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How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

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Old 11-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #1
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How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

As some of you know, we're moving mom into a beautiful facility that is only about five minutes from my home.

I had previously visited mom two years ago, everyday, for five weeks while she was in the nursing home next door to me for rehab on her hip surgery. Even though I could walk over, I would end up staying an hour or more while I'd help her with her therapy, and just visiting; not to mention that she was already exhibiting dementia symtoms as well. I must say, it burned me out.

I'm thinking that I shouldn't start out going everyday to see her or she will become to expect it. I was thinking perhaps about three times a week. Am I being selfish? I just can't do it everyday again.

As it is, I'm going over to her house everyday now in the morning to get her meds into her right and it's taking it's toll. Wednesday can't come soon enough! I shouldn't feel that way, but I am becoming so tired of not being home here for my kids (even though they are young adults) and my newly retired husband.

So if any of you who are in similar situations, how often do you visit and how do you tell them you won't be back for a couple days? I do plan on calling her everyday like I have in the past if I don't visit.

Last edited by sunnydaze1; 11-10-2007 at 01:38 PM.

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Old 11-10-2007, 02:09 PM   #2
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

Your own family would come first and your own physical/mental health would also be first. You shouldn't be expected to visit everyday and you should never feel guilty about it. If your mom can still remember just tell her when you will visit next. I wouldn't make any long term commitment so each time you visit just tell her the next time you will be back. Or tell her on the phone if you will be there in person. Let her kind of get acquainted with her new living situation rather than her depending on you to be there everyday. Just do what you emotionally can do without guilt. Good luck.

Old 11-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

I was thinking that once my dad is placed in a home, I'd probably swing through about once a week. Not sure how far along your mom is, but my dad wouldn't remember if I was there a week ago or 2 days ago. Remember, don't feel guilty!

Old 11-10-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

To tell you what my Mom said... "I don't have time for you to visit every day!" My sister did go every day for a while. It was after she stopped going every day that Dad settled down and they started becoming involved in the activities available to them. At first Mom seemed to stay in the room waiting for my sister's visit. Now she is out and about most of the time. You are paying big bucks for the care that you Mom needs. You should not feel guilty if you do not go every day. Now my sister is going two to three times a week and everything is great. Since it is a 3 hours drive for me I only get to seem them every few weeks but I do call and talk to them several times a week. I just talked to Mom on the phone between supper time and their bingo game. She was full of news about who sat where and did what and looking forward to beating the man in the red hat at bingo. That is amazing compared to where we were 2 months ago :-)

So follow your gut feelings. Do what is best for you, your health, and your family as well as your Mom. Know your Mom is getting what she needs even if you take some time for yourself. Good luck with the move and I hope you Mom is happy... which will make you happy.

Know you are both in my thoughts and prayers....

Love, Deb

Old 11-10-2007, 06:07 PM   #5
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

My Dad liked the idea of having visitors, but he really wasn't sure of what to do with them after they got there. He really needed his routine, and long visits took away from naps and the (wheelchair) exercise class and all the other stuff he was used to.

Being out of town made the whole visiting issue harder. We figured out that 2 short visits in one day were better than one. We'd drop by in the morning before his nap, visit for 25 - 30 minutes and then leave and go to lunch plus pick up some treat for him or something else he needed. We'd go back after lunch and visit for another 20 minutes or so. He saw this as we came twice in one day! Longer visits were depressing for me and draining for him.

I'd see other people visiting their LO's in marathon sessions, and all everyone could really do was sit there. Unless they really need the attention -- like need more help than the AF provides, I don't think it does anybody any good to do that.

Since your Mom lives so close, you could pick a good time and pop by for a few minutes, (15 min. tops) 2 ish times a week. More short visits may be better than one long one.

Last edited by teapot; 11-10-2007 at 06:09 PM.

Old 11-10-2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

Hey teapot,

That's a great idea to visit twice in a day. Thanks! My dad is on a waiting list at a place that's about 2 hours from here, and I was wondering how to arrange the visits so as to maximize the day.


Old 11-11-2007, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

Hi Sunny! Nine years ago, my 3 brothers who all live in a city an hour away, decided to move our Mother to their area so they could keep an eye on her more easily. The first year, this situation worked fine.......for THEM! I drove down each week...often more than visit her. My visits have turned to once weekly now...and even though they all live very close to where she is...I'm her only visitor.

Those first 6 months were awful! Being her only "child" (of 6) who had not moved away, we had much more contact with each other over the years than her other children. I was the one who saw her weekly...did her wash...shared meals...and got her back into her home when she lost her keys! Most of the blame at her situation was aimed towards me...swearing, kicking, hitting...even spitting at me because she was SURE it was my fault that she had been moved to the assisted living home. I cried each time I drove the hour home.

When she finally somehow realized her situation was not going to change, her attitude towards me softened. I often remember the phrase "Dutiful Daughter" even now as I still visit her each week! Early on, the caretakers told me that there is always one family member who seems to emerge as "The Strong One"...and they determined it was ME! Again, I cried...and told them I didn't wish this to be me! I'm a middle child...and didn't even think I got along too well with could it be ME?!?

Whenever I would leave, I'd simply say "See you tomorrow"...and even though a week would go didn't seem to matter. Usually an Alzheimer's patient has no real sense of time...and will make accusations that nobody has visited.

I mentioned a while back about the Alzheimer's movie "Away from her"...starring Julie Christie. It's an excellent movie! In this story, the caretaker (her husband) is told NOT to visit for the entire first month! It's explained that the patient more quickly becomes comfortable in the new surroundings. Such a sad disease this is to all connected. Bless you, bless you, bless you for trying so hard to bring comfort to your Mother..........................Pam

Old 11-11-2007, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: How Often to Visit Mom at Assisted Living?

My brother, who lives near Mom, also says 'see you tomorrow" since Mom has lost all sense of time. He may come again (up to 4x a week) or be going away for a long weekend, she never notices. I have been going to NY 3 or 4 times a year and when I am there, for one week, I go to the NH and sit with her for several hours a day. It has become increasingly painful as time goes by - from holding an animated conversation about real or imaginary events, Mom answers now in a monosyllable or not at all ... she repeatedly says she is sooo tired, and just wants to 'go.'

It is a long hard road, and she is nearing the last mile.



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