Does anyone feel uncomfortable going to a nursing home to visit a parent?

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I was hoping I could keep my mother out of a nursing home but I am too young to retire and I don't have the skill to take care of her, nor is my single wide mobile home sufficient. Anyway she fell on February 7th and the EMTs came and took her to the hospital. On Feb 10th she was moved to a nursing home. I was able to talk to her then. I tried calling her on Sat the 11th and Sunday the 12th and finally talked to her that night but she was different. The I went to visit her on Wednesday and she had really changed in less than a week. I've been there a couple other times and some of my friends have gone to visit her. It really spooks me to go to the nursing home, to see my mother deteriorate and not be able to talk to her and to see her so disoriented in such a short time.

Answers 1 to 10 of 23
I feel badly for you and this situation. It is difficult going to a nursing home to visit our parents; I understand how you are uncomfortable. It is an adjustment for everyone concerned. Does your mother have dementia? It is common for the elderly to be disoriented in a new environment and takes a period of adjustment. My mother is in a nursing home, but has adjusted well; however not everyone does.

Before my father passed away, he had been in the hospital after surgery and was totally disoriented even in the hospital. The nurses said it was due to a what they refer to as "sundowning" which occurs usually later in the day when the elderly person starts getting confused. He continued to have it in rehab., but after a while, he was much better..

It is heartbreaking to see our parent in this condition. My heart goes out to you. But hopefully, your mother will improve after she becomes accustomed to her new environment..

This is a big adjustment for you as well; and you will feel more comfortable as time goes on. I brought so many of my mother's things such as pictures, prints on the wall that she likes; her bedspread, etc. Being surrounded by familiar belongings is comforting. I encouraged my mother to take part in all the activities offered at the facility. It took her some time, but she eventually did. Take care and hope things improve.
Top Answer
Why not schedule a conversation with her doctor and find out what meds he/she has your mom on? If she were my mother, I'd want a list of what she's taking and why. Then I'd go home and do some of my own research to find out the side effects etc. about those drugs. I think when it comes to nursing homes, knowledge is key to making choices when you see things like you're describing. Also, I would be making friends with the people that are directly responsible for your mom's well-being. They're much more likely to tell you what you want to know when you're not wigged out about something and put them on the defensive. When my mother-in-law was in rehab in a nursing home, I would stop by the grocery store on my way out to see her and pick up a platter of cookies for them every single Friday. They were very appreciative, and took extra care in helping me when I would see something I didn't care for. And I've gotta say, visiting a nursing home leaves much to be desired. When I went to see her, I never knew what exactly they had just cleaned up in the hall. There were people hollering for no reason (found that out the hard way) and it freaked me out sometimes, but I was there to see her so I put my big girl panties on and did it. If your mother's able to get out for a ride in your car or lunch sometime, do it. They'll help you get her into the car and send a wheelchair along if she's able to be pushed around. It's not a prison. I'm sorry about your mom.
EarthQuake64,

I am sorry to hear about your feelings visiting your mother in the nursing home and your guilt for putting her there. Many caregivers struggle with this move. Our AgingCare.com Editors addressed this issue to help caregivers like you with these feelings and emotions. I hope the following two articles can help you as you transition through this process. Best of Luck.

Get Over Feelings That Prevent You From Visiting the Nursing Home
https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/visiting-elderly-nursing-homes-guilt-stress-emotions-139127.htm

and

"I Promised My Parents I'd Never Put Them in a Nursing Home"
https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/I-Promised-My-Parents-I-d-Never-Put-Them-In-a-Nursing-Home-133904.htm

Karie
I don't feel uncomfortable going to visit.
I feel guilty because I don't go as much as others think I should.
I went through the same feelings with my mom when she was in a nursing home after a fall. BUT, it is sooo important for her that you continue to visit as often as you can. You may not be able to see it in her but it does make a difference. My mother's condition became a little worse when I hadn't been in to see her for a few days. I agree with the others-if you can get her out a little bit it will help her and you. If the facility has a garden or is in the city where you can walk her around it may not feel so bad. I'm sorry you and your mom are going through this...it really is not pleasant by any means. Take advantage of the time you have with her while she is here.
My father was in a nursing home/hospice for 10 days before he died after a long illness. At first, I was a little uncomfortable but then decided to make friends with patients and staff. They cried with me as an ambulance was called for Dad the night he died. I think trying to become a part of the nursing home "family" helped me get over the strange feelings I had about the facility. Your mother sounds like she is having a difficult time adjusting to the environment which is understandable but frightening. Do you have a better facility in mind for her? What is her prognosis if you don't mind sharing information? Take care and please stay in touch.
I wouldn't worry about what other people are saying about how often you should visit. Who are they to judge for they are not in your shoes and do not know you whole life situation. I am sorry that she is in a NH and I would also try to find out what medicines the doctor has her on to see if that is causing her to be so disoriented. Plus, I would find out what the diagnose was of her fall. Of couse, this is what I would do and everyone is different and everyones circustance are different as well. With that said, don't let others tell you how you should feel or what and how much you should do for your mom. There are plenty of resources out their as well to help you deal with what you are going through during this crisis situation.
I think everyone does......my mom is in a dementia care part of assisted living and our visits actually upset her and make her MORE agitated....making the situation even worse! However, we cannot be excpected to NOT visit her. I find myself walking around the parking lot avoiding the front door of the facility and leaving each time with a huge stomach ache. It's the feeling of not being able to help her, to make her more comfortable or happier that eats away at us, no? I got some advice from another "daughter" whose mom has been in this particular facility for 6 years. when I asked her "how do you ever get used to this?". Her answer to me was: "You don't, you just come her and you love her, and you leave."
I understand completely how you are feeling. First of all, there should be some sort of patient council or care conference for your mom, especially in the first few weeks after her admission. Her confusion may be drug related, "sun-downing" or maybe she's trying to protect herself by "checking out" and not facing reality.
Second of all, if someone tells you that you are not visiting enough or that you are not doing something right, tell them to take a big, deep breath and blow it out their ***. You are the one who knows what you can and cannot do and you need to be comfortable with yourself and your decisions.
The last entry had some great words of advice- "You come here and love her, and you leave" Just know that these words are easy to say, but it takes time to make them true for you. Jean
I would not wait days to see or talk to her. I am going through the same thing. Single, cant lose my job.........changes in mom. she fell in septemeber, hospitals and nursing facilities change meds sometimes on a daily basis. Ask, see and be there daily. That quick of a change scares me, since I have seen 4 local facilities in my area. Mom is in the hospital again......for the I dont know how many times. The get community deseases, urinary tract infections and septcis, flus pneomonia, and you name it in facilities along with drugs they are not used and sometimes do not need. get a drug list use drugs . com or interaction websites and check for that as well as drug side affects. Also request UTI test. They have so many to take care of that your mom may be left sitting in a mess instead of in the bathroom. My mom has failed horribly since her accident. Be on top of it. hire private CNA's or sitters to let you know whats going on when you are not there. I have been going through this for nearly 6 months. I feel mom should have come home for therapy and avoided the multiple hospital visits for reason that could have been avoided. Just trying to deal with the now and keep my job. Health care is not what it used to be. Lots of hugs and luck you. Hope it turns out better there than it has for me and mom here.

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