My mother is in a SNF near my home. She has vascular dementia and very limited mobility. I visit her twice a day, every day. (I know that people will suggest that I should visit her less frequently, but I am her only child and her only visitor, and she gets very confused and upset if I am not there. I have (sort of) come to terms with it.) She refuses to participate in any of the activities and insists on eating meals in her room, so unless I am there, she sits alone in her room all day. I have tried hiring private aides, but she refuses to interact with them. She only wants me.
I recently went to France with my husband for a week-long vacation - the first time I was away for more than a day since my mother's stroke in March. This involved my arranging for my kids and my niece (who all live far away) to come and stay at our house and take turns visiting my mom. She was happy to see them but very confused and anxious about my absence. She did not really understand where I went, when I was coming back, etc. It created a lot of stress for her both in the lead-up to our trip (though I told her about it only a few days in advance) and the whole time I was gone.
My husband and I have now been invited to a wedding in India at the end of November. The bride is someone we have known since she was a young child, and we are close with her parents. Our daughter and her boyfriend will also be attending. I would very much like to go, but I am struggling with leaving my mother again. I know she will be very unhappy during the week we are gone. I will not be able to have other family members visit her during that time so she will be completely alone. The wedding is during the week of Thanksgiving so she will be alone for that (though she would be unable to leave the SNF in any event). I really don't want to add to her unhappiness -- which is profound no matter what -- but also feel like my husband and I deserve a life. I also know so many of you here care for your loved ones in your homes and have it much harder than I do, and I feel spoiled and greedy taking another break so soon after the last one.
What would you do?