She also repeats her paranoid stories to anybody that will listen over and over. She acts out until not only those in the facility but family members as well don't want to visit because they don't know how to handle her. It is sad but it is a frequent reality with dementia.

I just keep reminding myself that it is the disease talking. When she called on the phone and leave me a message that I have been disowned I shrug my shoulders because I know tomorrow it will be forgotten by her. Why should I hang on to the words when she doesn't remember them? The day will come when she doesn't remember me and I still want to be there for her.

What helped me was to realize just how much my Mom lost. She lost her home of 55 years, she lost her flowers, she lost her morning walks, she lost her life long friends because she moved so far away, she lost her church, but most of all she lost her ability to think clearly and remember. Then I can understand her angst. I also accepted that I can't fix her disease. All I can do is help her live for today. If she needs to puch at me for a while so be it. I'm strong enought to take it.

I am truly sorry you are having to deal with this situation. I will keep you and your Mom in my thoughts and prayers.....

Love, deb

 
Old 09-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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Re: Not fun visiting my mother

I can so identify with what you are going though. All I can say is to do what's best for you.

In my case, I'm extremely close to my mom...and I miss her terribly if I don't see her for more than two days. I'm fortunate enough to basically live next door to the facility.

But there are times when I leave with terrible anxiety just from seeing her.

I tell myself that maybe my own days are numbered and I'll wish I had spent some time with her more than I have. She has days when she's very aggressive and hard to get along with...other days she acts like my sweet mom I always knew.

If you can accept that it's a roller coaster ride that you are on while you are there, and learn to brush off your shoulder the bad visits, I think it will be much easier. That's the only way I've been able to cope.

Plus, we always think are parents will die before us...but you never know.

 
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