I am feeling guilty about the extent to which I visit an Alzheimer's parent who is in a memory care facility.
I was going more often in the past but now I havent been for about 6/7 weeks. I work two jobs. One full time, the other part time, in order to be able to afford to live. I also have a health problem dragging me down and sapping my energy resources. The memory care facility is far away from me and I dont have a car. So I need to use lots of public transit to get there. It becomes at least a half day activity for me to get there and visit and get home again. I find myself so lacking in time and energy to make this happen lately. Between my two jobs, trying to stay healthy and personal admin/errands, the time for the visit seems to vanish. And its not like it forms any relief from all the work grind that has become my life and is just another unpleasant form of "work"or errand.
The other thing is that I do not enjoy the visits at all. The parent has advanced alzheimers. So its difficult to know what to do, They are hard to talk to. They dont understand what you are saying usually and their verbal communication is going so often they say gibberish when they talk. And they cant really eat properly and need to be fed or dont really want to eat. The attention span is really short so its hard to watch TV with them or something. They also dont control their bodily functions so will just urinate or deficate while you are there. So overall I find it really uncomfortable and unpleasant and I am not sure what to do while I am there. Any ideas on making visits more pleasant for them and me would be greatly appreciated BTW.
I also have never had a great relationship with the parent. I had an abusive dysfuntional childhood and have not had a great deal to do with the parent as an adult. So I dont feel a lot of motivation to be there for them now. More guilt.
I dont enjoy visiting and there is no form of parental bonding at all. The main reason I go is to check that my parent is being looked after and also to be another presence to be seen in the facility by the staff, which might act as another force to enusre that they are looked after.
The parent has a partner who visits a lot and has a lot of other family who visit at least. Just not me. The partner and all the other family do not have any of the work pressure, health problem and financial strain that I do and live nearby with vehicles so its just so much easier for them,
So I am not sure what I am seeking here. Whether I am seeking advice or just wanting to dump something down somewhere anonymous and see what comes of it.
I will try and go and visit next weekend I think. I am taking a couple of days leave from my full time job so that might give me some capacity and energy. But am feeling burnt out, thrashed and also guilty over my lack of visits.
I would be interested to hear from children of Alzheimer's parents how you cope with this sort of stuff.