She is in Memory Care. It takes me time to settle her down, but because she has aphasia she cannot communicate normally. She is starting year 5 of her vascular dementia.

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I agree with Jeannegibbs about seeing what the staff say about how she is when you aren't around. If she's often crying, I'd discuss it with her doctor and see if she would benefit from medication. My LO, who now has severe dementia,( year 4) would be crying her eyes out, if she wasn't on Cymbalta. She was placed on it early on due to crying, worrying, anxiety, etc. We took her off once and she reverted back to that behavior and was unconsolable. For her, it doesn't make her groggy at all.

If she only cries when you arrive, I'd try to change the time you visit and see if makes any difference. I take photos of my LO and me together each visit and show them to her the next time I visit, but, she isn't able to get much out of it anymore. Most of the time, she isn't able to recognize herself in a photo.

My Mom has moderate dementia, mostly short term memory loss, and her ability to track time is pretty much nonexistent. My entire adulthood has been spent several states away, so the fact that I am now 5 minutes up the road is new for both of us, so many times, my Mom doesn't expect me to be visiting all the time, although she does ask often why she can't live with me. (we tried that, it didn't work)

When Mom is upset (especially if she can't remember something that happened, like me taking her to the movies) I usually remind her that we did go. I try to word it in such a way that I'm not pointing out how horrible her memory is...
I also try distraction and change of subject--sometimes that works, sometimes nothing works, and I realize that she just needs to vent and I just need to listen, so that she feels heard.

I don't know if this will help but I had a similar situation with my mom - although my mom didn't cry, usually she'd be pretty angry as she accused me of never visiting.

My mom was calendar obsessed during most of her dementia- by the time mom moved into a nh she had two calendars on the wall and one on the table next to her recliner that she frequently held in her hands. On the calendar she held I would write a few words to her - in that day's box - and sign my first name. Usually I'd put at the end "see you..." - the date of my next planned visit. Sometimes I'd visit earlier than written but that didn't upset anything.

This reassured mom and it worked for a while. After a time the dementia morphed-again - and mom didn't look at her calendars any more - but by this time mom was spending the vast majority of her time sleeping and also didn't seem to be bothered by the frequency of anyone's visits.

Oh my. How painful for both of you. Isn't dementia a horribly cruel disease? I don't have any magic advice, but I want to offer my empathy. Hugs to you and your mother.

Have you talked to the staff to see how Mother is between your visits? If she spends a lot of her time crying, I wonder if some medication could be given to reduce her agitation. If it is just seeing you that triggers the crying then I guess you'll continue settling her down. I'm sure you reassure her that you love her very much, that you will never abandon her, and even though you have to leave to do necessary tasks you will always come back and see her soon.

There seem to be several types of dementia where crying is particularly common. Unfortunately vascular dementia is one of them.

Of course this makes you sad. I hope, though, that it does not trigger feelings of guilt. This is in no way your fault. You are doing the best you can under very trying circumstances.

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