How often to visit parent in nursing home?

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Such a good question, lakegirl, and one I haven't seen addressed so directly. pstegman makes an important point – sometimes visits and outings don't have their intended consequence. You really have to look at your parent carefully to judge the effect of visits. Talk to staff, too. Ask how she (or he) is after you've left. So often I've heard care staff talk about how agitated Mrs. So-and-so is following her daughter's daily lunchtime visits (or whatever). Yet, for fear of offending or upsetting the daughter, they don't speak out. I mean, it's supposed to be "the more visits, the better," right? So, they have a resident who merrily goes through her days, except for the hours following a visit when she's inconsolably agitated and anxious. The answer is open communication with staff and trying different visiting tactics (time of day, length of visit, etc.). One favorite tactic is to visit during an activity and participate in it. It's not as upsetting to have a daughter arrive during flower arranging, take part in it and leave. The visit "goes with the flow."

Don't even get me started on the ill-advised trips some families of AL residents propose each summer – "we want to get Dad to the lake one last time" or "Mom always loved the shore – we're taking her with us this year."
Look at it from your parent's point of view. When you're thinking of taking your parent for an outing or overnight, ask yourself – if you lost almost all ability to adapt to new situations, how would you feel doing what you're proposing?
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ormonian....my mom's life pretty much revolved around me. You made me feel so bad. With gas prices so high...it is 50 miles round trip...I also have a small farm and 4 grandchildren who are very involved in my life....I do the very best that I can..wouold you be able to go see your loved one three times a day if you lived 25 miles a day. I stand by what i said.....it is very individualized to every situation. The frequency I visit(ed) my parents does not show how much they loved me or how much i love them. Your answer was pretty hurtful
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My Daddy is in a long term health care facility. He had a stroke 5 months ago and is unable to communicate except a word here or there. My sister goes week day mornings for several hours and I go after work daily for several hours. I go 3 times a day on Saturday and Sunday. He needs a voice and I wouldn't feel right unless we were there daily. Put yourself in your loved ones place. How often would you want a familiar face to be at your side and speak up for your needs? Yes, we get tired, but my Father was there for me my entire life and I love him for that and so many other reasons!
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was visiting my mom 2 times a week, but she hounded me about going home, and I have serious nervous issues, and depression, so i go once a week now. It's hard to find things to talk about when she isn't facing whats really happened to her health and considering my limitations. Do the best you can, and that's all we can do. I also don't visit alone because she acts better if I don't. I have cried too many times leaving there feeling like a horrible person for trying to keep my mother safe and cared for, but she doesn't understand.
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I have a sister in a group home and I found out the hard way, that if I visited her more than once a week or took her home for the weekend, she would lose her focus on her residence. She would stop interacting with staff and residents and see me as her only source of entertainment. She would misbehave, she would call me constantly, she would refuse to participate in activities and outings. So now I stick to taking her to BK for lunch, once a week, and take her right back to her home. She is more cooperative with staff now and knows them by name.
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I absolutely believe that this is such an individualized thing. I live 1/2 hour from the nursing home. My mom has ALZ and does not know me..having said that EVERYONE should have an advocate. When mom first went in ..I went every day for 2 yrs. Looking back..I should not have done that. I think it interfered with her adjusting. After 7 yrs, on a good week, I try to be there 2-3 times. I have a great relatioship with the staff and can now see that mom relates to THEM not me. Heartbreaking but true. My dad was in for 18 months. His mental faculties were intact. I went every day at first...gradually down to 2-3 days a week. He was very lonely, but refused any interactions with others.when he got sick about 3 months ago post surgery I was there every day...had just started slowing that down when he got sick again and did not recover. So i guess my best advice is follor your gut. Take action so that when you loved one is no longer here, you have no regrets, Please though be an active presence of some kind. I am still grieving for my precious dad but I have no regrests.
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I think it is individual based and what is right for you may not be right for me, there is no dogma in my opinion. I do not have a car, so I have to rely on my bike and if I am fit for a ride emotionally and physically since I have ankle osteoarthritis. Otherwise I pay for a cab and with no income and lots of bills this I try to avoid. I have to rely on the weather not being too blustery, a bit of rain is okay, but in t his part of the world the gales blow hard and the rain can drive vertically. In any event, an optimal time for me at first was during an occasion, music, or party, kept a bit of diversion from the constant pleas to come home. I call every day and talk to my mother to see if she is okay if I can't go there. I bring her flowers, cookies, chocolate when I go about once or twice a week. I always bring her in the lounge and make her tea and give her the cake I brought up for her, we sit and watch her favorites like John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart movies, Kojak and Magnum PI get her going. I interact with staff and they are warm and caring and they never know when I will show up, it is always warm and cheerful there so that comforts me. The point is your parent has to have time to bond in their new environment, they need to make friends or attachments and develop new routines. Go when you can, hug them, spoil them, and let them know you will be back soon and will call them and that they can call you at any time. My mother may forget I was there, but it makes for better visits to just accept her and whatever she has to say while there, she always wants to know when my deceased father is coming up, I don't correct her I just agree with her and make it pleasant for myself and her, as much as I can, because it is like Escape from Alcatrazy, she is always plotting her escape, we make a game of it now, I tell her I'll get in trouble if I take her out and she understands this and accepts it, it is a mind cluster. Just go when you can and don't let anyone tell you how much you should do or not do.
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I do believe that someone needs to check on our loved ones, almost every day. My MIL and mother both are in their right minds, so they will tell us, if they aren't being treated right. It has been up to Mother's friends to do that, since she is in IL. and I am in AZ. I wouldn't be seeing her every day, if I lived there. She would go right back to depending on me, instead of the staff.
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I visit my father every day because that is what my mother did for her mother. I occasionally have a "day off" when my husband goes instead of me.
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I had the opposite reaction from Mom when I went during activites. She would stop what she was doing and announce that her daughter was there so she couldn't participate. In fact meal time seemed to be the best, because I would help her with her food and we could chat then. But my Mom has never done good after I left. She is now in a very small residential group home and so far, visits are good. She seems to really like it there, although she still says she wants to go home. She doesn't wail and cry though, at least not yet. She has only been there a few weeks.
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