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My mom has dementia and has been in a nursing home for 5 years. I've been crying for 5 years. I cannot accept that she lives in a nursing home. I have short periods where I think I am accepting it but it always goes back to me crying a lot. My husband never goes with me to see her which hurts me too. I feel like I've abandoned her. Does anyone feel this way?

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I have not had to place my mother, but I did have to place my cousin, who I am DPOA for. I cared for her before she was placed and most of my crying was done BEFORE I had her placed and under supervision. I was terrified of what she was going to do constantly. She needed to be placed in assisted living and her first day there was so wonderful. I was finally able to get a good night's sleep, knowint that she was getting her medication, well balanced meals, therapy, and social activities. knew it was the best place for her and I have never felt guilty.

I think some people are more prone to feel guilty than others. If I don't think I did the right thing, I might feel guilty, but when I know what I did was for the best, then I feel good about it. I hope you can find some peace. Others may tell you to stop feeling guilty, but it has to come from within, IMO.
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Sweet Nora, I feel your pain. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, she asked that I keep her home to pass peacefully with her family. I 'promised' her I would make sure that happened and I don't make promises lightly! As she began to deteriorate, regardless that we had 24 hour Hospice care, she had begun to become a danger to herself and others. She became amazingly strong when it seemed she should be so weak. She actually became quite violent, which was the complete opposite of her normal personality trait. She would attempt to break glass doors and windows (trying to escape). Hospice strongly advised that it is time to admit her to in-house Hospice care. It took everything I had not to completely lose it when they were here to transport her as I was breaking my 'promise'! I felt immensely guilty!

Definition of Guilt: 1) responsibility for a crime or for doing something bad or wrong; 2) a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong

The 'guilt' emotion is really a mechanism for us to perhaps feel the pain that you think you're loved one is experiencing. Truth is, my mother was beyond the point of knowing what was happening. She wasn't thinking, 'I cannot believe she is breaking her promise to me.'

'Guilt' is a feeling we experience when we think we are/have done something wrong. However, I did nothing wrong and neither did you! Let me repeat that, 'I did nothing wrong and neither did you!' We cannot feel guilty for scenarios that are beyond our control, but we do.

How do we move on? Everyone will their own personal process for dealing with emotions. I, personally, had to have a conversation with myself. I needed to remind myself that I committed my life to her when she needed me most. I was there through her many appointments, holding her hair back when she was sick, reminding her that her life had meaning when she thought it had none, held her hand when she was feeling well reminiscing about good times and so much more. That is what she will remember; therefore, that is what I will remember!

Don't get me wrong, I still cry. In fact, I cried while I typed the beginning of this post. It's ok to be sad . . . sometimes. If you let it consume your life, you are denying yourself of living. Imagine you're loved one said to you, 'I feel guilty that you are not living your life because of me?' Would that make a difference to you? It did to me!

Hope this helps. In addition, I have published a Kindle 'Two Women ~ 1 Disease' that was co-written by both my mother & myself during the process. Although, we have dealt with different diseases, the emotions are the same. Please let me know if it helps:amazon/dp/B00XJYY7ZI
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Thank you Chicago1954, yogagirl, and jeannegibbs. This site is so important to me. I know I'm in need of more counseling.......my health coverage is expensive and doesn't pay for it so I'm forced to look elsewhere. Your comments help me so much. Every time I get to a point I think I cannot go on with this terrible disease, dementia, I come here and you help me. Thank you. I've will keep trying to find a way to overcome this sadness. Maybe one day at a time.
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I think my sister did for a few months after our mother went to a NH. Mom had lived with Sis for 14 months, but had reached a point where she couldn't be adequately cared for without 3 shifts of people. My other 2 sisters and I did not at all blame Sis for no longer being able to keep Mom at her home, but she blamed herself, second-guessed her decisions, and was miserable. That gradually decreased. We are all glad now that Mom is in a place with caring staff to help her any time of the night or day. Mom seems content, and that helps. We each visit her at least once a week.

Five years is a long time to be crying over something that is necessary. I suggest you have a few sessions with a counselor who is experienced with caregiving issues. You deserve a chance at happiness, too.

Dementia is a terminal illness. And there are many losses, small and large, that occur before the final loss. It is not unusual for loved ones to be in a state of mourning long before the death occurs. This often happens around a new loss. When Mom can no longer walk unaided, when she has trouble talking, when her appetite deserts her, etc. To be repeatedly mourning your losses is not "sick" and I don't think you need to be "fixed," but you deserve to not feel guilty all the time. All these losses are Not Your Fault. The real problem is not that Mom is living in a care center, but that she has dementia. That is why she needs to be where she is. Dementia is very sad, but it is Not Your Fault. I hope you can find a therapist who can help you cope with your natural sadness and also help you push those guilt feelings out of the way and get on with your life.
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Nora789, You probably would feel just as guilty if she were at home. I know I do.
Guilty that I can't always cook her favorite foods, drive her to a movie, be with her more. She resents the caregivers and housekeeper, waits for me to eat and has low appetite so her weight is 85 lbs. Guilty when I'm out shopping and didn't bring her along. It's endless. I struggle with guilt and realize I must guard against this or it will make me miserable, like self pity. Humor, a good chat with a friend, exercise, reading, sharing on this site, helps a lot.
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I really don't. It is the best place for my 96 yo mother. Taking care of her contributed to my sister's sudden death. Now, mother is clean, fed, safe and entertained. She was about to waste away at home and she wasn't clean.
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