How often do you visit your parent with Alzheimer's or dementia in a nursing home?

Follow
Share

My mom has been in the dementia unit of a nursing home for about a year and a half (feels like longer). I've had a hard time with administration and staff. (Anyone with a parent in a nursing home knows exactly what that means.) I often feel that I hate that place because of the way I've been treated, but it's the best one I could get my mother into, she's content there, and a move would mean she loses her private room and everything she's familiar with...not a good thing at her age. With time, as expected, I've seen my mother's condition get worse. She's in diapers now and unable to speak coherently. It kills me slowly to see her like that, though I love her more than anything. Sometimes it's a struggle for me to go visit her. My visits have been reduced to 2x per week for about 3 hours a visit, sometime more.

I feel guilty and angry at myself for not having the strength, or I guess the willingness to visit her more often during what is likely the last stage of her life. I long for this time of life to be over, but that would mean that I lose my mother too.

Most of the people on my mother's floor NEVER get a visitor. I'm curious about how often other people fight through the heartbreak and go visit their parent with dementia in a nursing home.

(Just to provide more detail, I pay a nursing student to visit her 3x a week for 3 hours a visit, and my husband will go visit her separately once or twice a week so she gets more coverage.)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
22

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Thank you for your kind response. I'm currently working on shoving my guilt aside. MIL seems content, if nasty, and I just stay away.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother has been in a wonderful group home (only six residents in a home - no nasty institutional stuff) with 1 staff to three residents ratio. Initially, I saw here every day because she was deeply grieving from the loss of her partner, but because she was so dependent on me I dropped the visits back to about three times a week, so she could better settle into her new home. After a broken hip and a bout of pneumonia, my Mum has deteriorated - she no longer can walk, is doubly incontinent and doesn't know who I am. But, she still seems to enjoy my visits, although they are more difficult for me. Some days I plan to see her but can't muster the strength. And then I'm plagued by guilt. At least I know she is beautifully looked after when I'm not there. I couldn't have placed her in a dementia unit in a nursing home - even the best were terrible.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Not all endings are happy ever after. Unfortunately this is the realty of growing old. The body breaks down, hearing, vision, memory, mobility and appetite. I understand your frustration with your MIL but your involvement in her care can be behind the scenes. Your attendance at the NH displays to your husband that you care about him. While he is visiting his mother, you go see the charge nurse and ask how she is doing. Find out if there any events
where you can be counted with her. She may not say or display any gratitude but it goes along way. The staff knows who is involved in there family members care.

God does forgive us. Don't be so hard on yourself you do care for her or you would not be talking about it.

God Bless DuchessMary!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

What kills me is that MIL just lies or sits there like a lump with the TV blasting away without ANY other form of stimulation. Suddenly she's claiming she's deaf, but she's more blind without proper glasses that she refuses to ask for. (Totally baffled on that one). Her mind is so twisted, that I gave up a long time ago.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

In my family's experience, the visits were every bit as much for the staff seeing that we were there checking on things and watching, as they were to visit my mom. We had a good degree of trust in the nursing facility but the fact was when they saw that we were regularly there, they seemed to care more themselves.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Do I visit my MIL? NO NO and never. We used to be very close, but now she's gotten into her head that I'm guilty of elder abuse and blabs this to anyone who cares to listen. I'm beyond heartbroken but I refuse to be insulted and called names. My husband (her youngest) can hardly stand to see her either, but I gently try to nudge him to go from time to time. It's just too awful for me to cope with, so I don't. (may God forgive me,).
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi Christine

My wife and I have owned and operated a licensed Family Adult Home for over 20 years. We have been blessed to care for over 50 elderly and have new friends because of their family members. Personally I wonder what people think of people who devote their lives for this forgotten population.

Christine from our experience what you're doing is amazing. We would love to see more involvement as you are demonstrating with your mother. We have had people
drop off their parent and rarely see them. Sad because we know as having children the involvement and sacrifices we made as parents was out of love. The example you are displaying is clearly LOVE. As for the staff at this facility.

As a owner of a Adult Home I have compassion and empathy for staff that devote their energy and time for this special population of people. We see them as people who need help. So we help them but actually don't know them unless the family tells us who they are. A form with information is never enough. There are pleasant memories they experienced, photos, shows, music that bring them back to wonderful time in their lives. The staff needs to know what makes them happy because being alone and scared and when you don't know where you are is a bad time. Not just for your mother but for the staff as well. We are in partnership with you in this final stage of their lives.

One phrase that triggered a truth of what we do is "everything she's familiar with", what is familiar is your face and other staff in her life. Lets make it filled with as much happiness as we can manufacture by helping her remember her good times in life.

Christine THANK YOU for the example of LOVE you have bestowed on your mother.
Hang in there! God Bless You
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well, I ask myself that alot. I manage to go 1x a week and even then it's almost unbearable. I have panic attacks going there and a mental breakdown when leaving. My mom has been in nursing home since February of this year, She no longer sees me as her daughter and will leave me in her room, When she looks at me and that's if she looks at me, its a look I don't really know how to explain. I know my mom told me before she was getting worse and told me that I worry too much. I told her I didn't want her to have this, I didn't want to lose her this way. She looked at me and said I'm OK, I'm not worried and I am ready to go. I try to remember this, then there is the guilt of dreading going to the nursing home, my dad is having same problem.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I understand the reasoning behind a recommendation of "no visits for the first x days," and it some cases it may be best.

I don't see why this policy should be applied to someone who is only going to be in respite a couple of weeks.

I would not have respected that policy for my mother. (No one suggested it to me.) She was having a difficult time adjusting to waking up at night in a strange place. I spent the night in her room for a week or so, to try to see what was going on. My presence helped her settle back down, and contributed (I think) to her accepting that her room was a safe place.

I cared for my husband (LBD) in our home for 10 years. I never promised I would always keep him home. I promised that I would never abandon him, and that if it ever became necessary for him to live in a care center I would still be his advocate, his wife, and his companion. I would never have signed him in somewhere that tried to keep me from him even for a few days. (I would not have spent 12 hours a day with him, either, but I would have been there enough so he knew he was abandoned.)

No advice applies equally to all cases. But not allowing a husband to visit his wife seems cruel to me. Recommending, OK. Explaining the reasoning, OK. But preventing a visit? I'd certainly never use that place for respite again.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Rellie, I know that it is sometimes advised that new residents don't get visitors for the first few weeks until they settle in, but since she is only there for a respite stay that is especially ludicrous. My mom's NH has a 24/7 open door policy, and in my opinion that is the way it should be.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions