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My mother is 93 and has been in a nursing home for about 5 years. Obviously her condition has progressed and I am not sure she knows exactly who I am when I visit. I do know that she gets very upset now when she gets visitors and it upsets her whole day. I know she doesn't remember from one day to the next, so even if I could visit daily, her reaction would be the same...upsetting for her. There is much guilt on my part because I didn't have a choice but to put her in a nursing facility. I know she gets very good care there, it's a small facility for Alzheimer patients. I am struggling, making myself visit, when I know the visit won't be pleasant for her or me and am I doing it to satisfy my guilt or because it benefits her in some way. I don't see how being upset for an entire day benefits her at all...just so I won't feel guilty.

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Why not become a volunteer there? - you will get to see her but as she sees you with other patients she will accept you as part of the staff - try starting with others first so she sees you as yet another figure in the residence but also don't make her the last

This is the way to make a win/win situation - you see her & interact with her but her being upset should go away as you become part of the furniture - check with those running the place how best to ease into this

Go same time each week & this is something that will become routine for you both - I'm sure the staff would love a helping hand just talking to several of the residents but limit the number of times a week you go
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My visits upset my mother too when I leave therefore my pattern has been to visit in the evening and stay til she's asleep in bed - other times I've snuck out through the kitchen so she doesn't see me leave 
I don't think I've ever said goodbye to her But I make a big deal of saying hello to her 

This has given her some comfort but is oftentimes exhausting for me as I'm there for hours with my own demanding job

Recently she has been hospitalized and is now very weak and so I'm struggling to adjust the routine at least on the weekends

Unfortunately most places are understaffed and family involvement makes a difference

My relationship with the evening caregivers is much different than with the daytime ones who seldom see me

Other residents do struggle after family visits as they're left behind - the visits aren't the problem it's the departure 

I personally visit 3-4 times a week and I really don't want to go more often- I'm just too tired
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... there's a difference between "Help" and "comments full of self focused changes of subject" ...i.e.: uninvited short stories injected with all types of assumptions and directives with very little attention being paid to the author of the question and are usually made in attempts to redirect a persons entire view while-never actually answering the persons question .. 

ok Stacy B, let's say for kicks & giggles, let's say I asked a question such as; "what would anyone suggest I do regarding the guilt I have about Not wanting to go see "so & so any more" ... what would you try and offer me as advice ... 
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Tired1of4, huh? I thought there was some really great responses to the OP! What I don't understand is you jumping on people who are only trying to help! I'm confused! 😯
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.... the poster didn't ask you, any of you, how to better visit their mother, so by telling them to visit more and by doing that will lighten the guilt, is not yours to factuate. If you readers/commenters want to be good "listeners, and become "valuable to others, learn how to actually listen through words written ....in other words, take the time to read the posters question and answer those questions if you believe have worthy perspectives/ suggestions... rather than jumping into commenters conversations, while leaving poster out in the cold. 
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I disagree with the Lawyer who says visit at the same time every day to keep the staff on their toes with your loved one. Maybe the same time with the loved one but make an appearance at different times of the day so the staff gets her "ready" for your visit and neglects her the rest of the time you are not around. Do introduce yourself every time you visit to your loved one casually. "I'm so glad I'm your daughter, Mary, Mom. You have been such a good mother to me! Also introduce anyone who comes with you. Check with her caregivers on what time of the day she is happiest. Don't go when she is in the middle of an Activity, she might be upset about that. Take each visit as it comes. My sister in law would never visit her mother in the nursing home. She would say "It upsets me and she doesn't know me anyhow". Maybe not, but you are a visitor and believe me it will help you after she passes and you know you did everything you could for her. It will make you feel less guilty!!
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... gotta say, many of you have gone way off and away from what she's (or he) even posted about, which on this forum, happens often. Many of you get lost in yourselves and forget about the one asking a question. From what I've read it's not about her (his) mom, they're not asking you people how to "visit" nor "what to do when visiting" .. their moms been there for 5 years, so pretty d*mn sure they have a handle on the good ole visit value. 

From what I've read, this is about her (him) not the mom. What I see is this, they need to first understand themselves a bit better, then place the guilt they own (the guilt of fighting the not wanting to go any more feeling) where it belongs... and it's up to them to decide where it belongs. Guilt is not erased by hearing allot of others pat you on the shoulder or telling stories ..  guilt is real, it's heavy, and it's a load on the soul. 

So if you all need to talk, then talk, but help this individual out with talking about your guilt (if you own/ed any) and talk about how you deal or dealt with it, but fir Christ sake stop suggesting they learn how to "visit "better. ... man.
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When we were looking for living arrangements for my Mom, they suggested not just coming to be coming but come with a purpose. To have dinner or to look at family photos or for a reason. Don't just show up and sit. Geewiz has the right approach. If you have a pet, see if the facility will allow pet visitations. Take her to a park if she can travel. Many facilities have areas that you could bring a book and read to her. My Mom loves to hear me read from the Bible. Find passages that offer hope. Just some ideas. Good Luck
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Dealing with someone with dementia is a very complicated issue. Dealing with someone like this can actually ruin your day if you think about it. Save yourself the hurt and heartache and just move on. Easier said than done, but it's something you're going to have to do sometime like it or not because she's just not that same person no more. She's become a total different person and a stranger who obviously doesn't want visitors, and that's her right. Honor her wishes and just stay away from her if she doesn't want your company. It's one thing to be dealing with abusive probate guardianship over someone, but another to give the person in their own right to choose, and it seems like she's made herself very clear, so why are you still bothering her? Leave her alone. When she was admitted to the facility, she started a whole new life in the facility and most likely made all new friends she sees pretty often. The facility has become a whole new life for her, one that she probably doesn't want disturbed because anything different from her norm will only upset and confuse her even more than she already is. This probably has something to do with why I can't visit my foster dad no more, there's more than just abuse going on in the facility, but his condition contributes to everything else because the facility life has become his norm and everything else is upsetting and confusing. This is hard for outsiders to understand and even accept because you want life to go on with your loved one as it always did except with them in the facility. However, if she expresses total upset each time you visit, just turn around and leave, she doesn't want you there. If it upsets her whole day just to receive a visitor, you're only upsetting her more by continuing to visit her, especially if she doesn't remember you. She may be your mom, but remember she's no longer the same person you once knew as your mom. Dementia and Alzheimer's tend to ruin the dementia and Alzheimer's tend to ruin the mind memory part of the brain, and the patient is already going through enough without someone coming along and upsetting them even more despite their already obvious struggles, and continuing to visit only worsens things. So many people are just not aware of this and the only thing they want is to reconnect with their loved ones and continue the life they had before, but just do it with their love ones in the facility by just including them in their daily lives. However, there comes a time when we must all face the cold hard fact that our loved ones who developed dementia and Alzheimer's are just not that person no more. Dementia and Alzheimer's tends to transform the patient into someone you don't even know and at some point who doesn't even know you. They may seem to come around at times and you may even reconnect and discover they seem normal again, but given just a few minutes away from them, you're right back to square one on your return. This is a never ending cycle that will only wear you down. You don't want to move on but you really don't have a choice, especially if that person really doesn't want you visiting because it upsets them to the point of ruining their day
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Could you bring music (that go way back in her life) or pictures; ask her who they are and what was going on.
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Hi, bguerra60

You are certainly carrying a big load. No matter how many other family members there are you will always her daughter.

I have facilitated Support Groups for many years. Truly they became my give back to all those that had helped me. At first it was difficult because the situation was not the best. I continued and spoke with the social worker at the facility. She told me to start a diary of my feelings and write in it each day I visited. Then when I visited there appeared to be no recognition and frankly I did not know which of the two were worse. I continued to write and I began walking. Just to get rid of the feelings I had - I walked and walked. However, worse of all the visits when she thought I was her mother, that one really through me.

After all of this was said, I had reached what I call the top of my mountain. The steps, I realized were steps to help me through the grieving process. When our parents no longer know us, we can begin to heal ourselves. There are many tools to help you and your mother have a very successful visit. For these tools contact the Alzheimer's Society and try to find a support group that will be there for you through the hills and valleys.
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I agree with those who said visit at a meal time. There is never enough help to feed those who need to be fed. This way you can be of assistance and still visit with your mom. I would pick dinner time because if she does get upset, they can probably give her a melatonin and put her to bed. You also will feel better knowing she was fed one good meal. You can make sure it is served hot and if it's not something she likes, then request an alternate.
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I would go just to see her as often as you can even at a distance. You can always blow her a kiss. You will know you were there and at least saw her. Maybe you can be the mailman/woman and bring her a bunch of cards or one. Be the person who changes her sheets or fluffs her pillow. That will also help the caregivers who are probably overwhelmed themselves. I spent a lot of time with my mom and I wish I could just give her one more hug. It's never enough. I have the best memories of giving her the BEST care.
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I like OldBob1936's answer as I do that sometimes. It helps keep me connected with the ever-changing staff of those caring for my dad. They know that I am watching and coming at any point on any day. They know when to tell me if there is something going on with dad. I do visit with my dad but I never tell him who I am. If he asks, and I'm not sure he knows me, I tell him I just the lady who likes to visit with him and others there. Sometimes I help toilet him or do other things an aide does, and he knows no difference. My sister goes a few times a year and dad often gets upset afterwards. I believe it is because of the content of the conversation (often about distressing events and problems in her life) and she also wants to be sure he knows who she is. A difference of approach that can make a difference in their lives.

Maybe you could pop in as the aides do and just ask your mom how's she doing and if she needs anything. That way you get to see and interact with her but not expect her to converse or interact with you as a daughter. Maybe volunteering for activities, where you can watch her from a distance while you help others if helping/sitting by her would be upsetting.

Every person is different. Try different things and watch her reaction to each step. To not go even once a week at different days/times when we are close enough to, IMHO, is not a good idea because family presence makes the workers more attentive. Sad but true.
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I am a retired Registered Nurse. Mom was in Assisted Living for 3 years, then at home with me for 6 mo, then to the Nursing Home. I was going to choose a Nursing Home half mile away and was going to go every day. But, ended up choosing a Home 20 mi away, so I go 3 days a week. The first month she was there she lost a lot of wt, so I made sure my visit was for dinner time. She wasn't able to feed herself when she was at my house and I was feeding her then. Now I go 3 eve a week and feed her dinner. It is a good facility but I still worry they won't feed her as much as I do, because they are in a hurry and she eats slowly. She might know me, she might not. I always tell her my name and remind her who I am. Sometimes she says yes, she knows it, sometimes no. If she just thinks I'm one of the aides feeding her, that's ok. I KNOW WHO SHE IS. I visit with the staff, ask about her day, thank them for what they do. She really doesn't talk much, can no longer walk or do activities. Yesterday the aid said "they colored pictures". I asked if she tried, aid said she picked the colors and the aid colored the picture and hung it in her room. She was new with mom and didn't know her bedtime routine, so I could fill that in for her. (staff turnover and different assignment can make for inconsistency) I think it's important to connect with staff and observe care. I am going to have a few trips this year so one week I will only go 2xs, 2 different weeks I will only go 1x, and one week I will not go at all. I do not feel guilty, I just hope she doesn't loose weight. I agree with others here, go as it fits your schedule, observe from afar if need be, know the staff and the care.
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MOther is not in a home, but has dementia and doesn't remember the last time you visited or what was said or done. This is far more upsetting to me than to her.

If you NEED to see her, for your sake, just cut it back to 1-2 times a week. Some part of her knows you're there, I think.

Just HOW upset is she? Just anxious and a tad disoriented or "needing to be sedated" upset. That may factor in your visits a little. I'm sorry for this. Aging parents make us fragile and frustrated.
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I appreciated CETUDE's answer. Even if your loved one doesn't respond kindly to your visit, do it so that there is a contact between you and the employees of the home. My nurse sister told me that 20 years ago when our mother was in a facility in my town and it was and still is, good advice.
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Since Mom has been in a nursing home, I don't visit everyday. She is pretty much in her own world. She is well taken care of. Clean and well fed. For some reason I don't feel guilty and I always could be made to feel guilty. My brothers don't seem to feel guilty. She is safe. I go every other day. Sunday my husband and I try to do something together. Monday he golfs so I try to go out with friends. So I may go two days I don't see her. And really, do u do it for her, who no longer sees u as her child or for you. Yes, I think you need to be there regularly so u know what's going on. But 3 or 4 days is enough. And I stay no longer than a half hour. My Mom gets itchy. How do u approach Mom? Does she get upset because you try to explain who ur? Mom maybe in the stage where she hasn't been married or had kids. They seem to go backwards. I told my Mom once I was her daughter and she said "I don't think so". Maybe approaching her as a stranger would? They are scared and paranoid. They no longer Know u.
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... she's been there 5 years. Straight talk here....

We can assume from your own words she at some point for a length of time was aware of you and why she's was put there. Not sure why you are now after 5 years asking if it's "ok" to stop going, no one can answer that for you.

Lets look at the possible scenarios you are facing. (Human beings memories are retained regardless brain disease but those memories and emotion based memories are retained in degrees and levels  .. meaning even with disease we remember as each brain can at that point.  

Scenario #1. She can remember you put here there 5 years ago and even in the disease progression those memories now cause either you or all visitors to now be an unpleasant experience and agitate her daily routine. 
Scenario #2. The disease damaged her memory history and memory emotion leaving her in an unaware state causing any change of any kind no matter what it is Is upsetting her. 

So, it's a crap shoot reasoning if her agitation is due to the past and present fact that she's there.

Truth is, it's you who needs to decide to place your guilt in a place that works for you, because if the real reasons you visit her is to keep tabs on her care, or if the real reason you visit is because you simply want to ..... if either of the later I just mentioned we're the actual reasons you visit then you wouldn't be asking the question and I'll tell you why. Because if seeing you genuinely disturbs her you can still do both I mentioned, check care and or simply be near her without actually disturbing her by her seeing you.

Bottom line, It's your deal to decide if you can manage your guilt of wanting to stop going there. No one can talk you out of feeling guilt, it's up to you to understand it then manage it.
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Guilt has a way of eating away our being! Understand it isn't your Mom but the disease. I try to go at different times of the day so I can see what she's doing activity wise and she is always happy to see me. My Mom isn't as advanced in the disease but she can't remember what she did 5 seconds ago but she remembers who you are! It was difficult decision for me to make after caring for Mom for 2 1/2 years but they treat her so good there, the food is excellent and she says she likes it there! I suggest you don't go for a week and then go perhaps during an activity so you can watch and blend in. Talk to your Mom like you're an old friend and watch her expressions. There's no wrong or right way! Just love her!
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I used to visit my mom two times a day and stayed for 1 and a half. She had moderate to severe dementia. My mom had Sundowners as well.  Sometimes shorter hours in the afternoon would make her enjoyable to see us and she couldn't wait see us again. Also, maybe you could bring your mom a meal if she doesn't have eating problems.

Just remember that even though your mom is not the mom you used to know, just forgive and love her!
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My wife has dementia and is subject to periods of agitation. These periods happen most often in the late afternoon (Called Sundown Syndrome). During these periods she does not know me. She gets angry at herself, then takes it out on the caregiver.
She is now under Hospice and I am taking care of her at home but when she was in the memory care facility I visited almost every day at lunch tome. She was less likely to be agitated and I could help feed her. I also made it a point to get to know others and talk to them and call them by name. It actually became an enjoyable experience that I looked forward to. The smiles I received made it all worth while.
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 Visit as often as you need to. Make sure she is getting good care and accept what is. 
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A friend of mine said her mother hasn't recognized her as her daughter for 4 years - she continues to go daily, brings her a nutritional shake and sits and colors with her. Her mother appreciates the nutritional shake, made with ice cream, and enjoys the company.

If your mother doesn't recognize you as her daughter, don't push it. Be a friend who just wants to sit with her for a spell. Color, watch TV - whatever - if you try to explain who you are, this could be what is upsetting her. Just be a friendly person stopping by to visit. Your mother can't help that she doesn't remember. I am starting to go through this with my DH and I too need to remind myself that some things just don't matter. Being with them is what matters.
BTW, the nutritional drink I use is Ensure with a TBL of Barleans Chocolate Silk Greens and some ice cream. Tastes good and has nutrition. Ray wants them twice a day now, lol.
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Dad's Dementia is worsening. I would visit him at the NH 3 or 4 times a week. Never the same day or time. He's in the Activity Room all day and goes to the dining room for lunch and dinner. I would try to see him eat at least 1 time during the week. Then he got extremely anxious. I asked for meds for him but was met with resistance. Finally, he got so bad that the psychiatrist prescribed one. It didn't work. When I visited he knew me but I was very upset at the way he was acting. After a nurse left him alone in his wheelchair in his room during a breathing treatment last Sunday, I went right to the NH. He had ripped both elbows and his knee. His new meds were only started on the previous Fri night and they take about 10 days to kick in. He was a mess. I stayed there from 1:30 u til 6:30 pm with him. Yes, he knew it was me, but wouldn't know how long I was there or when I would be back. What I now do is visit at meal time. I accomplish 2 things...I see how he eats and it's not one on one with him. He doesn't really communicate with me. If I feed him he'll tell me no more. Nothing else. In the Activity Roomit's the same, but he'll call out Miss, Miss....over and over. Ask him what he needs......Miss, Miss.....so for my own sanity I have cut my visits down. If he realized I was visiting and communicated with me, I would go more often. Everyone has to do what feels right for them.
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The staff at the nursing home needs to know someone is looking out for your Mom. I know this is tough. Work through your fears in order to look out for your Mom. Admit to yourself you don't want to be there. It isn't pleasant but for her safety and your peace of mind someone needs to check on her. Once a week should do it. It may help to have someone go with you. Put a twenty minute time limit on your visit if you are nervous. You don't always need to interact with her but observe her. You need to find out what her needs are and make sure they are being met. Have a checklist. Is she a healthy weight, does she have all the clothes she needs, is there anything you can provide to comfort her (soft blankets, chapstick, lotion, dvd, mp3 player, nail file, a special snack, a magazine?). As frightened as you are, imagine what she is feeling. Much love to you and your Mom. Remember your Mom protected you. Stand in courageousness and protect her now when she is most vulnerable.
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It is not YOU that upsets her but the disruption in the "routine"
If you could visit her everyday for 1 hour that would become part of her routine and the visit would no longer be upsetting for her. Even every other day visit would become part of the routine. But it would be best to make the visit the same time every day.
Take her for a walk, sit and read, or just talk. If she is having problems eating make your visit at a meal time so you could help her. It will give her a bit of one on one care and she will equate your visit with something that hopefully she enjoys.
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I'm less than 10 minutes away from the nursing home and see my mom from 4:30 to around 6:15 or so every night at her dinner time and help feed her. I run my mouth as though she can understand what I'm talking about. She may be talking to herself at the same time but does seem to brighten up most days for a bit and usually laughs and adds some nonsense to the conversation. After she eats (or doesn't eat) I take her outside to a small garden they have and put earphones on her (she was in a choir as a kid, so that's the type music I use), and she sometimes sings along (or talks to herself). Being outdoors for a bit always seems to help her. I then wheel her back in to sit with a group of ladies pretty much like her, sitting in a big TV room at a table. A few of the staff have told me many of those ladies never have a visitor, so sometimes I stay awhile longer and sit with them. When I get up to leave, I always say that I'll be back. I've been faithful daily though of course many days, I absolutely don't want to go and know I don't have to, but I'm always glad I made the effort.
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Forgive yourself from the past and be there for your mom now.
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It would be helpful for you to examine your feelings of why you feel guilty when you did nothing wrong. Did you have a good relationship with her before the Alzheimer's? Did you put her in a nice place where she can get quality care until she passes? These are signs of a good daughter and what matters. If you being there upsets her, then that is a counterproductive thing to do. After all this should be about her and not about you at this point. I suggest you visit a couple of times with a competent therapist to get these feelings of your sorted out. Ask the social worker on staff to suggest a name or two.
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