Parents in memory care and unexpected emotions... can anyone relate?
My parents moved to memory care 6 months ago. I had been caring for them for about 5 years in varying degrees. First it was me and my mom caring for my Dad.. then my mom started showing signs of dementia about 2 years ago. The last 5 years have been very hard and I have been going it alone .. no help from siblings.
I used to dream of when they were in a facility so everything wouldn't be on me and I knew the time was coming when I couldn't continue to provide all the care they needed (even with paid caregivers).
Well... they are in a very nice memory care now and I am just not feeling the relief that I thought I would feel (not yet anyway). It may be because I am just so completely exhausted that it will take months or maybe even years to recover.
The emotion I didn't expect was the huge wave of grief.. especially for my mom. My mom was my best friend and my confidant. I haven't felt the full impact of her dementia until just recently when she moved to memory care.... I am realizing that things will never be the same.. that she will never be there for me or be able to cook a meal or have long conversations with me. Maybe now i have more time for the grief to take over... maybe i just didnt process it before since I was so busy with the day to day.
Of course the other feeling is a huge sense of guilt.. especially when I have to leave them after a visit. My dad always thinks he will be leaving with me. Sometimes they like the place and sometimes they complain the entire time I am there... neither is aware they have dementia.
There is also the dashed hope that my siblings would come around more .. or maybe care more once I got them into a facility (ensuring they would not have to be involved).. however that hasn't changed at all.
Anyway.. I was just wondering if anyone else who moved there parents to a memory care or a nursing home had any unexpected feelings crop up. I sure need to figure out how to live my life away from my parents.. but since I have been focusing on them for so long.. it is much more challenging than it sounds.