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Teri, I think being in asst living versus a nursing home makes a big difference too. The asst living place where my mother-in-law is has all kinds of stuff going on for their residents, so if she wanted to she could socialize. I try to see her 2 to 3 times a week and take her out, drive around and do dumb stuff with her. She loves running around with me, so I just take her on my usual errands that day if I don't have a movie or something planned. The nursing home however is a whole different thing.
When she was there for rehab after she broke her hip, I tried to see her every single day cause it was pretty depressing. I also made sure they were taking care of her in the process. But every single Friday I brought a plate of cookies from the bakery to the people taking care of her. It was the whole, get more ants with honey than vinegar thing I thought.
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I placed my dad in a nursing facility last year and I live with the guilt every day even though he looks better than he did when he was home. He needed 24/7 care and being there and seeing the improvement in his well-being makes it all worthwhile. I used to visit every day until he took it for granted that I should be there even if I couldn't so now I visit 2-3 times a week. I take him out of the facility and bring him home so he can have the memories he used to have. He was very bitter in the beginning for being placed there but now, when I bring him home, he always reminds me that he has to be back before dinner time. Do what is best for you and what your conscience can live with. If you can't make it often just call and let her know you are thinking of her.
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I think others have made very good points about how you will have the memories of the time you have spent with her during all your years together, especially the last ones. In regards to her not remembering perhaps you could include a journal (that stays open to the most recent entry) where you could have other guests and yourself add your visit dates and anything special about that visit. When caregivers come in they could even read the notes and may often say, "Hey, looks like your daughter was just here, did you have a nice visit?" It allows them to feel more a part of your mothers life as well to know about her visitors on a more personal note.
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Dear teriquet06,
When each day is a new day yesterday's visit may or may not be remembered. Daily visit are good but a terrible imposition on your own life. I did dailys for the 1st 6 weeks but when Daddy yelled at me with hatred that I had killed mother by putting her there and was doing the same to him just so I could get his money, I changed to once a week. I also don't let him know in advance but call the day of. That may seem insensitive but this way I'm not locked into a day & time in advance so if something comes up he is not disappointed. They spend the time between visits anticipating the next one, often sitting all day in the lobby waiting. Frequency of visits should depend on their health issues and what time commitment works for you. I would say, that from my experience, once a week is average. Many do more, many do less. It needs to work for both your needs. Don't visit out of guilt, for they will use this card to increase the frequency. Go because you want to see them and the whole dynamic of the visit takes on a different tone. They know that you are there for them and not out of a sense of duty or guilt.
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Hi--From my experience there is no rule as to how often to visit-A lot depends upon the condition of the person you visit- and also your own personal agenda with family or friends. Having said this-you can also check with the staff at the facility for their input as well....
Take evrything into consideration-and approach this.I also strongly reccommend you do not forget your own health or personal needs...
Best,
Hap
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Yes, and doing the best you can includes taking care of yourself. This is where it matters what happens in your heart when you're with your parent. If there was abuse in the past, for example, then being with your parent now can go either way: it can be an opening for new interactions or insights, or it can re-traumatize. The people who sound saintly in their generosity may have had a very different experience than you in the past, or may be having a very different experience with it than you can in the present. The people who go seldom may be being either very thoughtLESS or very thoughtFUL about their choice to go less often. You can't tell from the outside, from the number or frequency of visits. So no standard "works" and nobody should be successful at guilt-tripping you either way.
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I think "go as often as you can" is a good guideline. As others have stated, it's not so much whether your mother remembers your visit as how much she enjoys the visit while you're there. Joy in the moment is everything (for all of us, really, but especially when memory is gone). Also, the more you go, the higher the probability that you will have moments of sweet joy to recall (to balance out the painful moments that are part of your new reality). I think maybe there's no such thing as normal when it comes to caregiving. Family history, condition of parent, condition of caregiver, other life situations....they're all so varied. You just have to do the best you can. Peace to you.
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There is precious little I can add to the great answer above (from Caregivervoice) except this:

YOU will remember how often you visited and how you made her feel, and how you felt knowing that you were there for her.

Some visits will be difficult, some will be memorable. ALL of them should be as pleasant as you can manage.

My mother is gone now,but I asked this same question a LONG time ago on this very forum. I went as often as I could and stayed as long as I could. Some days all I did was sit with her and listen to the birds sing outside. Some days we did crafts, crochet or even just sat and folded towels. Most days she didn't know 'who' I was, but she knew how I made her feel. Wanted, loved and happy.

I listened to her 'stories' and ramblings, held captive for any 'sign' of her before Alzheimer's stole her mind. My mother's last 'lesson' to me was how to 'just be' , be happy, be there and yes, even to 'behave!"

God bless you.
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My mother in law is in a nursing home and since we do not live close, the home calls us on a quarterly basis for a complete review of what is going on. They will also call us on any med's changes or fall or basic change . Our daughter , who lives closer, try's to get to see her monthly. The home keeps her so busy that her time fly's by. We also have the daily paper sent to her which she may or may not read, but it's there.
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Whenever my mother was in hospital or in rehab, I went every day sometimes twice a day. That is just the way I did it. I also wanted to ensure that she was properly cared for and I wanted to remind her that she was loved and not abandoned. When people are in hospital, they still need an advocate. Life is short, and I wanted to keep her positive and keep fighting. I have no regrets. It was very hard and tiring but I did what I always promised her and what I believed. As a caregiver, your responsibilities don't end when someone is in a facility. In fact sometimes it is harder and more stressful because you are always worrying if the your loved one is being properly cared for. I don't think that there is any rule that constitutes a "normal" amount of visiting. I think it is up to you and what you feel comfortable with and what you can cope with. Even if she forgets some visits, you never want to look back with any regrets thinking that you should have done this or you should have done that...Which visits does she forget? How long a time is there between visits? Even if she forgets the visits, is she happy to see you? That is what is important...the time you spend with her. Are the people in the place taking proper care of her? I hope this was helpful.
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