I get so depressed when I visit my mom in the nursing home. How do caregivers deal with this feeling?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
16

Answers

Show:
My heart goes out to you and your family as you struggle with this challenge. I wonder if your mom would enjoy looking at family photo albums. You could sit with her and talk to her about the people and places in the photos. Maybe she would like to watch a DVD of classic movies of her era. You might bring in a portable DVD player and watch them together. This is a socializing activity but does not require that she try to communicate with you. Music may be something you can share with her. What were the popular songs of her youth and early adulthood? Music from every era is available on the internet. What a treat for her to hear some of the memorable songs she has not heard in many years. Wonder if she would like to listen to books on CD's? Every library has hundreds available and perhaps you could listen to a chapter or two together as an activity.Taking her for a "walk" in her wheel chair and getting out doors is also an activity that you can share. Keep the "conversation" going by telling her the trivial moments in your day, " Mom, I went to work to day and guess what so-and-so said..." Although someone suggested that you reduce your visits to every other day, I have a dear friend who had a stroke and was in a rehab facility and he looked forward to my visits everyday. Even if it was just to sit and watch TV together for a short time. The visits don't have to be super long but this is a lonely and frightening time in your mom's life. Bring her a favorite food that she doesn't get at her facility. Hold her hand, brush her hair, massage her feet. A loving touch is so important to those in your mom's situation.
You are her precious child and please know that just having you there with her is a comfort to her.
Now, how do you cope with the stress and sadness of this situation? Eat well and get as much sleep as you can. Cry when you need to and allow yourself to feel pleasure and happiness even if this is a sad phase in your life. If you feel things are getting to hard, don't hesitate to see your physican for anti-depressants to help you stay level during this very difficult time. Hold yourself gently and know you make such a difference in her life!
Best regards!
Hugs!
Sherrie
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My heart is broken and I am really choked up right now. You all have alot more strength and the warmest of hearts than you realize this is something to be proud of. I am saying this because there is a driving force that keeps you from throwing in the towel when times get tough, yet you all continue to take your time selflessly to "be there". Reading these posts on this subject is very sensative and emotional to me. I witnessed my Granfather as long as I can remember caring for my Grandma my entire youth.(MY MOM's parents) She suffered from anxiety due to Agoraphobia (fear of social situations, people and open spaces) she never left the house. Then in her elder years she had a stroke, I was a teenager. I know it killed Grandfather deep in side, yet he placed her in the most beautiful NH, which was far from him but close to my Mom(their only child) . My Mom who I really never thought would "be there for them", visited her daily, feed her, comforted her and my Grandfather lived far away but did what he thought was best for his wife, concerned for her health and comfort and trusted My Mom to "be there" as she was. Due to the selfless actions of my Grandfather and my Mother for Grandmas needs and comfort first... I now realize my own "emotions and fight" come from what I witnessed and learned from this,how they cared for each other and stayed together as a family. I believe the love you give now is heart breaking at this time but will be a peaceful feeling you carry forever and nothing is more rewarding than a pure soul. LOVE and PEACE ....PRICELESS
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I was in a similar situation and I was becoming depressed and had developed a suppressed anger. I got some counselling and was advised to only go every second say and to set yourself a time limit ( eg one hour). Whilst you are there make sure you know that you are doing this for YOU as well as your parent. After the visit make sure you have a nice positive thing to head to so you can clear your mind to reconnect with your own life and needs again.
Remember your mum is being cared for, so you have to care for YOU. Carers forget about themselves and they must always put themselves first once their loved one is in a safe, and secure place.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Mom has been in a nursing home for five long years. She has mental as well as physical problems. She knows everything and remembers all, but the bipolar disorder really takes her down. She is 88 years old. The physical problems are congestive heart failure, diabetes, neuropathy, diverticulosis,COPD, liver and kidney problems. He body constantly attacks itself. I visit everyday, sometimes 2 and 3 times daily. We were always very close and she was absolutely the best mother in the world. She was able to come over to my house, but has been bedridden for over a month. Every day is spent her telling me she is dying, moaning about the pain she is in, complaining about something. I try to get her everything she asks for. Today, after the dying speech, she wanted chicken legs. I feel so guilty about about my feelings. I don't understand the constant suffering. It has been going on so long and I dread to go in there most days. I dread to hear the same moaning and dealing with her. I wish I didn't feel this way, because she would have never felt this way about taking care of me. I feel selfish. I love my Mom so much, but this has been going on so long....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My husband had two Ischemic strokes before he passed away. The second stroke rendered him unable to speak, however HE COULD STILL HEAR!!! Keep talking. Keep talking. Use gestures and of course my favorite form of communication, American Sign Language. If you are tuned into your mother's feelings you will be able to understand her needs and maybe her thoughts. If it gets bad in there, take her home. No nursing home required. Find a room in your house and set up a bed (Medicare will provide this for free), and just keep feeding her and changing her. Keep the TV on, the music playing and lots of magazines about the tables. Keep the curtains OPEN during the day, and let the sunshine in. If you have a dog, let the dog stay close to her . There will come a day when you will be glad that you did all these things. I know. Been there. Done that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she can be placed in a wheelchair you could take her for a ride-that would be good for you also we use to take a meal in for my MIL on Fridays. You may meet someone else in your situation and be able to say a few words to her that would help you both. You might want to read a little from the Bible to her or is the spring take her in a flower that she may be able to enjoy-but do talk to her she may be able to hear you even if it does not seem that way and as another person said do not go every day-I was a nurse and some times I would just hold someones hand that helped me as well-I know it is hard for you or us that time to pray out loud at least it will remind you to speak to God.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Bev, with the short visits and going somewhere relaxing and Vernon... (the journal idea is great)...my mom doesn't remember if I come or not, I mostly go to make sure that she is well taken care of. Usually I sing her songs--mostly one's that she sang to me as a child, and tell her just how valuable and special she is.. I also tell her how proud I am of her for never giving up no matter how hard things are and what a good example she is to me even now. I know that she understands that I am honoring her and showing her that I care despite the fact that the conversation is one sided becasue she is in the later stages of Alzheimer's. I also talk with other residents that don't ever get visitors... it's nice to see them smile. Going to support groups can help sometimes too, because then you don't feel so alone. I hope that you find what works for you and you get relief from your depression.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she isn't suffering too terribly bad, then just concentrate on how happy it makes her to see you during your visit, not on how depressed it makes you. Imagine that by undergoing this difficult situation with grace, you are also preventing worse consequences, such as the stress you both probably feel and read from each other. Take upon yourself the burden of not just her suffering, but the others in the home as well. When you adopt such positive attitudes and thoughts, you will have positive outcomes. Undoubtedly she is in the winter of life, soak up the moments with her, as they will pass and you will only have those moments to reflect upon. Surely you will want them to be pleasant reflections and you will want to have a cam serenity and peace knowing you took her suffering as your own, even if it isj just in spirit.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My heart goes to you as you feel that pain in your heart....keep in mind that you feel that pain is because you love her so much, and that is the emotion you can focus on....surround yourself with love and when you are with her, transmit that emotion to her...make every moment count...talk to her, play music, hug her...all this, do it in a place of love. Remember, as Vennon said, good memories and cherish on them...always keep in mind that the love you have for your mother and she has for you, will always live in your heart.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When mom and I visit dad, (she also is in early stages of Alzheimer's,) we do not stay long. Just a short visit to see how dad is doing, give him some cheer, have a cup of tea and a cookie, and then leave. Mom and I go shopping if she is not to tired. Watching and listening to the two of them is relaxing and funny because neither one of them knows what the other is talking about. But I found that telling dad and mom stories about the family, listening to music from the past. (many of the care centers in Canada have a day of music, where the all go to the atrium) Watching these people who have lost there ability to talk, make sense or are just semi-comatose is amazing. There hands beat to the music, they try to sing along and are just happy. This seems to help both the patient and the care-giver. Please never give up visiting. They will not be around forever, enjoy the moment. The moment is what is important to you and them. Don't worry about what shape they are in or what the problem is, make sure you are with them in the moment even if it is only for a short period of time. You will never regret being there for them. Vickie, a junior senior in the thick of it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions