I'm on respite.....and a new kind of heart break.

Started by

I'm just finishing a 2 week respite. About a month before I left mom had a couple Mini strokes and it changed her personality. They put her on seraquel and she slept for two days then wigged out. I took her off. Then she entered a beautiful memory care unit. She had a few episodes. One time went into someone's bath and would not come out - a call to doc and a shot of haldol, this was in the middle of the night. Another night 3:00 am she boot under one of the s
Dining room tables and baracded herself, tried to pull fire alarm. Another shot of haldol. Now she is on a low dose of seroquel. I haves called often and yesterday the night nurse told me that she and my mom have bonded and they are new best friends. I'm jealous!! At the end before respite my mom would sometime call me an imposter - she has been living with me for 8 years. We have been joined at the hip our whole life. I want my mom back.
Husband, daughter and best friends are really insisting I leave her there. I'm sure she is zombie'd out and I don't know if I can do it in her new state. I wanted to be there for her until t
Her last day. She is not making any friends, just this one nurse. I had hoped she would join in all the activities. All she does is eat, lay down and lots of walking. Does not socialize. Should I leave her there or bring her home. Everyone is telling me my face is si less stressed looking. I can even tell it.
I want to be her best friend and now she replaced me in less than 2 weeks.
As soon as I got to Florida we caught a bug and were sick the first week.
Can anyone relate to my feelings?



Dear Here4her....you have not been replaced. Mother has simply bonded with her nurse and that is a very good thing. You want Mom to be comfortable and well cared for in your absence and that sounds to be the case.

Certainly wouldn't make for a good vacation if Mom was crying and all upset each time you called! I think it is perfectly normal to feel a bit of concern as close as you are to your Mother. None of us want to think we can be replaced. Everything will be fine once you get home. she may even pout a bit to make you fee guilty.

As far as socialization. If your Mother wasn't social before chances are she won't be now, even with the most interesting of activities available. My Mother is just like that. She is happy with her TV and family that visits. She never had close friends (always concerned they would want something from her).

So glad you were able to get away and enjoy some rest even with the bug.
I'm home from respite and am wrestling with leaving mom in a bit longer or permanently.
Everyone is telling me how rested and less stressed I look. Husband, daughter and best friends are telling me to leave her there because the 8 years of care taking is killing me. Feeling guilty and undecided. Don't know if icango back to it. My health has declined so much.
Here4her, you don't have to make a decision right away. The best decision you can make will be the one that is best for the entire family. I am sure that your husband and daughter will have some good input on this. The right way to go will probably become clear over the next few days. I know that you miss your mother and feel your bond is threatened, but if you decide to let her stay at the memory care unit, you can visit often. Whatever you decide to do, we are with you.
Here4her, I am so glad you got some rest! I think that, given the episodes your Mom had, the time has come for her to have 24 hour care in a facility. I know you gave her 24 hour care too, but you were not well rested for those hours, where at the facilty, she is being cared for in shifts, with staff who can objectively deal with Mom's issues. They dont get thier feelings hurt, for example, if she said something nasty, and that is good as it allows them to stay connected with her. You WANT them to get close to Mom. They will take better care of her, and know her in a way that will allow them to notice subtle changes that could be important in her health.

That is not to say you will not continue to be an important part of her care team. You can provide insight into Mom's past life, her particular history, and things that "work" for her. You can be an advocate for Mom, and speak to staff if you see something that is an issue, or would help. You can get involved with activities at the facility yourself, which might encourage Mom to do so as well. (tea parties, sing alongs, whatever).

I hate to say it, but if Mom has had mini strokes, and personality changes, she is not too likely to go back to being her former self. In fact, there could well be more crisis ahead. It might be much better to leave her in the facilty now, rather than bring her home, then the crisis hits, and you have to take her back again. Its so much better for them to stay in a place that they have become familiar with when they have a crisis.

My mom is doing really well these days, and some might say she could go back to a more independent life again, but I know that its only a matter of time before she will need more help again. And, it is entirely likely that she is doing as well as she is BECAUSE of the fact that she is happy and feels safe. And that has value, so she is staying there.
Always remember why she is there to begin with. After 8 years, it may be time to allow others to assist with her care. I have days when I battle with taking my mom home, but I stop and think about how miserable and confused she was at home. Give yourself credit for making good decisions. Think about how much better you will sleep at knowing that there are trained caregivers there to help her during her middle of the night episodes. God bless!
Your issue reminded me of when my children were young and caregivers got close to them. I was heart broken that I had to leave them to go to work. My dear sister in law told me to remember that I would always be their mother. That little thought has helped me so many times throughout the years. You will always be your mothers daughter and you have had a life time with her. Perhaps the caregiver was trying, unsuccessfully, to help you feel assured that your mom is ok there. Remember your loving memories, take good care of yourself now and first. You and your family will hopefully have a long life ahead and you need to be healthy for that. Your mom wouldn't want to be responsible for making you sick, even though right now her brain isn't letting her think clearly like that.

My heart goes out to you. Someone once said, we get what we think we deserve and I hope you think you deserve a nice, healthy life. I also want to help my mom through to her end, but I've been told to think about the possibility that I'm too controlling and that nothing anyone does for mom is good enough for me, or that I always think I can do it better. Sometimes it's best for others, for people like me to step back and let other good people do the work they were trained at and that they can do so well.

That's what I'm working on....trying to be less controlling and to let others do their jobs. I hope it helps to know I can relate to what you are feeling....
Oh Sooozi, you have no idea how bad I needed to read your post....what an honest statement.... I don't know if I'm proud of you, proud for you, or just plain proud that a family memeber understands that sometimes the paid caregivers really do know what they are doing...
On another thread I vented about loosing it at my job today.. too long to go into here, but I just want to scream at the family...... my lady is on Hospice... and I am dealing with my OWN feelings about this, but what the family expects of me is not going to happen, they found that out today.... I have been a paid caregiver in one form or anothe for the past 15 years.... and after M passes... I am out of there, no more for me.... I can do my 'job' all day long and all night... what I CAN NOT deal with any more is the families.....
So thank you for your honesty.... lets me know there are some families out there that are exhausted, need help, and are letting the help, help.... thanks again
Ladee, I love to call you as "Linda", it is my oldest daughter's name also!
I did had same feeling of you as paid caregiver when I left my last job when it was end last March.... My client's and I didn't agree with some issues with her... Sometimes her daughter calls me to come back when she was drunk.....lol. now I have a caregivers dream job and my new client and her family loves me!!! I know/ think you are the wonderful caregiver for any family who needs your help! Hanging there... Tomorrow I will go see my old client for her 78th BD...Sue
It is important to honor your own health first. No mom would want caring for her to damage a beloved child. Drugs can create problems for the elderly, be thankful for a good facility giving needed care.
Hello Here4her! I suggest that you leave your mother there, where she is comfortable and bonding with the staff nurses.
You may not be able to handle the episodes that required Haldol ( a very powerful anti-psychotic drug). Visit frequently and enjoy her company. The time has come, my dear.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support