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Here4her, you almost killed yourself taking care of your mother and now you feel guilty for her being in a nursing home? You have not done anything worthy of feeling guilt over. I think a therapist would help you with this guilt you are feeling. I'm sorry to hear about your illnesses and your worn out immune system. Yes, you have hit the wall and your body is screaming out for you to take care of you or your mother will outlive you which is so often the case with caregivers and those being cared for, like 65%.
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I took care of mom 8 years in my home. It almost killed me. Now have several chronic illnesses. She is in respite now - almost 3 months, I still can't shake the illnesses as my immune system is sacked out. I feel so guilty, I know that is normaL, they say, but it still hurts
I hit the wall, so to speak.
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I just put my 92 yr mom in a facility after taking care of her for 6 years. I'm divorced, work full time, have 2 older kids at home and as her health deteriorated, so did mine. I did everything I could to keep her at home, at my expense of my health and well being. Although I know I did the right thing for all of us, it's difficult to make the adjustment of not having her here with me. I feel like I'm grieving except I get to go visit her whenever I want, which is often. These posts have been very helpful and have helped lessen the guilt I was feeling. Neither my mom or I thought we'd be in this position, but here we are with thousands of others. So grateful to have found this site and I empathize with all of the caregivers that have to wrestle with these difficult decisions. It ain't easy.
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I'd just like to add that the responses here are great...and it helps all of us so much. The sadness and sense of loss is normal; watching your elder decline, get sicker...it's sad and scary. I struggle to keep the guilt away daily.

Today, I was having breakfast with my hubby at a local restaurant. The server brought the little jelly packet to put on toast. Those little jelly packets sent me into this sad/grief/guilt feeling because "that's the kind of jelly mom likes..."

See how easy it is to go over the edge? I worry that the staff doesn't bring the jelly she likes! I vow to bring some to her, can I buy some from the restaurant? You know she has trouble opening the little packets by herself! Oh my! She's in a nursing home, of course she can't open the packets!

I don't think this craziness, this guilt, this sense of great loss and sadness will ever subside. I am trying to learn to DETACH, to trust the caring staff, to re-focus on the good things...and remember, no one ever died because they didn't get the jelly they like. Seriously! The little things make me nuts. BREATHE and please know you are not alone!
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Lizzard, jeannegibbs has given you some wise advice. I would only add that from the type of loving, giving person that you describe your mother as being, I doubt she would want you to feel guilt for making this decision which is in the best interest of her safety at this point of her journey in life. I would think that now that others are doing the 24/7 caretaking, that she would want you to focus more of your attention on your husband and on your teenagers as well as taking care of yourself which possibly has suffered as well. Keep caring for your mother, but regain some balance in the direction of yourself, your husband and your children.
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I had to put my mother in a NH recently due to her dementia and wandering, I know that I cant take care of her at home anymore and that half the time she doesnt even know whats going on, but I know, and I feel like hell about it.. I cry because its so hard to see her like this, and cry because I know she wants to be home with me, and doesnt understand how hard this is for me. I dont know how to feel better about this.. I hate seeing her like this, but feel as if I have to visit her everyday so she knows I care. But she doesnt remember me being there half the time. Its actually worse for me then her, and Im not the one in the NH. How do you go from daughter to care giver to visitor so fast? and cope with it?
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I feel for you, pilotdoggone, I too feel extremely guilty, even though I know that it's for her own well being. I tried taking care of my mother myself for the last three weeks, while my father was in the hospital, but when he died last week, her mental state got worse. Now she's in the hospital waiting to be placed in a nursing home by me, and I feel so sick at heart. Let's take comfort in the fact that they are among people who are trained to care for them. It's what's best for them. {{hugs}}
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Jeanne, Thank you for kind and meaningful words. Please know that you helped me alot. I really dont't have anybody to talk to and I try to be so strong for everybody. Thank you again and Happy thanksgiving.
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Lizard,
It is a sad decision to place a loved one in a care center. Even if it is the best option, even if it is the only thing that makes sense, it is still sad. I don't think there is anything wrong with you for feeling sad.

The guilt is another thing. You provided tremendous support for your mother as long as you could, and probably longer than you really should have. You have not abandoned her now, you are still her loving daughter trying to do your best for her. What is there to feel guilty about? You are not responsible for her impairments. You did not invent the aging process. You did not create the situation that causes your mom to need more care than you can provide. This is not your fault. Sadness is appropriate. Extreme guilt is not. If you can't shake this feeling and it is interfering with your life, please get some counselling. You deserve to feel proud of what you've been able to do, and to be there for your mother and your family.

If your mother had stayed in her apartment or even in your home and had to be admitted to the hospital twice in the last month, would that have been better? Your mother is most likely not going to get a lot better. It is more likely that she will continue to decline. That is the way of life. It is not anybody's fault and it is nothing to feel guilty about.

Hugs to you.
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I am so sad about the decision to put my mom in a nursing home. I took care of her for almost 5 years. Kept her in her apt and was there everyday several times a day. I gave up my life. My husband and kids suffered. Now the extreme guilt of this is consuming me. What is wrong with me. It has only been one month since she has been there and she has already been in the hospital 2x. I feel like I can't breathe.
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keep always in mind that you did all you could for her/ now she can't live by herself anymore and you have to live/work, so it was time to put her to rest/being take care of by professionals. call her everyday if u want. visit her everyday for short periods of time- if u want/can. don't feel guilty. that's why we have nursing home for! ok.
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chevy, don't second guess your decision. You have done what is right for you. If your Mom is safe, that is a good thing. It also sounds like she will be enjoying greater stability in living, rather than rotating from home to home.
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Hi, pilot. That had to have been a tough decision for you and your Mom. What do you feel most guilty about? I agree with ED. Visiting her as often as you can, giving her hugs, letting her know how much you love her and more, may help you to focus on your love or care of your Mom and less on the painful decision you made. Without even knowing your Mom's circumstances, at 98, a nursing home may be the safest and best gift you could have given her depending on her health and vulnerability. THink about it a little and give yourself credit for making the decision. Remember all of the reasons you were led to make the decision in the first place. I would not be surprised if your reasons are all very sound. There comes that day and time and when it does, accept that you have done your very best. Blessings to you for caring as much as you do about your Mom.
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I recently put my mother in NH because my mother has moved from sibling to sibling to live. If she gets tried of one sibling she wants to move to the other one. And it has really worn than with me. Siblings harrassing eacb other about her money. Sister unable to provide 24/7 care but yet she was to take care of her. I am the POA so I thought that for mother's safety the NH was best. She has sundowning. HELP! Did I make the right decison????
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My mom has been in nh 5 months. She is not adjusting at all. Now she is getting verbally mean. My sister and I go at different times everyday. She cannot go out anymore. Her mind is sharp and now she bring up sensitive subjects. Not sure how to cope with this. Thank you
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i am thankful for your honesty. by putting your mother in the best place possible and you visit her regularly and have so attentive to her has been an inspiration to those of us that read your heart felt posting. bless you.
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Thank both of you so much. I think the thing that bothers me the most is my Mother is aware. While she is forgetful and repeats things over and over, she is very bright and alert, even at 98. I have not told her she will be long term, she doesn't ask.
I can't get to visit every day, (work full ) but get there when I can especially on the weekends.
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PILOT:

You could check up on her more often and, if possible, help her understand a NH is the best place for her to be right now. Most NH residents are depressed; some lose their will to live, give up, and wither away. Relatives who actually care about their loved ones do the best to make them comfortable and somewhat happy and visit regularly. Those for whom looking after this human being was too much of an inconvenience even though they are quite capable of providing care will dump the person in a NH, and visit during the Holidays or sporadically because they're obligated to do so.

Pilot, in my opinion, that sense of guilt will never go away even though I'm sure you spent sleepless nights exploring other alternatives. After all, she's the woman who brought you into this world and you love her very much. If you alleviate that feeling of abandonment she's probably going through by visiting more often and reminding her she's very much a part of the family, you'll find a way to live with this nagging pain and move forward. When all is said and done, you'll know in your heart that you did the best with what you had -- and so will she.

Stay strong.

-- ED
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Bobbie321 said it all. Please don't feel guilty. Realize that there is no need for this emotion in your mind AT ALL, and say "bye bye" to it. I think as caregivers, we can fall into that trap of looking for "what more I could have done". At each moment along the way, you are doing the best you can. Each of us is. God bless you for finding the wonderful nursing home that you found for your Mom. Now you can visit her, cheer her up and bring her gifts and eat dinner with her, and then go to your home and get the rest you need.
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Hi there, me too and if your case is anything like mine I knew that if I kept it up it would KILL me, no kidding. I couldn't take care of my mom anymore and I didn't want to die. Simple as that. That is how I try and cope with the guilt of not taking care of her in my home. I have to REMEMBER that I was dying and that I did all that I could and then placed her in the finest, most loving place I could find.

mom has only been placed for 5 weeks and it feels like a minute. I am still raw and broken and dealing with everything as well as I can.

Pilot, you're doing the best you can too and your mom made it to 98 omg and you must have done something right, kiddo.

Don't beat on yourself and when your thoughts turn negative, make a choice in that instant to not follow them, just know that you have a right to a life and happiness (in our constitution) and that you did the best thing for your mom. And for you.

lovbob
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