I've spent everyday to every other day visiting my mom at rehab facility for three weeks, two 10 hour days in ER, two weeks 24/7 taking care of her at my house. Now she is back at facility, and I want my life back. I don't want to go that often this time around, but she has no friends and no other family . I have had to cancel two vacations and a long weekend. I want my life, I want some sort of normalcy. My SO does too. I would like to do two days per week, at most every three days. It takes an hour to get there, an hour visit and an hour back. Any suggestions? How do I explain it to her, I've tried but she does not understand. She tells me I have the rest of my life to have a life, but she has no one...

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Jules, since this time you are NOT going to let her come to your apartment after rehab, practice being around much less while she is in rehab.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to CTTN55

I think twice a week is sufficient.

I can only go once a week because of the strange visiting hours at Mom's facility (Tues.-Sun. 3 pm-6pm). I get home from work about 5 pm and the facility is 40 minutes away. One day off is spent running around doing chores. The other day is for Mom. It's the best I can do.

I don't have any trouble explaining to her when we'll be back ("see you in a few days" -works) but she asks if we can stay longer (even though she seems tired). We've come up with "We haven't eaten yet and it's getting late." That seems to "excuse" us to leave.

I agree with ff, excuse your absences with real life reasons that she can relate to. (Car trouble, unexpected company, a doctor appointment, need to work OT, etc.)
I don't remember if your Mom has dementia or not but these should work for either situation. You sure don't want to put strain on your relationship with SO because of this.

It's hard to cut the visits back, you might feel guilty (yet justified), but it comes down to what's healthy for you and SO. Mom will adapt.
Great suggestion to get her involved in more activities.

I don't know what to say about calling. Sometimes out of sight (or ear range), out of mind. But, if you think she will have a hard time accepting less, then maybe a phone call would help (as long as it doesn't turn into a whine session).

Once you decrease the amount of visits where you're happy, it will become routine for her.

Start working on your vacation plans now!
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Reply to SueC1957

JulesNeedsHelp, when it comes to excuses to tell Mom, use what she can relate to.... for my Mom if she had called me to come over to visit with her, I would tell her I was in the middle of doing laundry... that she could understand and it was an acceptable excuse. Or got to run out and get groceries for the week, another excuse my Mom totally understood.
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Reply to freqflyer

I am an only child, and my mom, with dementia, had no visitors other than me. When she first went into the nursing home, I did visit every other day. As she became more accustomed to the routine in the facility, I cut my visits down to three times a week.

Even in her demented state, my mom never insisted that I visit more than I did, although there were times when I’d been there a day or so before and she said I hadn’t visited for a month.

Speak with the staff and ask them to encourage your mom to participate in any activities they may have. My mom played bingo, did crafts, went to musical shows they had and even went to an animal presentation they had once. The Activities Director and her staff would come and get the residents and wheel them to the presentation and not take no for an answer.

Take back your life. You are a grownup and don’t need to account to Mom for your whereabouts or obligations. And you certainly don't need her blessing or permission to go. Reschedule your much-deserved time away. Mom is safe and cared for and there are medical personnel available should she need them. When I couldn’t visit, I kept in touch with her nurse who was always happy to give me an update.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Can you call her instead of visiting her?
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Reply to blannie

Some people on this board have said you can hire someone to go visit your parents and just be a presence for them when you can't get there. I think I have even read that some churches will provide this as a volunteer service.

Is there a Social Worker at the Rehab Center who could advise you?

In my opinion, explaining your decision won't help. She's sick and scared and really not in a position to see your side of things. Take FrazzledMama's advice and tell her when you will come again and stick to your plan. Don't complain and don't make excuses.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Marcia7321

since you have a long drive, I think once a week would be ok. is she in an assisted living facility after being at rehab? if you want to do 2 days per week then that's really good.
is she able to read and/or watch tv? is she bed bound? can she take phone calls?
just tell her you are doing the best you can. usually if I tell my mom im tired etc, she will understand.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to wally003

Tell her "I've got some things to do, and I'll be busy but I'll be back on ______." She probably won't like it much, but just keep reiterating that you love her and will see her then. Then next visit, do the same thing. Just tell her you'll be back on such and such day, and look forward to seeing her then.
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Reply to FrazzledMama