Follow
Share

I appreciate this forum so much. Reading it helps me to understand that I am not alone. So many people go through the same things. I'm feeling guilty to the max! My mother is 94 and my father is 92. They are both in the same nursing home and both have dementia. I have guardianship of mom and POA on dad.


My mother is narcissistic and on most days is very difficult to deal with. My dad is much easier. He is mostly happy and there are days his dementia is really bad and days when he is more lucid. They have been in the nursing home since October 2017. I can tell you that I thought I would lose it last fall. They were in a very dangerous situation living at home and my hands were tied trying to get them out of their home. Finally, my mother went to the ER enough that they moved her to a nursing home. Dad voluntarily went a few weeks after her. I was visiting them daily and still mostly do visit them daily.


One question is how much or little should I visit? I try to stay 1 hour. There are times I go and I'm verbally attacked by mom the entire time I'm there. She has thrown things at me and I have been scared she would hit me.


My other question is how much information should I give them about their belongings and finances? Dad thinks the nursing home is free. It is not. In the process of paying the nursing home, I have sold all their assets. He asked me yesterday how much money he had in the bank and I told him that I really didn't know because I don't ever look at the statement. I feel so guilty not telling him the truth.

Find Care & Housing
wally003 Thank you. It really helps me to read all of the responses. It lets me know others see the same things with their parents.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to srgdean
Report

I used to have the financial questions too from mom and dad.
mom and dad would have a ~FIT~ if they had known the cost of AL.
I always lied about the cost, if she asked the amount.

but theyre from a different generation I guess, so anything over 20.00 sounds like too much :)

I could tell her I paid 30.00 for a pair of jeans and she will gasp.

I just always told my mom that dads pension and the SS income paid for everything. even tho it didn't.
I would say. "I don't even have to touch your savings!" when my dad passed away. the AL costs went down a little. but then because it was my dads pension and his SS. The income went down. so I do have to use quite a bit of savings now. but I still tell her same thing. she always seems relieved.

oh and visit as much or as little I guess - whatever you find comfortable. I still go to visit. but I am going too - to be sure nothing weird is going on.

oh I would also tell my mom her care had a tax write off which was true. and then she'd be even happier. mom you get a refund. big smiles.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to wally003
Report

DeeAnna It is really tough. I'm sorry for your situation. I wish things were not so sad.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to srgdean
Report

The year of 2017 was very hard as my Mom's younger brother (age 83) died in March and her older sister (age 91) died in April. The following week, Mom and I drove out-of-state to attend Mom's grandson's wedding. When we got back home after the wedding, Mom stated that she needed to go to the ER Dept. because her back hurt. She was admitted to the hospital and then transferred to the nursing home for skilled rehab. However, she often refused to do physical or occupational therapy. She was transferred to the Memory Care Unit when she started to have delusions such as: the Resident Dining Room was the "White Bus from Heaven" and those residents who had gone home because they had completed their therapy, had "gotten off of the 'bus' and had gone to heaven". She also has delusions about my brother and I selling/gambling the farms and the house, but we tell her the truth that we have not sold them. As to other financial details, I just give her a basic outline of the amount of money that is in each bank account and reassure her that the bills are being paid. She is satisfied with that information.

I have problems visiting my Mom in the Memory Care Unit because she has changed SO MUCH, SO FAST. Mom went from being a outgoing, social, talkative person who could do her own ADLS and use a wheeled walker to someone who could/would not talk, feed herself, walk, or get herself dressed within a couple of weeks. Now that her antidepressants and other medications have been adjusted, Mom is more her social self with the staff and the other residents but not with my brother or me. When we call her, she puts the phone down after 15-30 minutes and wheels her wheelchair away from the phone. When I visit, she will talk about anything and everything, even if it does not fit into our current conversation. After 30-45 minutes, she gets tired and wants to wheel away from me. I have trouble watching her eat because she can't hold utensils and tends to spill her food. She has to use a Sippy cup and her meat has to be ground up. She is NOT the Mother that I lived with for 9 years (Dad died in 2007 and Mom & I moved in together at that time). I feel as though I have "lost" my Mother and I am grieving the person that I "used to know". {Sorry, I have to stop writing as I am crying too much to be able to see the monitor.}
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DeeAnna
Report

It is hard. I had trouble sleeping for a while. Kept having visions of my folks, all confused and lost. But the consoling factor was that they were now safe, fed, clean and cared for. I have to always remind myself of that fact and remember the horrors of their last few months at home. I’m sleeping better now.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Windyridge
Report

Windyridge Thank you. Sounds so familiar. I guess I need to calm down and be more accepting about the situation. I know that neither parent will ever leave the NH. It is just so hard to see them there. Thanks.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to srgdean
Report

Srgdean, I have a very similar story except that I’m long distance. After all the classic battles I finally got my folks in assisted living. Mom died recently but Dad is still there in memory care.

I think what and how much you tell elders is based on their ability to comprehend. And also how much fibbing you can get away with. I let my folks believe that insurance paid for their care. It was private pay, about $10 K per month. And mom always thought she was going home any day. I just played along.  Mom would ask about the house and land.  I would tell her it’s fine.  I was fixing it up. The reality, It’s being sold. I told them whatever Was needed to keep them calm.  They hadn’t bought a stick of furniture since 1968. They would have frigging died if they knew I was spending $10K a month of THEIR money.

As for guilt? Visiting? Before she died my mom had a vague idea that I wasn’t around. Dad didn’t know if I was there 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago. I would make the trip every few weeks.

Don’t beat yourself up about visiting. It’s not enjoyable for you or your mom, and it sounds like Dad will be ok. Back off to a comfortable level. My visits would just remind my folks of all things “home”. We all ended up feeling worse afterwards.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Windyridge
Report

He's just too comfortable, mm?

72 years! No matter what there might be to regret that is quite some accomplishment :)

Be kind to yourself. You can only do what seems best in the situation you have. Hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

Thank you Countrymouse. My parents are not joined at the hip, but you would not know it. They will not leave each other's side. They will not do anything unless the other one is beside them. I have seen mom hit dad and he will just say I've had her so long I don't want to be without her. They have been married 72 years.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to srgdean
Report

Consistency will be important to your father, especially. He will remember you better for longer if he sees you often.

But don't feel bad about not visiting if it isn't practical. And if your mother is abusive, leave as promptly as you like. It does not help her or you for you to stand there and take it.

Would it be possible for the NH to move your father to a lounge where you can visit him on his own, perhaps? Your parents aren't physically joined at the hip, after all.

Give your father as much information as you believe he is able to process, which may not be much. When he asks direct questions, such as yesterday's, you handled that fine; but if you want to be more accurate and you think your father would find it reassuring, a highly simplified printed "statement" showing a nice healthy balance might do the trick. You can make it look as official as you like. You also take it away with you - "we don't want everyone knowing your business..."

And give yourself a pat on the head! You've taken brilliant control of an extremely difficult situation, well done.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report