Why do I feel guilty taking a 2 week vacation when my mom is in an assisted living facility?

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My mom has dementia, is living in an assisted living home, so I know she's well taken care of. She misses us when we're gone since she see us about 5 days a week when we're in town.
My daughter just moved out of state and I was going to go visit with her and do site seeing for 2 weeks, but now I'm feeling guilty being away that long for mom.

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
To my way of thinking, you earn guilt by doing something to harm another, or something without regard to whether it may harm another.

Here are things that should earn guilt:
Robbing a bank.
Stealing money from Mom's savings
Cheating on your income taxes
Driving drunk
Using racial slurs
Going away for a week. leaving the dog home alone with no one to look in on him.
In the heat of an argument, pushing your sister down a flight of stairs

So, chatykat, have you been doing or planning on doing any of these things or similar things? Have you earned any of this guilt you are feeling?

You probably feel unearned guilt because there is an epidemic of guilt in the caregiving community. Ironically it seems to strike the most caring people the hardest. If you don't go, won't you feel guilt about letting your daughter down? If you cut your trip short and don't get to fully recharge your batteries, won't you please guilt at your lack of enthusiasm for visits to mom when you return?

Is your mom's hearing good enough so that you can visit on the phone?
Top Answer
Why we make ourselves feel guilty over certain things is beyond me but in reality you will be doing her a favor. You will come back refreshed, excited, happier and full of new things to talk about.
Chaty, does it have to be 'guilt', could it not be instead 'trepidation'? Since you're not going to be close for a few weeks and not able to respond quickly, you might be feeling more nervous then you think. I understand the feelings part totally, but I was just thinking that now in your mind you're going to have to depend totally upon the asst living for those 2 weeks, and maybe that's a little disconcerting. For me it's the 'control' thing, and when things are out of my 'control' I get a little crazy. I don't know, maybe I'm off the wall on this one. Have fun seeing your daughter.
I just posted something similar. I wish I had seen your question. My Mom feels abandoned when I go away. Everyone is right, you have nothing to feel guilty for and neither do I. But I feel that way anyway.
I feel the same way, and just returned from a vacation over the 4th of july. It really was very hard for me, but i did have my kids kinda looking in on her. she missed me too, but doaent even remember that i was gone now...take care of yourself, so that you can take care of her
Chaty, Okay I had to re-think my answer about the guilt feeling when leaving a loved one behind in order to go on a vacation. When my mother-in-law would sit alone in her little house and do nothing but watch TV, walk her driveway, or make coffee by herself, I would indeed feel guilty. But when I really got past the guilt feeling, I found out that it wasn't so much 'guilt' as it was just feeling bad for her. I felt terrible that she sat alone day in and day out. So I started taking her places and got her out on a pretty regular basis. BUT now that she's in asst. living, it's her choice NOT to take part in any of the activities. She no longer has to sit alone in her little house with all the curtains drawn, she has total control over what she chooses to do every single day. I still take her places on a regular basis, but I don't feel guilty or bad about her circumstances anymore. Sure I still feel bad for her that she can't see or remember anything, but NOT guilty. Not anymore.
I think part of this irrational guilt is an emotional control issue called codependency where our own emotional well being is enmeshed in with theirs. It is like we feel their feelings of our not being there for them and we want to fix that. However, that is really not possible. She's in an assisted living place where she is safe and cared for. Please don't take this guilt on vacation with you or your mind will be on her the entire time and you will not be fully present to enjoy the vacation which frankly will be a drag on everyone else with you. I know this from personal experience.
naheaton and cmagnum. I loved both your answers. Very helpful. Thanks!
I went away for 10 days, and I had no problem at all. She was in AL, that was a resort! I finally had some piece of mind. I did not even call her one single time, and no guilt. I needed to free myself from the chains that were binding me to her ever whim.
We all deserve time for OURSELVES. There was even a Probate hearing (while I was out of the country, JAMAICA) and my attorney attended on my behalf. My sister raised a ruckus on a conference call, and the Judge said: " your sister IS allowed to go on vacation, her attorney is here for her." The end......
The guilt you feel is understandable because you have strong emotional ties to your mother and in your heart, you are still her caregiver. Nevertheless it is good to push yourself out of your comfort zone by taking the trip knowing that you will get over the guilt once you start enjoying your time away. It's just a matter of taking that first step, I think. That first step is the hardest to take and sometimes causes conflicted feelings. You are only human and you obviously care about your mother. Enjoy your time away!

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