I lived with my dad for almost 2 years taking care of him with the help of my sister. It was a very emotional and trying two years as in that time, my dad tried to commit suicide 3 times. He has been in a nursing home for two years now, the first one two hours away and now one closer to home, only about 20 minutes away. My problem is that I don't want to go visit anymore. I was very good about going before, but as his dementia has gotten worse, I don't want to go. He usually knows who I am, but he has no idea where he is or why he's there and gets angry or cries when I leave and I won't take him with me. He constantly asks if he can come and live with me. He calls me a lot because he thinks he's somewhere else and he needs a ride. I've gotten to the point where I won't even answer the phone anymore when he calls. I sometimes feel guilty because I don't go visit. I work two jobs and the only time I can go is on the weekends. I feel bad because those are the days I catch up on housework, get to see my boyfriend or have things going with my kids. The worst part is I don't even feel guilty for not going to see my dad or answering his phone calls. I am kind of afraid that when he passes, I will feel bad, even though I've done everything I can for him while he was here. When I do go and visit, he never remembers that I've even been there. I don't know what to do anymore.

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Sometimes I don't want to visit my mom in the hospital I don't. My mom's concept of time is really skewed...even if I don't visit for a week, which hasn't happened, but if it did, to her it would be like I was there yesterday. If I need a day or two to myself, away from the sadness of her condition and the hospital, then so be it. I don't feel guilty. If your dad is in danger of dying, you'll get a phone call before it happens and can go visit before the end.

It is hard when you visit them. My mom can no longer speak at all, it's mostly gibberish, so conversations are out of the question, and she can't DO anything anymore because she can't walk. Watching her decline for so many years up close and personal has taken a hell of a toll on my mind. I still visit most days, but some days I just can't dredge up the energy. Do what you can. It's all you can do. And if there are days you need away and peace, even if it means staying away for a little while and not answering the phone, so be it. Leave guilt out of it.

Follow your heart. Only "you" have to live with your decision....

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