I have a dad with dementia who has been in a nursing home since March. My mom and sister and I are really the only ones who take the time to visit him. He has 3 sons but they don't like to see the disease progress and do not want to see dad like this. Is this wrong to be upset with them? Or should I just let it go and do what I can for my father?

It’s great that you’re being present for your dad. It’s vital with a loved one in a nursing home that family show up to advocate for their care, showing the staff that you’re involved goes a long way. I had a brother do the same behavior, the nursing home and our mom’s condition made him uncomfortable so he wouldn’t show up. Our mom was mentally aware so I can’t imagine her hurt. It boils down to being selfish, but there’s nothing to do that’ll change it. Guilting them doesn’t work and resenting them only hurts you. I hope you’ll let it go with them, no need to mention dad at all, and go on visiting and doing what you can for him. You’ll look back and see that the time was a blessing to you in ways you couldn’t have expected
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Reply to Daughterof1930

By nature men generally want to "fix" things or at least "do something". Visiting someone with a disease where there is nothing they can do to improve the situation is harder for them I think. A lot of men have also been taught they should be emotionally strong/tough - so crying all the way home doesn't fit well with that point of view.

I visit my LO in MC primarily because I want to confirm everything is going well with his care and he has everything he needs. Dad still knows who I am and enjoys the treats I bring in so there's still a positive to most visits too. My brothers do better with tasks - build a ramp, pick up some groceries, etc.

Don't push your brothers and please let go of the resentment. Consider how you might be able to make a visit easier. Maybe ask if a brother could take Dad a ice cream sundae because you have a conflict and cannot get there for your usual visit but you don't want Dad to miss his treat and be disappointed. Or maybe Dad needs to more Kleenex or ?
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Reply to TNtechie

It's great for dad that you are active in visiting him. Would he recognize his sons if they came to see him? Do you think they are still trying to adjust to the news?

I used to fret over the fact that no one other than me would visit my LO (cousin) in MC. My parents (my mom is her first cousin), used to visit once a year, but, their health is poor and it was just so disturbing for them, that they had to stop going. Plus, she no longer knows anyone.

It's very hard for some people to see their loved one incapacitated. I try to see it through their eyes. I try to understand. My LO's other family and friends have never visited her, called, sent a card, letter, or anything at all in 4 years. I hear that is not uncommon. It's like they are already grieving and the person is already gone from their lives.

I was resentful for a while, but, I let it go. It won't help anything if I hold on to the resentment. They know their heart and they can deal with it. I released it from my mind. I have enough already to deal with.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

No and yes. If your brothers won’t man-up, there’s nothing you can do to force them to visit Dad. Some people just can’t handle seeing their parents deteriorate and dementia is a nasty disease. The 3 sons probably are telling each other that Dad is fine in the facility and it’s ok to not want to go visit. Strength in numbers and all that. Deep down, they know what they’re doing isn’t right. But they have to live with themselves, now and later.

Don’t force your opinion and feelings on them. It will only cause discord in the family and upset your mom. It could cause a rift in the family that might never heal. Do what you can for Dad and support your mom. Be the bigger person.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
chenry462 Sep 10, 2018
Thank you so much for your advice.  I will do just that.  I agree with you, it is so sad but I cannot just disregard him.  He is alive and he still can love even though he may not be sure who I am.  Take care and God bless.
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