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I'm 70-Mom 93 has been in a NH for 3 months, I took care of her before that. She has dementia and it just got to be too much for me but I can't shake the guilt of her being there. For health reasons, I wasn't able to visit for 2 weeks, when I did go, she was content, but after a couple more visits, she got upset with being there and it hurt me to leave. Could I be going there too much--I usually go at least every other day.

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No, you aren't going too much. She just would like you there more. Please drop the guilt. We all go through that.

They get lonely and sometimes even abusive to you, the person they trust, because they are so frustrated with their losses and their situation in general. You are doing everything right. If she gets too nasty, stand up to her and tell her you are leaving since she is treating you badly and that you hope she will treat you better next time you visit.

The nursing home where my parents were had to practically force me to understand that, but it worked. If you know she is well cared for, you can skip some visits if she needs that to understand she can't be mean to you. It's amazing what they can understand when you stand up for yourself.

Take care (of you, too),
Carol
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Guilt is a helpful and legitimate feeling sending us back to re-examine our deeds and motives and, thereafter, hopefully, leading to improvement. It is neither helpful nor legitimate when it is mistaken for sadness at not being able to do what we or others would like. Sadness we deal with differently, thank goodness, from guilt.
Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, PhD
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I know this was posted in 2009, almost four years to the date, but very apropos for me now and I needed to hear it put so simply and it is so so true. Thanks for that, maybe I can go to sleep now.
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It is hard not to feel guilty. My mother (87) calls me on the phone and begs for me to take her back. She lived with my husband and I for almost 2 years. She argued wilth my husband a lot and called her friends long distance and told them how unhappy she was . She insisted she wanted her own place but was not able to live alone due to macular degeneration, and mild dimentia. I placed her in a lovely assisted living but she still complained. Then she broke her hip and was placed in a nursing home. She has been there 9 months and is now begging me to take her back. It really hurts to tell her no but I cannot be her 24 hour caregiver and maintian my marriage and my own health.
The staff at the nursing home tell me she is active and seems happy there. I go at least once a week to visit. There are some volunteers that go and read to them and visit and help with a huge slate of activities . Mother has one friend who comes to see her 2 times a week and I have told the friend how much it means to me. My brother and sister will not take her back to live with them and they live back East. We are in Texas. ( they already tried having her live with them and it didn't work out either). Its hard to be the only one to have to say no, but as long as you are able to monitor her care and pop in occasionally, it is good to let the staff do their job. Keep your visits random. That helps too.
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I know this seems unrealistic, but mom will get over this. She will adjust as she has no choice. You can't keep her. It was not working and you know that. Be strong, visit when you can, and shake the guilt off at the door. We are here for you.
Linda
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Rabbi, what a statement, I think you are so right !
I am extremly saddened by what I cannot give my Mother.
I took care of her for 10 years and miss her and I feel no quilt about what I did for her, just very sad that I'm not able to keep doing.
She is in a very nice NH in a small town in MI. and I know they take very good care of her, thank you for the hug.
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