How do you deal with feeling depressed once you leave the nursing home after visiting your loved one?

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I enjoy seeing my parent. The emotions I feel entering and leaving the nursing home weigh heavily on my mind for awhile. Nursing homes are just sad environments no matter how many activities.

Answers 1 to 10 of 26
I share your emotions, too. I am the only son of my dad and the last of his surviving family. He'll be 89 this September and will celebrate his first year living in an assisted living community in October. It's funny but I feel more emotions thinking of the other residents living with dementia and other mind robbing diseases than leaving dad. He told me he is happy he sold the house, car and made me POA. He said I am always there for him now and I feel good about that. THAT's what I always think when I leave him. Just be thankful that the staff is there for your loved one, keeping a watchful eye on there health and activities. Never feel guilty - you did the right thing! You are giving your loved one a chance to live out their life in dignity. Heck, dad thinks he's a "king" now. He gets more attention now than his mom gave him! LOL! Just never forget to tell your loved one you love them when you leave and that they did good in their lifetime!
Top Answer
My dad had his dad in a nursing home and it was not fun. I have never been to one, but I can go by his experiences. I had promised both parents they would not be placed in a nursing home, and God allowed me to keep my promise. They both passed in a hospital. How would I help myself in your situation,.....one thing, even though you are a man, you need to join a group with similar issues. u can find one in your city. Also do what you like doing as much as possible. Anything of interest to you. When you are with your dad, if he is aware, talk to him, do what he likes to do, Knowing that his last years, months or days are filled with doing the best you can for him with no regrets. No matter what the reason you had to put him in, just make sure you are doing what is right for him now emotionally and things he would enjoy, if possible. As for your emotions. It is ok for you to cry after leaving your dad. If a person ever states it is not they have not experienced it, or are not telling the truth, or surpressing the emotions. It is ok to cry...Also when u are with your dad, and if he want to talk about what time he has left, talk to him. Get his insight, let him tell you how he feels any questions he has. Also tell him of your fears, No shame, we all have fears when we get to these crossroads. My dad was in the hospital and he dreamed about not coming out and going home, I did not know this until they were wheeling him down to surgery, and he told me, don't worry, honey, God is gonna take real good care of you. I have thought of that so many times and cried. He had had a vision or dream or several of each. So please talk with your dad, it important for both of you not to let anything be unsaid. When u leave, and if he were to pass, unexpectedly, you will be able to feel in your heart that you did all u could and was a wonderful son to him...that will sustain you during the first day times of sadness and later. I did not know my dad was dying when he was put in the hospital....It was thrown at me like doors slamming. after two weeks his body basically shut down. I was with him when he was passing, and I talked to him and I know he heard me....I talked honestly and lovely, as we had a wonderful relationship. I allowed him to go, by saying so...that made a huge difference to him....he felt more free. and Yes I did cry when I talked to him when I was told there was little time...if u don't I don't know if you have a heart or are not human....everyone has at some point to breakdown and let go, especially if it is your last parent, and yes if it is your last parent feel an abandonment. That is natural and normal. I have asked, and everyone tells me that they feel that way. Good luck, God bless...God loves both you and you dad....
That's a very good guestion and one I even ask myself. Mother has been in the nursing home four weeks now. I've had to change somethings because of the guilt feelings to save my sanity. The first two weeks, I went to the nursing home twice a day and leaving was hard on mother and me, especially in the evening. Plus, I was so tired all the time and did nothing but rest the hours I was home. So, then, I cut back to once a day to go to the NH. Lunch one day, supper the next, but leaving in the evening was still too hard. So, I am currently going just for lunchtime. I stay about an hour and a half. Then, she is ready for her nap and the nurse comes to help her and I can leave. I am not so tired either now.

But, everyone tells me not to feel guilty about mother having to go to the NH. So, I when the guilty feeling comes, I remember how hard it was to care for her at home and finally got to the point where I couldn't and she wouldn't let me. Her dementia got to the point where she refused her insulin, medicines, eating, bathing, dressing in clean clothes, always anger with me, falling, trying to run away, etc. It got so bad at home. So, I think about the care she is getting now and even when she fights with the nurses, they still give her her insulin, medicine, bath her, wash her hair, clean clothes every day, etc. And, lots of postitive attention from the nurses and aides. She is doing better there than at home. But, it is still hard to leave her.

I have a friend who had to go see her mother just once a week because of the guilt and her mother begging to go home. Everyone has a way of handling it the best way they can. Find a friend to talk to, that helps a lot. God bless you and the rest of of caregivers.
I turn my car's music on very, very loud and cry.
Also, as in joining a group....last thing I want to do is join a group where the only subject is about our pain and each other's pain. I joined groups nearby of my similar interest to get out and do things. Guess what? These people have elderly parents too!! So the subjects are discussed, but it is not the main topic. We share and then off we are to kayaking, or biking, or a concert and we dance like crazy, the group of us. Anything to get you out and about, to enjoy others and life itself, even if it is for just a few hours a week. Do it. So you are not caught living for your parent's suffering, as it then is you suffering. We suffer, but don't let it consume you. My new friends help me understand that when I get down. And then I help others when they get down. It gives you something to look forward to.
I have stated many time, I just went to the meetup.com site. I sound like an ad!! But I am in a photography group and a social group, where we picnic, kayak, bike., eat out, play cards, etc. Don't overload yourself, but make time for yourself to have some fun with others. You can make good friends who care.
And PS. .. You are one person. The nursing home has a team of people, 24 hours a day.
Look at the glass as half-full. Be thankful there is a clean, safe place for your parent, and the other residents as well. There are elderly who are virtually trapped in their homes, some of which are very substandard. There are elderly who reside with relatives who resent or neglect or take advantage of them financially. There are elderly living in poverty. Your parent has none of that to deal with. Even without family to visit, other residents there are much better off in the facility than they might well be elsewhere. Remember, too, that the very old cannot always take advantage of 'stimulating activities', nor may they really enjoy doing so. Opportunities to mingle and socialize are there for those who do wish to participate or have the mental faculties to do so. We see the depressing side of getting old when we visit retirement facilities when, realistically, it's just a consequence of us living so much longer; life expectancy has increased almost 10 years from the 1950's to the 2000's. There are consequences for everything, especially living into old, old age. Remember, too, that YOU could be the nurse, chauffeur, cook, laundress, maid, counselor, social director on a 24/7 basis were there no nursing homes available to your parent. Many of us can attest to the emotional, physical, even financial, toll THAT situation exacts.
It is very hard, I did it for years mom would fall down go into a hostial and then they sent her to rehab in a nursing home. I knew somthing ws wrong but no one would tell me. She would come home be ok for some time, while I was there. We had nursing in , cleaning people. She would fight with all of them. She had broken her arm, fell broke her hip. But the nursing homes up in New York are the worse. You see so much. I was doing all this long distance from Florida to New York. After the last fall she had it was too much. You see had altzmiers/dementia that did not tell me the truth until I demanded a test. She would live the gas on, hit me, house was dirty, mail not open. So on one visit I sat down with a person from the state of New York a social worker, I was advised that they would be therre and for myself to go back to Florida and plan on coming back in two weeks. well two weeks did not even past, Yes I called every day, for one week making sure the medicine was taken. Mom sounded all right on the phone, it is a hidden illness unless you know the signs. Well one day on answer so I make a call to her doctor he said mom was back in the hospital another fall. When I got up to New York I found a mess, medicines all over, no one was checking in. They had to plac her in a nursing home her mind was going. Do not do what I did, Yes I did bring my mom to Florida , made my own house child proof , but I did question every one are you sure I can do this by myself. Well that was a lie. Mom was with me five days only then the abuse started the hitting, the child games of fallen on the floor not eating. Yelling at me. The fire dept had to come her sugar was so high, she blacked out. She would not let me give her a shot. The fire dept looked over her files and said to me dear how could you think you could do this . Mom wsa on so much medicine and her contion was not for being in a house. I had a private assisting room pick out for day care if needed, that is where I had to place her. It was very nice, I made sure pictures and things she like wherre placed there. I was therre almost every day. I even did sleep overs, and help decorate for holidays, and help with the meals. But I did feel bad, but she knew me but not my husband or children at the end. it also hurt me alot when many of the people had no vistors, I was there friend and relative. We watch movies, dance with some of them, color. I quit my job to be with mom, and gave up alot, and now today I am suffering. My mom is in a better place with my dad. Don't blame yourself things happen, you can not do a 24/7 and be there, it is not going to change things. Some people think they can do it all but you can not , you are only going to hurt yourself. When you leave next time say I will be back and say I love you.I know it hurts saying good bye. As long has they are being taken care of and you do visit.
I completely understand and there is no right answer to handle the emotions you may be feeling. Just take it one step at a time. And you should at least feel good at the fact that you are visiting and able to spend some time with your parent.
After my mother has been in a care center for two years, (she celebrated her 93rd birthday yesterday), I believe that I have accepted some of the changes in her life. She is relatively happy, could no longer live in her own home, and sometimes participates in the planned activities with her peers. Two years ago, she was living alone, driving, baking daily, typing letters, and watching TV. My dad passed away in 1988, and her life was centered around her neighbors, my sister and I, our spouses, her 5 grandchildren, their spouses, and 10 great-grandchildren. Her grandchildren have families and responsibilities that do not permit them to have much time for her. Her great-grandchildren are in school and activities that she cannot participate in or attend. Never in her life has she lived with her peers and a staff that not only care for her every need and most wishes, but have similar life situations. I have developed friendships with the staff and residents! Dementia is cruel to her, but sometimes she enjoys her current situation MORE now that she isn't relying on a handful of neighbors, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and memories that were ever present in her own home. I live 5 hours from my mother, as do three of her grandchildren and their families. Life is full of change and eventually leads to death for everyone. 93 years may seem like a long time, but yesterday my mother complained that since we had birthday parties for her the day before and yesterday, that made her 94 now! There is no easy answer--none of us have experienced death--we just do the best we can and rely on faith and nature. Time is all that anyone has, regardless how we spend it...........

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