My 94 yr. old mother is swiftly being eaten up by dementia and I am struggling with the guilt of the dread I unfailingly feel when I head over to visit her. (Usually 2-3 times/week) I never thought I would feel such a thing about my beloved mum. My heart breaks. But I do...I dread my time with her! Time, which should be celebrated & treasured, I am wasting...tarnishing...with dread.
She is currently living in a retirement residence (as opposed to a nursing home where there would be full-time care). She is happy where she is & therefore it is our desire to try & make it possible for her to stay there as long as she can. However, being a retirement residence...it leans more on the 'independent' retirement living and therefore we have to be more 'hands on' with her personal care etc. And I am fine with that...but naturally, my mother isn't. She rails against me 'looking after her' & I understand that but it is just so hard to sit across from this woman who used to be so regal & classic, who dressed like out of a magazine, who could have entertained the queen, who I used to be able to have the most wonderful conversations with...and not want to 'fix' her. Clean her up... Have order around her once more... Get her back. It is hard to listen to the crazy stuff that comes out of her mouth... my amazingly intelligent mom... now the classic persona of the 'crazy folk' we all used to smile indulgently about. It is hard to bear the accusations & demands from someone I am looking at but don't recognize anymore... I dread it all...
And then I think...this is my old mother who was/is the most wonderful mother a daughter could have wished for...whom I am still blessed with 'glimpses of' every now & then... whom I can still throw my arms around & pull close. I waste it all with succumbing to that dread...the dread of having to see what dementia has done 'today' with my beloved mom.
Any advice? Anyone? Even just knowing I am not alone...I am not a bad person, would be supportive. In any event...thanks for listening...xo