On October 17th my mom fell three one morning. I was the only one with her when she fell the last two times that day. She was taken to the hospital and 6 days later was put into a skilled nursing facility. From there...3 weeks to the day, she fell again in the facility. Again, she was taken to the hospital and after two nights, put back into the nursing facility.

(Please note that my mother suffers from Lewy body and vascular dementia...along with a laundry list of other health issues she's suffered from in one form or another since she was only 14 years old.) Since this last fall, her health has gone from being able to get around the house and using her cane when she goes outside, able to feed herself, bathe herself with prompting and clothe needing round the clock nursing care. She has to be wheeled around in a wheelchair, sometimes needs help with feeding herself, needs a nurse to bathe her and clothe her and physically cannot stand for more than a few seconds without hurting. She gets very agitated and anxious during the day but is peaceful and serene at night. If I visit her during the day, she thinks I'm taking her home....but at night seems very, very happy and quiet or is mercifully sleeping.

My question is this; when will I stop blaming myself for the state she is in? When will I be able to move forward and be merry for Christmas? My husband and I shared quarters with my mom in her house so not having her here is a double whammy as we have no place of our own to go to for the holidays and my husband's family lives out of state in Washington, Montana and Oregon. Will my mom eventually adjust to being in a nursing home? If so....when? She's been there since October 22nd of this year.

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You are doing the best you can caring for your mother. You’re providing her with 24/7 care, meals and day to day hygiene. And safety.
My mother was in a NH 14 months before she passed away @ 89. You are where I was mentally. I empathize so much with what you are going through.
You just have to steel yourself and be confident in your decision to have placed her there. Whenever I had doubts (quite frequently and I cried about it a lot when I was alone) I just had to repeat the mantra that she was getting care, was as safe as she could be under her circumstances and how fortunate we were that we could still see her.
Please don’t feel guilty. Celebrate the Holidays, be happy with your spouse.
Nothing stays the same - everything changes. I know how you feel.
I had to work to learn how to compartmentalize my feelings of thinking I was letting my mother down and had to shut that door after my visits ended. It kept me sane.

Again, you are doing the best you can, and that’s all you can do.
Merry Chtistmas! Hang in there.
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Be glad that you are able to spend this Christmas with your Mom. As Glad stated, "enjoy the time you have remaining with her...decorate her room for Christmas...Reminisce about previous holidays (look at photos of previous Christmases-sing/listen to Christmas carols)."

You cannot blame yourself or take responsibility for your Mom's physical, medical, emotional or mental problems. If you do, you will end up with major medical or emotional problems of your own. You need to talk to a counselor about your feelings before they take over your life. 

My Mom and I lived together in her house for 9 years before she moved into a nursing home due to Major Depression with Delusions and Mild Dementia. For 9 years, Mom was able to take care of herself and perform her ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). But when her younger brother died at age 83 in March 2017 and her older sister died at age 91 in April 2017, Mom became SO depressed that she could no longer take care of herself or perform her ADLs and was admitted to the nursing home in May 2017. Mom's mood varied from moment to moment. Mom was happy to see me or talk to me on her cellphone, but the second I left or hung up the phone, Mom would start to cry and get upset with me (because I was leaving her at the nursing home or for some other unknown reason).

Mom moved into the Memory Care Unit in October 2017. We celebrated Thanksgiving 2017 by eating with Mom in a private Dining Room and had KFC chicken because that was Mom's favorite. For Christmas 2017, we opened Christmas presents with Mom at the nursing home “Living Room” area on the Memory Care Unit for about an hour and then left because Mom was getting tired and having lots of difficulty following our conversations. Mom's health continued to decline and she passed away unexpectedly on September 17, 2018. This is MY First Christmas without Mom. I am all alone in the house with no one to visit. My brother and his family live in other states and will not be coming to see me this Christmas. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time with Mom while she was in the nursing home. It wasn’t the same as when we lived together, but we made some great memories.

Visit your Mom with the attitude that you are visiting her to make some wonderful memories and try not to focus on the negative aspects of her life and health. Enjoy her while she is still alive and do not feel guilty that she is not living in the house with you.   Merry Christmas!
Helpful Answer (2)
mmcmahon12000 Dec 2018
Merry Christmas DeeAnna and thank you. :-)
Mom is still alive. This is a different sort of holiday for all of you. You are not without her yet. Try to enjoy the time you have remaining with her.

You should plan to spend some time with her. Decorate her room with some cheerful items. Reminisce about previous holidays whatever will make you both happy.

Sorry you are going through this, it is hard.
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mmcmahon12000 Dec 2018
Thank you
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