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I moved Mom into assisted living 4 months ago, she is under hospice for chf but in the last month has improved and is doing much better, walking now, off oxygen and eating all her meals in the dining room. This is a premium ALF and it is 5 mins from my home. I have been going to see her every day, I work full time and I must admit I am worn out, Mom always seems to want more..I have been told by the staff I should visit less as there is only myself and my spouse, no other relatives, my husband is getting tired of me being so drained all the time.

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Beatty, time for you to stop being Julie McCoy, Cruise Director. Your Mom isn't joining activities because she knows that you and your sister will be popping in at a certain time, so she doesn't want to miss you.

You and your sister figure out a schedule. Visit just on the weekends. You take Saturday mornings or afternoons for an hour... and your sister take Sunday, or vise versa. Or choose another day during the week. Fuss over her by saying Saturday [or Sunday] will be our time :)

Does the facility offer physical therapy? My Dad use to go to physical therapy every other day, so that was an "activity" he looked forward to going. After lunch he would doze off.
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My mother lives in an upscale independent facility.
The facility offers 3 meals a day, many different social activities and a shuttle service to anywhere she needs to go.
My twin sister and I live fairly close to the facility but we both work full time. We feel like we’re being pulled in so many directions with work, family life and seeing our mom.
We feel like we’re at our moms beck and call and even though she has several activities a day to choose from, she relies on us for her entertainment.
We love our mom dearly and would like to know what is expected out of us in visiting her.
We are both feeling guilted into seeing her way more than we have time for right now.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
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It's a skill to learn how to leave. When I get to the facility (before I go in), I set my phone's alarm for 30 mins and 45 mins. When it goes off, I end the conversation because I have to run. I usually say something about my kids' activities are calling. If I'm talking to the nurse in charge of her care, I'll go to the 45 min alarm and will leave right away. This structure forces me to stick to my plan and not be overcome with guilt. My now means now, not in a few hours. It also shows I have a life outside of visiting the Nh.
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My parents both moved to a memory care this summer and I am also struggling with how much too visit...and how long. Sometimes I go and the visits are pleasant.. but there are times when they are not happy, want to go home, want to know where their car is..etc etc...my visits are never long enough.. and they are usually sad when I leave.

I have a hard time leaving especially on the weekends because they never want me to leave and want to know why I am leaving and what I am going to be doing..and cant I just stay until.. lunch or dinner or ....whatever. Sometimes my weekend visit stretches out to 3 or 4 hours until I can finally find a time to leave.

The visits during the week aren't as difficult if I go during my work lunchtime .. then I can have an excuse to leave like I have to get back to work.

I noticed that the other family members of the other residents at the facility have very short visits.. maybe 30 minutes to an hour at the most. and at the times I am there.. I notice they don't visit as often as i do. I have been visiting about 3 times a week. I am the only one that visits them.. so if I don't go they don't get any visits.

I know what you mean about the guilt.. I always have such sadness and guilt when I leave. I am trying to rebuild my life and my entire life for the last 3 to 4 years has been focused on them so I have lost all family relationships .. and friendships.. so I am lonely as well... but I need to try to start building some kind of a life for myself away from them. Its a balancing act for sure and there are no right or wrong answers.

I feel for you stellakat visiting every day. I used to be with my parents every day before they moved to the facility.. but I am trying to stick with only a couple of days a week... it is hard tho. When they first moved in I didn't visit at all for a couple of weeks.. they were very unhappy and I was exhausted... I'm sure they didn't like it .. but they survived. I'm sure your mom will be ok too if you cut your visits down some.
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I've been visiting every day and it's killing me. She is always unhappy and complaining and I am going to try to cut back. I would advise you not to get into the horrible habit of showing up every day. I do believe that it does keep the cycle of your relationship going to the detriment of their involvement in their new living conditions. But it is all so hard...
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It's been 6 months and I'm still struggling. I go about 3 times a week, but the visits are long, protracted ones with, "Please don't leave me." at the end. I'm riddled with guilt and a broken heart. I pray that God gives us both the strength to walk through this.
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I have limited my visits to my mom to 3-4 times a week. I don't try as hard as I used to, to make sure she has all her wants met, because the list is never ending and I was getting myself overwhelmed with trying to keep her happy. I am the only one who lives near enough to visit, and have a very busy life outside of her also, I can't keep up with it all.
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Great idea if they are capable of using/seeing it? Wouldn't work for my situation but sounds fantastic! Try it!
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Have any of you used video chat to visit on days you can't make the trip or just for a quick check-in? My neighbor started doing this to visit her Dad in a nursing home after she had knee surgery and couldn't get there for the first few weeks. Her Dad doesn't know how to use a computer so the staff helps. Has anyone else tried this?
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Don't feel guilty about not seeing your mum every day.You have to look after yourself too.I am 61 and work full time.Look after 3 grandchildren every weekend and have had to deal with an abusive manipulating mother on my own for 16yrs.My health has started to suffer,not because I work or because of my grandchildren.Its because my mother is so demanding.Put yourself first and withdraw a little now from you daily visits.The longer you leave it the harder it will get.
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I say no more than once a week. You will never be able to make her happy, so there is no sense you both being unhappy. She got to live her life. You don't get any do-overs on your life, and there are no guarantees how long you'll get after she's gone -- sometimes the "kids" do go first. Take care of yourself. Also - your husband's wants and needs should come first. You may also end up taking care of him, at some point. Don't let her steal what life you have left, it will never be enough anyway.
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I used to visit her in IL once a week. That is what I did when we moved her to AL three months ago - until I broke my ankle! I actually think she is doing better now that I don't visit so much. She has had to rely on the company of fellow residents and has made some friends. When I can walk and drive again, it won't be more than once a week (besides its an 80 mile round trip). With her dementia, by the next day she doesn't remember if I had been there.
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want to follow
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Sharon, Don't bring her home, she will only bring you down to her misery level. Boundaries! You kids are giving her a chance to settle in, but she is choosing not to. Time for a psych eval and some anti depressive drugs and possibly anti-ALZ. Hang in there and stay strong!
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My dad first went into a home bc he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was terminal and my mom went in also shortly there after. two months after mom went to be with him my dad lost his battle. Now Mom is undecided as to where she wants to be or where she fits in. We all agree that the home is the best place for her for a hugh # of reasons. The problem with that is that all the kids work all day and don't seem to find time for mom much anymore and she is very lonely and depressed to the point that she is lashing out at the nurses and others in the home. They put her in with another women and they don't get along at all. Her roommate told me that she asked to be moved or to move mom. She also told me that I am pretty much the only one to visit Mom out of a very large family. That to me is very sad. I do believe that she needs some time to socialize with the others but on the flip side of that when no one visits all she does is sleep and eat. She is pretty much a loner. She has the starting of demenitia and my husband said he doesn't care if she moves in with us but she will be at home by herself a lot of time bc we both work. I am afraid that she will get hurt. I have no idea what to do.
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My Mom is bedridden on hospice at home, and I moved in with her. I have a caregiver doing the actual care-giving, but I sit with her most evenings for 2-4 hours. I feel guilty when I take a night off to go out with friends or just to sit by myself, but then I remind myself that I can't do anything for her if I don't also care for ME.

My Dad is in an ALF about 5 min away. I visit him 1-2 times a week. We play cards or watch tv together. He is always appreciative of my visits. I also bring friends to play cards with us when they are free. When he was hospitalized for 2 weeks with the flu, I tried to be there every day. I missed 2 days, but felt it was important to be there as much as possible because he has dementia and frequently did not understand where he was or why. Once he recovered and was back in the known ALF environment with his regular routine, I felt fine to go back to 1-2 times a week.

enough rambling - basically I mean to say that you need to take care of YOU in order to be any use to your loved one. and when you do visit, make it special if possible.
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Freakedout, my heart goes out to you. Of course you do not want to be a burden to your family. You do not want to have dementia! This is not something you chose. It was thrust upon you and as a result an opportunity to care for you is being thrust upon your loved ones. Not your choice. Certainly not something you would have chosen for yourself or for them.

In these early days you have the chance to try to influence the plan of your care. It sounds like moving closer to relatives willing to help would be a good idea. That your husband is retiring sounds like good timing for a move. This would also give you a chance to find housing best suited to the infirmities you may be facing.

A move would be a major upheaval for your husband. Does he have friends and family where you live? Is he highly social? Golf league, bowling buddies, season tickets to the opera? Moving him away from his support base at a time he will need it most is a big challenge, too.

The two of you need to discuss this possibility thoroughly, and with the firm conviction that this situation is nobody's fault and you both will have strong needs in the upcoming weeks and months and years.

Of course you are scared. I cannot even imagine how scary it would be to get your diagnosis. I know how frightened and frustrated and angry my husband was. You have people who love you, and who want to take care of you. Some will be better able to do that than others, but trust that you are in good hands. At some point your loved ones may need to place you in the care of professionals. I see that my mother is getting excellent care in her nursing home. She was very anxious and scared at first but she is now trusting the family and professionals taking care of her, and she is content.

Please try to dismiss the worry about being a "burden" -- you have enough other things to worry about.

Please post again, starting a new thread, and let us know how you are doing. We care, and we can learn from you!
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If your husband does't appreciate your visits and all of the effort you've made to care for him, then your visits have no value to him. And if the visits are so stressful to you they can't be of any value to you. So what are you doing going there 2 hours every day. You need to come to grips with the fact that Alzheimer's,s has done its work, your husband is no longer the same man you cherished in the past, in fact has become a danger to you. Let other people take care of him. Pay them , but let it happen. They are much more skilled in doing that and are not emotionally involved. He is already gone. You must live your life. God did not give you life to waste it beating your head against a wall trying to recover something that is gone. Have a good cry, visit once in a while, insure he is taken care of , but move on.
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My husband is in a ALF. He has Alzheimers and was put there by me last month because on 3 occasions he tried to kill me and I was living in a locked room in my house for almost a month in fear of him. Now going to visit him is very upsetting to me and all he does is ask me where I have been, how soon I will be back and why can't I take him home;. I am just trying to get over the trauma of the month he was so violent at home and I have been going for 2 hours every other day, but I have to cut back. It makes me so upset I don't sleep at night. Yes, I feel guilty, but I just can't keep this up with him. Am I doing the right thing?
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If you are concerned about caregiver quality, twice a week for 1/2 to 1 hour with occasional calls to check on him/her.. With specific questions. If you trust the staff and your elder seems okay when you visit, once a week is fine. Go as often as you like otherwise until you realize you have a life to live, too. If your elder is sick or has had surgery or other medical attention, you should go more often, enough to know they are doing alright. If other relatives or friends are also visiting , then you can scale back accordingly. A nursing home is where your elder lives now, and should not be viewed as a prison sentence or forced isolation. If you feel like your own life is fading away, back off. You can't give unless you have something to give. Rejuvenate fully, don't forget or abandon your elder, but don't think that your presence is required to make them feel loved and cared for. Your visits should be a highlight, not a life supporting event. Sounds cruel and cold to some, but too many have useless guilty complexes and eventually resentment toward their elder for using up so much of their own life . It's not your fault that your parent needs more care than you can give. If you want to blame something, blame nature. Love them , help them, visit them , remember them and you'll do fine. Besides, many elders don't want to be a burden and would rather you visit out of love than any feelings of obligation.
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Thank you for all your answers! We are about to move Mom to AL and I was wondering the same thing. In IL, I am going weekly, doing the laundry, shopping, finances, repairs, etc. I'm exhausted. I am so looking forward to having her in AL where I know she is safer and I won't have to keep her supplied with food and do her clothes, bed, etc as I have more health issues than she does. She might end up 35 miles away, and I'm not sure I can make a 70 mile round trip every week, especially if she doesn't need me, and the next day won't even remember if I had been there. I was thinking between my sister and myself, and her son, if we each space out our visits we could each go 3 times a month. I think she doesn't really miss us and seems to have her own life, when we are not there. Its only when she gets an obsession that she starts calling us, and that is what the AL should be able to handle?
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It is a hard question to answer. I kept my mom by myself for years...now she can't walk and is a 2 person assist. She also has Alzheimers she was in a private home facility close to me so I would stop by after work. Now she is 2 hours from me so I go once a week and they tell me 15 minutes after I leave she doesn't remember I was there...heartbreaking and yes you feel guilty. You need to be healthy for her. Be strong and go when you can that way you will spend "quality" time with her and not be stressed out.I am trying to find a care home closer to me but it is difficult! It is hard to find caring, loving places. Also agree make friends with the staff let them know you check up on what they are doing who is employed there. I could tell you horror stories about personal and financial theft, neglect, abuse. It's scary out there. Good luck, stay strong.
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I am 57 years old. I have early stage frontotemporal dementia. What a conundrum; this all makes me want to cry. This will be me someday. Burdensome to my family but needing them more than ever. I don't want to be a burden. I don't want to be alone. I don't want to lose my mind. I am scared. How do I get my husband to move closer to my siblings who have already said they will help? He is retiring this year. I have several family members who live two hours away.
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I did it out of guilt, I saw her every day and cried....They told me to stop...time to adjust for both of us. Don't feel guilty....It has to be done.
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Mom needs time to adjust. Call in and ask. Then on weekends or a day if she can, take her out for a special visit, park, lunch, walk wheel chair....etc. I used to visit all time, ive cut back, but will take mom to get her hair done
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nightingale has an excellent point. Be seen, be heard, be known.
When the Head Nurse knows you on sight and smiles, all will be OK.
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My sister and me stop by at least for 45minutes to an hour or more everyday to visit with out mother who is in an upscale assisted living facility. Although mom is confused most of the time, she does know my sister and me and others who visit from the family..As a retired MSRN, I find that when staff sees that a family is interested and devoted to their family member, that family member gets more attention and great care. I also find that if the family members engage the staff in conversation about themselves and other staff members, that staff will take more of a personal interest in that families elder parent.
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If you stop by to visit for less than thirty minutes each visit, five visits per week should be sufficient. If a visit is an hour or more, three visits should be sufficient. If you need to monitor the care givers daily, you may need to find another ALF.
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My mother is in a NH with parkinsons, dementia and stroke. The extreme stress of dealing with her over the years was affecting my health such that I had a mini stroke two weeks ago. Her dementia is pretty much full blown. To avoid the daily screaming tantrums I changed my phone number. I'll visit every so often to take her treats and ensure she has all she needs but I can do no more as the tantrums, accusations and wild imaginings are just so awful.
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I used to take care of Dad at home with the help of hired caregivers. I was at the house a couple of times during the day and stayed with him in the evenings. So I know it's an adjustment from seeing a parent once a day to fewer times during the week.

Last February Dad was moved into assisted living and now he's in a personal care home. In the beginning, I went every other day to visit and YES, it's exhausting! I cut back to twice a week --- with feelings of guilt but knowing I couldn't handlei it anymore.

It's not just the hour visit --- it's emotionally preparing myself beforehand and the angst afterwards leaving him behind. So a visit really takes it out of me, too.

One of the things that's helping to make visits more pleasant is that I take him out to eat on Sundays. Then, it's just Wednesday evenings that we sit in his room for an hour. Just found out that some of Dad's friends meet up at McDonald's for coffee some weekday mornings. I think I may replace Wednesday evenings at the personal care home with a weekly trip to McDonald's instead :)
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