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Sad but true confession: MIL's SNF called yesterday and said they are opening in-person visits. Haven't seen her since March 10. I dread dread dread returning on Saturday. I'm afraid of being sucked back down that rabbit hole. She's back with Hospice and diagnosed Stage 6E Alzheimers. I hoped and prayed she would simply go peacefully in her sleep (she's 96 now). Seven months wasn't long enough to rejuvenate me from all the years of grief and emotional abuse she heaped on me.


Ugh. Thanks for listening and (hopefully) not judging.

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Do the best you can...my mom has dementia since 2010...98 now.
I just visit and intro myself and I let her know when she gets nasty I can go and we can try again tomorrow....she usually realizes she much have some one to talk with and visit...
But i paint nails 💅 and bring her a milk shake. We have a great time..and I don't give two ____ they say 6feet..she is old sick and has no clue what the world problems and needs this already confuseed enough. Good luck and God bless. I am my mother's daughter..)
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I keep this saying in mind for many different applications and it seems to fit here: "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD."
As others have said she is used to the new norm so don't rock the boat. The only reason you would go is if there are fond memories that you want to rekindle. Apparently that is not the case here so just realize it will only be hurting you if you do go, she is beyond recognition at this point.
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Don’t go. She is used to the current situation. She may not even register that you could, or remember one way or the other.
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Kate06: You do not have to see your MIL at all if it's going to bring back years of emotional abuse and grief. No judgement here. Prayers sent.
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I get you. I heard the news here about slightly opening some things up & already felt that old anxiety rising.

What is the reason you need to visit your MIL?

I don't actually need to visit my relative, but definately feel obliged to. I have to weigh up what will be worse, going or not going!

What is making you dread the visit? Is it something you can control/change?
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My FIL was in the hospital last week with fluid problems caused by a new med. Now he is discharged to a local rehab.. and they are going to quarentine him for 14 days, then he can have visitors IF they have a COVID test! LOL.. I think my BIL just got himself a 2 week or more break! (FIL lives with BIL) Other rehabs in our area are not as strict... but they chose this place without checking ( or so we are told,, all a big surprise..) I had checked before he went, told my hubs the story of visitation.. And I am not signing up for that,, I work in a hospital and they don;t even make me have the test! So I am sure you are not alone in dreading visits
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No one here will judge you. You are speaking the very honest feelings a lot of us have. You can care for her from a distance and make sure her needs are met. If you feel the need to visit make the time short and not too frequent. Take care of yourself and enjoy your life.
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We are just now being allowed "porch visits" at the assisted living facility where my mother is. My father has passed away, and my mother doesn't remember him, or me. She tells people she never had children. My husband and I visited her on her birthday on a porch visit, gave her cards and a balloon, but she couldn't wait for us to leave, she finally just handed the items we gave her back to us and walked away. I've asked for videos and weekly updates with pictures since we still are not allowed in without appointments, and then only on their screened in porches. When we do get to go back in, I'll just pop in, say hello, make sure she is clean and happy, and if she's lucid stay (but I think those days are long gone), otherwise it's best if I just leave her be. Do what's best for you. My father, before he passed away, was horribly verbally abusive, he would call and scream at me 10 to 20 times a day, and I got to where I would let his calls go to voice mail and call him or the staff back once a day to check on him. I was able to see him one final time before he passed, and actually had a good visit then. He passed 3 hours after I left. But, if fate hadn't intervened and his abusive behavior had continued, I would probably be in counseling too.
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Thank you for your honesty. I am in exactly the same position, though my mother is only 86 and we don't know whether she has mild dementia or just cognitive decline on top of lifelong narcissism.

My stress levels went right down at the beginning of lockdown and I've been dreading the letter saying we can go back in (it came this week, despite worrying rises in national COVID levels). I am not proud of myself for feeling like this, as many of the AL residents have suffered badly from isolation. My mum doesn't go out much or like people much, so it was less hard for her, though to hear her a few months ago you would have thought coronavirus was a plot cooked up just to annoy her!

My husband and I were falling out in February - actually to the point of blows being struck - over how much time we (mostly he) spent doing things with and for her, and although I have begun counselling and read about setting boundaries, I too am terrified of getting back into the old pattern of doing things for Mum that she could do herself and being taken for granted.

I have spent over 50 years being neglected emotionally and belittled by my mother, but still feel it is my duty to support her in some way, especially as her life is - largely owing to her own nature and poor choices - closing down around her and has very little pleasure in it, even though her health is not that bad.
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You've had a break and have the opportunity to think about this as being sucked into a rabbit hole. Go back with that in mind. Check on her to ensure she is safe and being cared for. There's a good chance she won't even recognize you as a daughter; just a visitor. She will go when her body is ready to let go.
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Consider that you visits are to make sure she is safe and healthy. You can not give her happiness or peace, only she can do that. Control the conversations and keep your expectations very low. Visits can be as short or long as you decide.
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Take Control of the visit and don't let what she says bother you so much.

If you don't like where a conversation is going, change the subject.

Mare the Visit short and sweet.

Reminese about good times.

Play music she use to like to hear.

Bring her a shake or some other favorite food or drink.

Give her a foot massage.

Read to her.

Tell her a story.
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You do not have to visit. You do not have to let yourself be the target of abuse even though she has dementia. I am in the same situation and after years I have just figured this out. Hospice and the facility staff keep me informed. I told them that I would not be visiting but I will manage her care from afar. I only trigger her behavior and she finds no comfort in my visiting. Visiting is just an opportunity for her to verbally assault me and I’m done with that. I found a supportive therapist and it has helped. I can recommend counseling to help you understand your past history.
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I feel for you. And I know what you mean. Same story with my dad.

I felt an obligation to visit him even though the staff is very good. Over the years it became easier. i learned to protect myself. I leaned to harden my heart. I was there to do a job; to make sure he had what he needed and wanted to be as happy as he could be. It was a job. I did it the best I could. I did it out of love. And when it was done I left my feelings in his apartment.

Well,I tried to do that. My wife will tell you that I brought some home. And she didn't like that. And I get it. It wasn't pleasant for her to here my complaints; my sad story.

It was for her that I learned to let it go. I thank her for that.

You don't have to do the same as me. But I will say that it feels good now that he has passed that I know what care he did get, that it was good care, that I know how he was in his final years.

Consider how you will feel when she is gone. Will you wish you would have done differently? If you won't regret not visiting then don't.

You need to protect yourself. Take care of yourself. Do that before taking care of others.
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I haven't seen my mother in 5 months. Went to see her yesterday and she didn't answer the door, altho she knew it was me. I left after 5 minutes, since she wasn't going to come to the door.

I'm not going back in the near future. No COVID restrictions, just not interested in being on the forefront of her negativity.

She has plenty of 'eyes' on her. If I don't see her before she passes away, that is OK. NHWM is right---some relationships just end.
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Don’t go if it’s too painful. Your husband can visit his mom. How does he get along with her? He may not want to go either. Either of you can check on her by phone.

Just because they called doesn’t necessarily mean that they were telling you to visit.

The facility was most likely making calls to notify resident’s families that visitation is open again. I wouldn’t feel any obligation to do so.

My husband had a horribly miserable grandmother. She caused so much grief for everyone in the family that no one was at her bedside even when she died.

She was so hateful that she didn’t have one single friend. Even the ladies from her church stopped visiting her.

My in-laws chose to pay caregivers extra money for them to stick around. She remained at home with 2 live in caregivers.

She probably would have gotten kicked out of a facility! Good thing she had lots of money to pay for private care.

Personally, I feel the same way about funerals. Why do people attend funerals of people they hated? Don’t go.

Be at peace with your decision not to go. Do not add stress to your life. Even people who forgive others don’t always resume a relationship with them. It’s over.

None of us want Covid to exist but for those who were not fond of visiting people they had huge issues with got a break from seeing them.

Not every relationship is meant to be everlasting. People come and go in our lives. Some relationships end.
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You may want to just see how much she’s progressed. I recently visited my LO in MC through a window. In person visits don’t necessarily mean you can walk throughout the facility. My LO is on Hospice too. She gets weekly checks by hospice nurse and a PA.

I found that my LO has progressed so much that she has no idea of her surroundings, can’t sit up, can’t lift head. Definitely, now 7(f). I’m considering my window visits.

If you don’t want to go, I’d not do it unless there was some compelling reason,
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Send your husband, her son. You should feel no obligation to visit her. The facility was just making u aware they were reopening. Even if husband was not around, you have no real link to this woman.

If you feel u should visit, once a week would be enough. You don't have to stay more than 15 min. I would be surprised if she knew you anyway. If not, good reason to not visit.
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You’re not obligated to visit your MIL and make sure that the nursing home is taking proper care of her. I am kind if appalled that someone really tried to place that burden on your shoulders and guilt you in to going. From the sounds of it, you probably can’t protect yourself if you go talk to the staff, it will just suck you back in. If your husband or his siblings or other family members are concerned, let them go visit her.
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I 100% understand where you're coming from. The covid restrictions have been a blessing in disguise for many of us who have toxic parents to deal with in residential care settings, myself included. For the past few months, we've been allowed 20 minute 'window visits' over the phone with my mother in her Memory Care ALF and even that has been quite stressful for me. She manages to get in quite a few 'zingers' during that short time period, in spite of dementia, and leaves me feeling like crap, as usual. It's bad enough over the phone, but up close and personal is even worse. People like this don't 'go peacefully in their sleep', but kicking and screaming every step of the way, at past 100.

Wishing you peace and courage moving forward. And no judgment from anyone HERE or in your 'real life' at home.
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Can you send just your husband? It is his mother?
Maybe she will have forgotten you, and you can contribute to her welfare from a distance.
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Is your mother's dementia severe enough, or her illness severe enough that she doesn't understand whether you are there or not? Speak to the facility and hospice about your feelings. She has been abusive all your life according to you; if she wishes to see you I would encourage you for your OWN healing when she is gone, that you go, briefly and lovingly, read to her a bit, and leave. At least weekly if you are able. Only you can make this choice. I myself would feel no obligation to someone who had been abusive to me; but this is an individual choice.
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It’s important that someone visit a person in a nursing home. All nursing home residents need eyes on them and the facility to see that the care is what it should be, to spot issues, to advocate for the resident. When the person was abusive it’s very understandable not to want to go. Is there someone else available and willing to step into that role? If not, you always have the option of doing the oversight and caregiving from a physically and emotionally safe distance. You can go and talk to staff, ask questions and get an update, see the conditions there, and see your MIL from a distance without her seeing you. Make sure things are okay for her and protect your well being at the same time. I wish you well
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