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The guilt is overwhelming. I have always been there for my mother. After a fall in September and misdiagnosis and a 6-8 week stay in rehab it was decided that she could no longer live on her own. The decision was made she would need to move into Assisted Living. I just can't get over the guilt of doing this. I visit her everyday and am there on average 4-6 hours a day not getting home until 8:30-9:00pm. I know its my decision to go as much but I just can't seem to stay away. My mother has lived independently up until September 2015. She had some friends where she lived and pretty much stayed to herself. Shes always been pretty content, happy, and very easy going. Since entering Assisted Living she has been pretty quite and to herself which is not her. She does share a room which is not easy for anyone. This pass week she has been dealing with a UTI and have finally gotten her on the correct medication. I know the UTI in elderly is not good and causes lots of confusion which she has. I just don't know what to do anymore. I love my mother and would so anything for her but I'm at the end of my rope mentally and physically.

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If this is what has to be - and I think it is, or else you would not have made the arrangements - your mission now is to find ways to bring any joy or pleasure in life that you can. Staying there for hours on end daily won't necessarily accomplish that, while staying involved and visiting on a schedule that you can both enjoy just might. Grandkid visits when we could pull that together, going out for pizza or bringing one in, getting nails done, and sometimes musical events were the thing that made my mom's day. (I was surprised about the nails - she had not done that for herself since she was twenty-something I don't think, and never got into any girly type stuff!) Of course she is sad about getting old and losing her independence - we will be sad too if that happens to us, but we can decide to make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in.
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Thank you both for your kind words of advise. My mom turned 88 in September and has been in relativity good condition except for aches and pains due to arthritis and medicine for high blood pressure. I agree with you both on visiting so much but it's so hard to break the habit. I have a brother who for many years has been there when needed but has kept a distance more than often. As I said in my original post my husband and I have always been there for her. I lost my father at the age of 14 (he was 44) and I feel like I'm the responsible one who should be there for her. Rainmom your reply really hit home and I truly believe everything you said. As I read it I began to cry because I know what you are saying it very true..but at the same time very hard to except. What I also find so difficult is when I'm not there all I'm doing is thinking about when I can get back to her. It probably doesn't help that she about 3 miles from my home. I know you said I shouldn't feel guilty....It's so hard to see the parent you had 4 months ago and now look at them and see sadness in their face. Her and I have talked on many occasions about the situation and she knows and acknowledged that she can't live alone. I just hope and pray that I can get pass these feeling of guilt. All I want is for her to be comfortable and happy....after all isn't that what we all want. Thanks again for the advise and I hope that as I reread your emails I will be able to move forward.
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How old is your mother? I ask because it seems that once an elderly loved one reaches a certain age - which is usually accompanied by a certain diminishing of abilities both physical and mental - expectations that they can remain living at home independently become unrealistic. It's sad and difficult for most seniors and their families to deal with. Assuming you and her team (love the implications of "team", right?) weighed the options for your mom and determined this would be the best choice for her - dry your eyes and try to focus on that. Making tough choices that are often in opposition of what everyone wants vs what they need is the curse of the adult child who becomes the "parent". In the spirit of "tough love" I will say to you - quit going there daily and if that's too much of a stretch right now, at least minimize your visits to two hours or less. In all likelyhood you are making this worse rather than better - for you for sure and possibly even for your mom. Mom seeing you distrait and anxious (perhaps you think you are hiding it or putting on a good face? Mom knows you better than that) will only signal to her that this situation isn't good. The best thing for your mom - and therefore you - is to treat this as it is - her new normal. No amount of visits - in number or in length is going to change that. Make sure mom has what she needs, make her area as homey as possible, encourage her to get out of her room to met new friends and participate in activities. I'm afraid to tell you but you are only at the beggining of what could be a long, slow journey of decline for your mom. If you don't get a handle on your own feelings and reactions it will take you down as well. You didn't mention if you have your own family at home - but regardless you had your own life before this happened and you will have your own life when this is over - get on with living it. Your mom is safer and being looked after in terms of her needs and daily living - you made the best choice you could given her options. You have nothing to feel guilty about.
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Oh my gosh, now I understand how parents feel when they send their children off to college. The feeling is probably very similar. So many worries roll around in your brain.

So I am using the "college" feeling to help me with dealing with my Dad [94] who had decided on his own it is time to sell the house and move into independent/assisted living. My Mom passed away this month due to a serious fall and complications from that fall, and Dad doesn't want that to happen to him.

One suggestion, please don't visit your Mom so much otherwise your Mom won't join the activities because she is waiting for you. She needs to join in, if she is able. I know the place that my Dad is moving to "Sunrise Senior Living" the staff is good at getting the quiet new residents to meet people who have similar backgrounds. It is so important for one to have a buddy that they enjoy seeing every day :)
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