I visit my mom about one to two times a week because honestly she ruins my entire mood for the day. Went down at 11 this morning. Lunch is noon so I keep the visit short. I take toiletries, new top and then the same conversation happens. “I just wanna die. No one visits. I hope you never go through this. You don’t know what it’s like to not see your family”. They live in another state more than an hour away. I don’t see my kids that often, but when they’re here for holidays I pick her up so she can see them, most recently Thanksgiving. I’ll see them again on Christmas and so will she. I inform her that after seeing what she goes through that I will definitely not be in her position as I won’t take 30 pills a day to keep me alive. And if that doesn’t work I will just stop eating and drinking. It’s a legit legal way to take charge (VSED). Then the tears start. When I say that my visits seem to upset her, she insists that she likes my visits, but honestly they stress me out and I dread going down. My brother comes up about every six weeks but she rarely sees his family. Told her I can’t speak for him but she sees my family as much as I see them. I just needed to rant. Thanks!
My only suggestion is to find more you moments (I know so easy to say) and I mean moments that truly are you moments - not getting ur errands done or your floors mopped or laundry done but real feel good moments - even therapy or a support group. Maybe also if possible to hire someone to go spend time with your mom (through an agency as a companion) or find a place that maybe has volunteers to go visit her. We will never understand what is like to be them (as they will need er know what it is like to be us) - maybe filling up some of her time with “a buddy” who comes with activities or even just an ear to listen to her complaints may help alleviate some of what is on your plate to fill all those needs as you are burnt out from having to be her everything and that is justified - vent away here - vent with a therapist until your fatigue lessens up some. 🦋
It sounds like the mom is trying to manipulate to bring the mom home. Well that is not going to be an option. The "I'm GONNA DIE" conversations have already been had, and she's in an MC taking all these pills because she doesn't want to.
Your mother is suffering from dementia and is having a pity party for herself. As such, yes, she's ruining your entire mood when you go visit her so you know in advance what to expect from her. What I do when I visit my mother who lives in Memory Care & has advanced dementia is I bring distractions to keep her OFF of the complaining subjects she likes to dwell on. I bring my dog who likes to sit on her lap and I bring my cell phone which is filled with videos and photos of her great-grandson which she likes to look at. Even the ones she's seen before and has forgotten about. I'll even pull up photos on Facebook of her nieces and nephews if I run out of other things to keep her occupied. I also bring snacks which she likes a lot, so that's another thing to keep her occupied for a short while.
Find uplifting things to talk about and do rather than depressing things that add to her already funky mood, that's my suggestion. It's not easy having dementia and living in Memory Care with other elders suffering from dementia, that's a fact! As hard as it is for us to go there to visit them *and it IS HARD, I acknowledge that*, at least WE get to go back to our own homes when the visit is over with. I honestly dread going to the MC to see my mother each & every time b/c I never know WHAT I'll find when I see her, so it's always stressful and sad for me. But I'm glad I do go b/c she is always happy to see me and I feel like I've done a good thing by going.
Hopefully you'll take some of these tips and make your visits a bit more pleasant for both you and your mom in the future.
I suggest what the others have said and not go down that path. Just because you were able to talk to your mom in a certain way once upon a time doesn't mean you really can now. She's in a scary and precarious place in her life these days, and some reassurance that everything's going to be OK (whether it is or not) is more useful than being told that she's not handling her own decline the way you say you would from your vantage point of several decades away from that point in your life.
I found that was a good way to create positive interaction.
Maybe go to a few, introduce yourself and mom, then invite ladies and gents that seem open to an afternoon tea. Bring a gallon or two, a plate of homemade goodies and lead a fun time. I did this and it really helped my dad make friends and have buddies to start walking with. I even cut everyone's hair every six weeks and it was a social afternoon for all of them.
I found just changing the subject as soon as the poor me started, helped me cope. You don't have to listen to it every single time or ever. You matter too!
I think what she means is she is lonely. Is not feeling connected to people around her. It's understandable.
I imagine making connections gets harder as we age, especially when you add in hearing loss, others people's quirks & impairments too.
But talking about lack of family visits is a little close to a blame game imho. If only family came I would be happier.. so my unhappiness could be their fault...
The bottom line is Mom's happiness is her own responsibility (not her family's). Her happiness is actually based on her own thoughts.
The good news is she CAN change her thoughts (sometimes a Geri-Psychologist &/or mood meds can assist with this).
Many learn to shift their thinking from 'woe is me' victim-style to 'yeah I'm actually ok'.
I have found Teepa Snow videos on YouTube very helpful. She is an expert in the field of dementia and gives great info that helps caregivers understand why and how dementia changes our LOs, outlines the behaviors and teaches methods to interact better with dementia patients so that engagement with them is less fraught with stress. Ranting against dementia is normal and welcomed on this forum! You're in good company...
Find out if there is a geriatric psychiatrist who visits the NH or AL who can see her soon.