My husband and I bought my parents home, 8 years ago and combined living. 4 months ago mom had series of strokes, and is in nursing home. I have been dealing with depression for 2 years and been suicidal, hospitalized several times. Mom asks every visit, when is she going home? I decided not to visit for a couple of weeks to see if it will sink in that she has to stay there now. I feel so confused about this, but relieved too. Am I an awful person? I see my dad and mom asks him the same question about coming home. He understands she can't. Words of wisdom please. :)
route home to her husband of 55 years.
There is alot more to my story, but the point of it all, is to look at the positives of what a NH or AL can offer. The elderly need socialization, medication safety, and food. If you are the lucky one that gets those last years with your parents then you have to really look at what is best for them and you. My parents were wonderful people and they would not have wanted me to become unhealthy in order to prolong their life, especially if they are suffering. And I believe that now that they have both died, that every breath that I take is a breath for them as well. This is life. It's too precious and short to feel guilty and burdened. Ask for help, ask for His guidance, and give up situations that you have no control of.
My mother was in a nursing home over four years due to a stroke and a broken hip that she never recovered from. She constantly wanted to go home and even thought at times that she could walk again and could drive home. However, for her safety, it was not an option to take her home. No matter how often we explained to her why she could not go home, she would still ask to go home from time to time. I would try to divert the conversation to another topic or would say that such a decision was not mine to make, but the doctor's or would say that I'd talk with the social worker about it. What does your dad say when she asks him about going home?
Are you taking an anti-depressant? Are you seeing a therapist? If not, I recommend that you do to help you deal with all of this.
I am not going to tell you not to feel guillty, you do because you are a loving person. What I will tell you, parents don't have children so they can be a burden on them in the older years. I wanted to take care of my mom, and I am. She is in a place where she is getting the best care available, just as your mother. I too have several health issues and taking care of her here at home was beginning to take a toll on me also. Which if it had continue I wouldn't been able to give my mother the proper care she needed nor would I been able to care for myself.
Visit your mom or you will regret the little time you could of had with her. My mom doesn't remember me being there 5 mins after I leave. But we enjoy the time we have together even if she is still threating sucide if she can't leave with me. Love yourself enough to know you are doing the best thing for your mom by placing her in a place where she is getting the care she needs. God be with you and your family.
Given your recent illnesses, you may well not be the best person to either render the care or be living in the same home, understandable.
I firmly believe avoiding visiting to make a parent get used to a nursing home is never correct. If you can't go, get family members interested in her care to visit her. Any nursing home who wants you to ignore your mother so she gets used to a situation she doesn't want isn't acting in the best interest of your mother and probably is rendering substandard care. If they suggested this action --start shopping for a better nursing home asap.
For the fragile elderly living in homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities, they all need to be visited regularly. They all need the reassurance that their spouse, children, grandchildren love them, that their life has a purpose. Feeling abandoned will not help them recover from any illness or deal with any long term disability.
Good luck do the best you can do. Get a family plan for your mother which does leave her with fears of abandonment.
When my mother asks me "When am I coming home?" I answer, "I'm not sure mom, I'll ask" and then I IMMEDIATELY change the subject. The subject I change it to is immaterial, but a switch in attention is necessary. The best way to get her "invested" in the switch is to ask her a question about it. Could be anything? Where did you get those shoes? What day is it today? Who did you vote for last election? Anything to refocus her attention. You could also pretend you didn't hear the question.
It is VERY difficult for someone who does not have depression already to deal with this. It often takes a non depressed mind and drags it down into depression. It will make your depression worse. What good will you be to your dad with even more depression when you let the guilt get to you? What good will you be to yourself and your other family members? No good at all. Take care of yourself first. You can't take care of ANYONE else until you take care of you.
I wouldn't advise to stop visiting, just visit and be honest. If that doesn't work, change the subject or bring some photos to go through. Bring articles from the paper to read and if you start to feel anxious, leave and go for a walk or talk to the nurses. You are feeling pain because you are a caring and compassionate person. I wish you strength to get through this time of adjustment : )
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