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I am lost without my mom. She is in Assisted Living. I was visiting her in the morning, come home, then went back in the afternoon. The head nurse said I need to go just once a day, so I have been trying to just go in the afternoon. My mom just waits for me, I feel so bad and miss her. Am I crazy??

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Thanks Tomatilla,

I hope I stay in the mood I am in, I really need to work on taking care of myself. I retired four years ago, me and my husband were travelling, and then he got sick and then my Dad died. My husband still is having health issues, that is emotionally draining also. I have no children. So hopefully now I can take care of myself and get back to my life.
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maryann, when I first left my mom in the assisted living facility and drove home. I did not cry. I was relieved. I was relieved for her getting care from a professional but friendly staff. I was relieved because I knew I would start getting sleep again. I was relieved because I knew that I could travel and go on vacations again. I was relieved for my marriage. I was going to be able to finish a few classes and get back to work. And, I could always visit whenever it was a good time for her and for me. And, the thing that I see you finding out, you can take care of yourself again, That is so important. You do not want to be one of the caregivers who is outlived by a loved one. It happens. I will remain in the caregiver support group. They are family and we let it like it is to each other. That is priceless. Slow down and take care of yourself. Here's a {{{{hug}}}}. You deserve it.
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Yes, I agree, I do appreciate people telling me like it is!! I may get hurt, but it is the only way I can grow from this experience. I know this is what is best for my mom, some days are better than others for me. My mom has been like this for awhile, my dad took care of her, so I don't know if she had dementia or if it was her ocd or depression, or all three. It's been a journey, thanks so much for this site and everyone. Yesterday I left my mom and went shopping, made me feel better. It's been running back and forth between my mom and husband, needed time for just myself.
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Sometimes you have to take care of yourself. I miss my mom being at home with me. She has dementia, bur she loves me and wants me to feel better, finish school and get back to work. She knows that she will be taken care off and that I will be over frequently and so will my husband and son. Hard decision--my family (most of them) and my friends, and my doctors--they are supporting me. I appreciate them for telling me like it is.
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debrowsley: Are you an only child? Are you married? Do you have children? I can understand your feelings about a loss of history and those who shared it with you\, meaning your parents. I might feel that loss more keenly if, God forbid, I was to lose my husband. I was with my parents for 18 years, but I've been with my husband for 39 years. He knows me, warts and all, and we have grown together through difficult times and good times. He is my best friend.

I'm 63 years old now and I understand that we come to this earth, we live our lives and we pass. Some will remember us, but they will pass too as well as those behind them.

So take every opportunity to live now. Nature takes it's course and people pass on, some more gently than others. You have one life, so don't worry about the history. Live in the present. Take a walk and look around you at the birds, the sky, the trees, the grass and remember that the one who created all of this, also created you. By creation, you are connected to all living things. You are part of this spirit of life and renewal. You are never alone.

Love and Hugs, Cattails
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debowsley,

My mother's vascular dementia and while she knows me, she is not able to really hold much of a conversation.

Her decline is sad, but eventually I will be a senior citizen and decline myself just like I saw my grandfather, grandmother and great aunt do. However, I don't feel any lost of my history or my identity. Anyhow, there are parts of this section of my history which are better off lost than hung onto.

My dad on the other hand appears to be just starting some signs of dementia, but more so his total loss of strength. That is sad, but their also I don't feel like I'm loosing my history or my identity. I've taken his slides from our trips over the years of 1961-1983 and made a movie of them using microsoft movie maker.

That is a part of my history and identity, but not all of it for since my mother and father divorced when I was three, I've had to become more of a survivor and in my teenage years created an unofficial family which helped me survive.

My current history and identity is more rooted in the now of being married and having two sons who are in college trying to find their way as well as enjoying what some call the empty nest syndrome which my wife and I are actually enjoying being a couple on our own again for we never stopped being a couple while raising our children which some couples do.

I'm sorry for your losses and the early grief that you are already dealing with, but you will survive it all and come out a stronger person than you were before this transitional phase of life. I wish you well. I'm not saying that it is going to be easy, but I am saying that you will be ok.
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I miss both my parents. They have dementia, and my father does not even know me. My father and mother both live up north now, where it is not easy for me to even visit. I will get my chance this summer, but I know I can never go back to the relationship we had when their memories were intact. I am losing part of my history and identity in the process of their losing their minds. This may not may not make sense to people who have not been through dealing with dementia. I would spend every possible minute with my mom if I could.
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Maryann, it sounds like your mother is good at emotional blackmail which buttons were placed inside of you as a child, most likely so she could press them in adulthood to make you feel like a child once again and responsible for how 'mommy feels'. As I've suggested earlier on some thread and you have agreed, I still believe therapy would help you greatly.

I agree with cattails and I also think it is time with your mom now where she needs to be for herself, that you now take some time to take care of your self and that you and your husband find ways to spend time together wherein you both agree to set the boundary of no mom talk at those times. I realize that is going to be tough, but from a husband's point of view, it can be very helpful to the relationship. You mom has people taking care of her. You did not cause her to have OCD nor did you cause her to go to the hospital those four time, nor can you control her problems or fix them. She must take responsibility for her own feelings. You can't, as some say, feel her feelings for her or mirror her emotions right back at her as if they were your own for they are not. On the other hand, it sounds like your husband has just you, but it sounds like emotionally you are somewhat enmeshed with your mom. There a therapist would be most helpful. I suggest finding a licensed clinical social worker type therapist for to me they have good training and they have their feet on the ground. Please, take care of you.
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Maryann: You can't save everyone. This has been a hard year for everyone in your family. You don't have the power to change the past year, but you can get some help for yourself in coping with your current and future circumstances. I would suggest that you find a good therapist to help you navigate the issues you face and all the feelings you experience.

I've gone back and read your other posts. I'm sorry your husband suffered a heart attack and that you are so pulled between your mom's unhappiness and your husband's health issues.

You are not responsible for your mom's unhappiness. She is in AL because she needs professional care. Is there any medication that would help her anxiety? Possibly, at this time, you would benefit from some medication to help your anxiety.

I hope you can get some sound guidance. My heart goes out to you. Cattails.
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Yes, I have always felt guilt with my mom. My mom suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and was hospitalized four times. I didn't go in the morning and just in the afternoon for the last two days, and now she is not eatting and is starting to get weak. The aides said it is hard for her to get up to go to the bathroom. My husband is sick also, been such a horrible time.
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Maryann, you sound very burdened and understandably so with grief over the loss of your dad which has not very long ago and now anticipatory grief with your mother. Has your mother been one who has inflicted guilt upon you your whole life or is she venting frustration about no longer being as much as in control of her life as she once was. I suggest to visit, but try not to absorb the emotions that she throws at you , and at the same time develop an even closer relationship with your spouse for you two much keep your stuff alive as you enter into this next phase of life.
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It is so sweet of you to see your Mom so often. And no, you are NOT crazy, you just love her a lot. Have you involved her in any acitivites at the AL? She may resist at first because she depends on you so much, but the activites will help keep her active.
My Mom is in AL and I visit about once a week but call almost every day. Right now, AL is the only place for her and she misses her house and husband(in Nursing Home with Dementia) that she get sad a lot. She is alway complaining about the residents in her building and the food.I will say most of the residents are hard to be around. But she needs to accept the fact that it is the best place for her. She is also 98% blind so there are many activities she can't do.
She can see the TV somewhat and loves to watch hometeam baseball or listen on the radio and she will go to Bingo because they have the large cards. She has her routine and likes to stick to it.
I hope
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They have no right to tell you when to visit. I would think it would be better for her for you visit more than once a week. My mom passed away in January and I visited her in the nursing home almost everyday. Now, I wished I had gone even more often. I would love to see her now. You go whenever you want!
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I work for a NH and believe me you need to go at different times of the day just so they really never know when to expect you. You will see the whole picture of how the aide's treat others within the facility. The idea of helping with activities is such a good one, It might help your mother more than you think as maybe if she knows you are in there then she will start attending as well even if just to watch. We love having family visit and help us with the residents.
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Thanks so much everyone. It has been such a hard time for me and my mother, her and me dad lived down the street from me. Losing my dad was so hard, and dealing with the guilt of having to put my mom in AL is even harder. Hopefully it will get better.
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Maryann: Did your mom just recently move into AL. It could be that the staff feel she needs time to adjust to her new surroundings and hopefully get involved with others in the facility.

Nevertheless, I think it's perfectly fine for you to spend time with your mom on a daily basis. I like the 10am to 2pm idea. That's a nice long visit and your mom can rest in the afternoon and socialize hopefully at dinner.

Is it possible that medication could help with your mom's anxiety?

Cattails
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Maryann - realize that both you and your mom are going through mourning - it's only been like 6 months since your dad died. Difficult for all. Anxiety is normal.
Plus the transition to a whole new living situation.

About the AL staff, from their perspective they have a set routine and instead of having 1 resident (your mom) they now have 2 to deal with. They are trying to wean you off by suggesting you limit your visits.

It sounds like you have free time and are a bit adrift.

My suggestion to you is to speak with the AL activities co-ordinator - see if you can work with her to get things together for activities they do at the AL. This will give you an opportunity to go to see your mom for a brief visit, then go and help the activities gal (right now they are probably doing something for Mother's day) for an hour or 2, then go back and see your mom for another short visit, then leave. You actually help activities gal get stuff done - like sit and cut out pictures of flowers from a magazine for them to use the next day, etc. Then help on activities - this way you can interact with your mom and get to know some of the other residents and help bridge friendships between your mom and the other ladies. It will give your mom a "proud" thing to talk about too. You also get to know what the staff is like and who can be your point person to help your mom best (and who to avoid) and which residents are battle-axes'. Even if you're not an arts & crafts person there is stuff you can help activities with, like lining up the walkers if it's an exercise class or being an escort when they go on a shopping trip. I would do the shopping trips when my mom was in IL and I was in town for a few days to visit - hysterical fun escorting 80 & 90 yr olds some with walkers around Merle Norman & Steinmart. The activities gal is going to have the most flexibility in having a volunteer about. Good luck & keep busy.
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Sorry somehow I posted without finishing my thoughts. I was saying the visits are never quality. She doesn't have much interest. I so miss her advice and her laughter. I wonder if it is healthy to miss her so much.
Thanks, Carol
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My mother is in a rehab/ skilled nursing facility. I miss her so very much. She has and dementia; I miss the Mother she was to me all my life. She is in a good place and they take very good care of her. I go every afternoon and have gone in a different times of the day to visit. I find it to be very depressing as I think my Mother is very bored. They have activities but she is not always in the mood to participate. She was a person that always kept busy. Dementia has taken so much from her. Our visits are not at all the way we use to interact. I never feel like we have
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My mom has her mind, is very nervous and just lost my dad in October. I get tires of hearing comments from the aides, one told me I should get a bed next to my mother, I baby her too much. My mom is in a wheelchair and has trouble walking and going to the bathroom. Wish people were more understanding.
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Maryanne, I can identify completely with what you are feeling. I also go to see my mother once a day in assisted living and several times a day on weekends. It is normal to miss your mother as I miss mine also even though we did not always have the best relationship but we were close. It's strange now when I think back on all the arguments we once had that now those things no longer matter. I miss her, the her she once was, the arguments and our constant conversations on the phone. She was my best friend and I miss her so much. Continue to see your mother as much as you can, It very important that you be aware what is going on in the assisted living and to make sure that she is OK. You did not say what her mental or physical condition is. Continue to take care of yourself and your mother.
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If you have the time to visit your mother twice a day I think you should see her then. Your mother seems like she is an important person in your life. She may not always be with you so your time with her is very important. If seeing her twice a day makes you and her happy, enjoy being with her and sharing the special times you have together. I just lost my mother and miss her so much, I would enjoy visiting with again.
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No you are not crazy. I am not sure of the situation you had with your mother was she living with you or close by. If that is the case then the loss you feel is little like mourning.. You first should not feel guilty if you can not make it to see her and the second as time goes on and you see that she is being well looked after you will find that you will not need to twice a day. My suggestion is trying going later in the morning and then staying until about two in the afternoon and that way you get to see her in the morning and the afternoon and you and your mother will have the best of both worlds.
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