When you just lose the urge to visit...

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I imagine it's one of those common things no one ever likes to admit, right? Mom is in a rehab center right now. I honestly thought it'd go way differently than it has. I imagined her making friends, chatting with people, maybe doing this or that. But instead it's been dreary (and it's no fault of the place or the staff either). Like today, I brought her some brand new clothes and her favorite candy and she barely acknowledged me with more than a mutter. It was so discouraging.

I don't mean to say I'm not going to visit anymore or that I blame her, I owe her everything and I'll keep fighting the good fight for her even after she's gone. But right now it just feel like a chore. Every day it's doctors and nurses and aides and social workers and talk about hospital beds and her latest antics, it's mentally crushing me. In fact I'm thinking about not even bothering to go tomorrow but I know I'll cave from the guilt and the concern like I always do. But it really is ruinous and I never thought it'd get as depressing as it has. Sigh.


Dmanbro, have you thought that staying away for a few days might be helpful to mom? I think that you should stay away tomorrow and recharge your batteries with as little guilt as you can muster. Then on Monday, call the Social Worker and ask her to tell you honestly the rehab staff how often they'd like you to come. Follow their lead here.

It's wearing, yes. And you need to take care of yourself so that there is something leftover for this journey. Go to the movies tomorrow. This is not a sprint, it's a marathon.
I understand how you feel. I felt all the feelings you are feeling when my Mom went through rehab and then the nursing home adjustment.

Before all that started she was always such a pleasant, cooperative person. But if you look at it from your loved ones point-of-view you can almost understand why they are this way. Suddenly through no fault of their own they are not in control of their own life anymore. Imagine how scary that is.

When my Mom acted out and pouted and did not "get with the program" so to speak it was very hard not to treat her like a two year old cause that was how she was acting. But if you imagine losing your mental abilities and then being placed somewhere against your will pretty much you can understand why they act that way.

My advice to you is keep visiting her and do your best to put on a happy front for her. I know its hard but think of all the hard things she did for you in your life. You will not regret it trust me.

My Mom is gone now and I am so glad I kept visiting her and so on. My siblings did not and they have to live with their guilt now. I don't.
Thanks you Babalou! The staff and even some of the patients have been super, I genuinely like many of them and I think it's mutual, but day after day of the same thing just takes such a toll. It's tough not to feel guilty about it, but yeah, I really need to step away for a little bit. I practically feel like I should be on staff there LOL.
You'll come back refreshed and better able to do what needs to be done, promise!
Time for a mid-course correction.

1. As Babalou suggests, stay away for a day or so.

2. You BOTH need down time; give her a chance to rest up without having to have a visit, and give yourself a chance to recharge your own batteries.

3. Think why you're doing this, how you'd feel if the situation were reversed or if you were her age and your son was dedicated enough to visit you so regularly. Or how would you feel if he just came occasionally, inferring disinterest?

4. Remember that you're her link to the life she had before entering the facility. That's an important link.

5. You still have a long life; she's in her twilight years. If you burn out from too many visits, or don't visit often, how will you feel when she's gone? Will you regret not spending the time with her?

I apologize for being blunt, but sometimes these frank assessments can bring me back from asking the same kind of question you're asking.
Thanks again for the great replies! I also think I'm feeling a little more stress lately as her grandkids are visiting a bit less frequently right now. I guess they're a little "freaked out" by her mental state right now, which isn't an excuse but is understandable. I've tried to delicately let them know that their grandmother isn't in a good place right now but IMO they're in denial, at least to a degree. They lost their mom a few years back so I think they greatly fear going through the grief again re: grandma. Although I'm sympathetic and everything, the loss of that "relief" means it's all on me and in recent days it's gotten to me.
When my mom was in rehab (post stroke, vascular dementia blooming, but before they discovered her broken hip), mom wanted NO ONE to "see me this way" aside from her children. So I wouldn't stress the grands too much right now.

Give yourself a day off to recharge. Sunday could be a GOOD day to visit, as there probably is no therapy. You could just chat. Visits don't have to e all day; my mother is tired after an hour. Since it takes two hours to get there each wsy, I get a pedicure, or do grocery shopping or browse at Goodwill. Find small ways to treat yourself well. I've also rediscovered Books on CD from the library for the long drive.
dmanbro, let your Mom know you won't be visiting her on Monday [or whatever day], give an excuse of being busy with work.... if you don't let her know, she might worry too much.

My parents are helicopter parents, even though I am pushing 70. Even with a simple cold my parents get all panicky. So, give Mom a heads up on your plans :)
I think a healthy adult relationship involves give and take, and if you have been lucky enough to have had your relationship with your mother evolve from parent/child to friends and equals you are grieving a profound loss. Your relationship has suddenly become that of a caregiver and advocate and your mother has nothing available to give you in return. I think that dynamic is probably also in play with her grandchildren, they don't know how to react to this new person in grandma's body so they are pulling away. Hopefully in time they make the effort to relate to her in a new way and do not just withdraw.
You will need to grieve also, and if allowing yourself a little time off is what you need then don't feel guilty, she is being cared for.
It is not necessary to visit every day. My MIL is 92 and Mother is 96. Everyone has their own lives. I know for certain that Mother did not sit at her husband's bedside everyday, at the NH.

But, it is easier to visit someone that at least makes a visitor feel welcome. Is your mother on an antidepressant?

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