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I see my father a couple times a week but I am wondering should I be going to see him every day? He's not far from me, about 30 minutes, but I am concerned that not visiting daily will impact his mental health? Should I go less often? Also it seems to me that my mother and sister are not at all concerned that daddy is so alone, depressed and not wanting to be there. It angers me that my mother and sister can't accept that he can't remember all the bad stuff he's done and let it go and accept the apology that will never come....I'm at a loss


If you both enjoy the visits, twice a week is nice, but not necessary. In ALF, residents are more active & hopefully will socialize. But in nursing homes, residents have less stimulation, & probably depend more on family. I hope you continue to do the right thing, (no need to be perfect). I struggled with this dilemma also. Some days were good, & some were rotten. But God sees our efforts. Good luck.
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Lacey, reading your recent response about your mother & your sister's anger towards your dad brought to mind something I read the other day: An unhealed person can find offense (or feel angry) about pretty much anything someone does. A healed person understands that the actions of others has absolutely nothing to do with them.
It's a wonderful thing for YOU that you've been able to forgive your father for his past actions. Most of us find it hard, if not impossible, to realize that a parent's cruelty really had nothing to do with US! Good for you!!
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Tiger55 Jun 12, 2019
Such good info & thank you lealonnie1
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Thank you for coming back to us all. I hope, it sounds as if, typing it out has helped you feel a bit more confident about how you're handling this difficult situation with your father's care?

It is very difficult, especially, when you feel you're being forced to pick a side. Your mother has grievances, and your sister opts decidedly to support her, yes? And you have wished that they would let the past go and show more compassion for your father, now that he is frail and defenceless and in need of care.

Privately, if your mother is nursing injuries, I should have guessed that it would be better for *her* too if she were able to move on. Forgiveness tends to heal the forgiver as well as the forgiven. But seeing as this is a big subject, almost certainly with chapters in it that you wouldn't want to know about, and that you and she and your sister hadn't yet been able to get as far as accepting one another's perspectives, if I were you I should keep my thoughts private and try not to get drawn in fraught, emotional discussions.

Meanwhile, it is so good to hear that the VA is taking lovely care of him and encouraging him to participate. Six months on from a stroke, even with complications, is not so long that it's impossible he might improve some more yet, too. Fingers crossed :)
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Laceysterror May 5, 2019
Thank you so much for your words, coming here and writing about all of this has definitely helped me come to grips with everything. It's still hard to deal with the fact that my mother and sister are still so judgemental and unforgiving about daddy - yes there were serious issues between mom and dad and there were some things me and my sister dealt with but at least he never abused us, he was just cruel. There were several times he said things so very cruel to me but I found it in my best interest to forgive him without his apology. He doesn't remember it and I'm not going to bring it up, I have done so before and I saw the immense hurt he felt from me telling him what he did, he cried so many times and that's when I said I would never bring those things up again. I made up my mind to try and spend the rest of his life trying to make it as pleasant as possible and save my soul in the process too. As for my mother and sister, they just don't want to forgive him, they continue to obsess about everything he ever did, granted they don't bring it up when we are visiting but they are holding it against him in their hearts, they have a hatred towards him they won't let go of, but I've resigned myself (thanks to everyone here helping me) that I can't control how they are feeling and if they want to continue to hold on to this hatred, that's their issue.

I am very thankful that the VA took daddy - we had a hell of time at home with him. Every time he had a seizure he would come back and forget he couldn't walk and would fall down. He was very stubborn and after having to try and pick him back up we realized we just couldn't do it anymore. He's done this same thing at the VA and every time daddy asks me when he can come home I have to remind him of all the times he fell...but five minutes later he had totally forgotten. But he is getting excellent care and I am very thankful for that.

I appreciate everyone's response, it has helped knowing there was some place I can come to, thank you every one!
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You have to give dad a chance to acclimate and to make friends, to set a routine for himself, etc. He can't do that if you're constantly around, so it sounds right that you go over twice a week. My mother seems to do BETTER when I'm NOT around, honestly! Me checking up on her prevents her from telling her BS stories and cramps her style. Do what's right for YOU, knowing that dad's doing just fine on his own.
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Your profile says that your father has had a stroke, is that correct?

First things first - if the stroke was at all recent it is possible that something can be done about his low mood, comparatively easily. Ask his doctor.

As for your main question, how often "should" you visit your LO in a facility: you won't be surprised to hear that there is no correct answer to your question. But there's no wrong answer, either!

The best thing is to go as often as feels right to you; and the other really important thing is to be realistic about what your visits can and can't do for him. He may benefit from them, but it isn't likely that they will have a big, noticeable impact on his mental health. Your attention and company are positive, but you can't make him young or well or easy in his mind.

Your mother and your sister, too, have to figure this one out for themselves. Try not to be angry that they don't see your father the same way that you do.

When you mention the 'bad stuff' - is this long-running family history, or more recent events?
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Laceysterror May 3, 2019
Thank you so much for your response. To answer your questions, yes he had a stroke 3 days before thanksgiving last year. He also has a seizure disorder that counteracts with his dementia - after he has a seizure he forgets he can't walk and winds up on the floor and while he's down there he strips off all his clothes lol....He is in physical, occupational and speech therapy but he's been having this since last December and he is doing better but I'm doubtful he's ever coming back home. He is in a Veterans Home so he's being well taken care of.

I found out today that he's actually been participating in activities at the VA - and I had been thinking he was just laying in bed, depressed and lonely..well he is lonely but he's doing things which surprised me. I usually go visit two to three times a week and I think that has actually been beneficial to him. Someone there did tell me that maybe my visits were making things worse and I believe she was right!

As for the bad things, these were a long time ago but I'm trying to learn to let things go regarding my mother and sister. It's not up to me to judge them and that's what I was doing. It still bothers me when momma brings up how awful he used to be and how she'll never forgive him - but again I know it's not my business.

I'm just trying to make his last days here comfy and make sure he knows I love him regardless of everything.

Again thank you for your response!!
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I used to visit my mother twice a week for about an hour. I love(d) her, But that, was, quite frankly, was enough. If family is constantly there, the resident and staff don’t have a chance for much necessary interaction. You run out of things to talk about. Old hurts have a tendency to resurface. And, it’s just plain boring. My daughter’s in-law family, when someone is hospitalized, believes in spending the entire day in the hospital room with their family member. That’s just “overkill “. Do whatever you are comfortable doing.
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Laceysterror May 3, 2019
I appreciate you responding to my post. After him being there since February, I'm going to see him about twice a week and that seems to be about the right thing. I found that going every day is, as you said, boring and you run out of things to talk about...and you are so right about overkill - I was definitely doing that!
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You say that it angers you that your mother and sister can’t forget the bad things your father has done, and that your father can’t remember those same bad things so there won’t be an apology. My sisters and I also couldn’t forget the bad things our own father had done, and I see no reason why we should have done so. He was safe and cared for physically, and he was lucky to have lost a few memories of his past actions. If you feel like visiting your father, go ahead. But it would be a good idea to keep your relationship good with your mother and sister, instead of feeling angry that they are reacting in a different way from you.
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Laceysterror May 3, 2019
I completely agree with what you said, and thankfully I've kept my mouth shut to mom and my sister....fighting with them is NOT a good thing to do any time! I'm trying to let my aggravation go regarding them, and it's getting better, but not al the way there yet!

Thank you for responding~
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This is just an opinion but I think it has a lot to do with how long he's been there and how he's adjusting. I've heard a lot of people say that if your dad is having a hard time settling in then it's better to visit less until he adjusts better. Also if he's in for rehab or permanently makes a difference. I'm the world's worst Mama's boy so nothing anyone said would have made me visit less. That's another big issue if you moved out of state 10 years ago and just moved back (just an example) then it might be weird to both of you if you visited every day. I don't think there is a right or wrong. I imagine the people who take care of him have probably told you not to visit that much but I'm pretty sure they tell everyone that. If family and friends are there often they have to be on their best behavior.
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Laceysterror May 3, 2019
I really appreciate you responding! It seems as though I'm getting the same answer from everyone and I couldn't be happier to hear it! One lady there did tell me that sometimes visiting less often is better for them, it helps them adjust better. And it seems as though he is adjusting though every time he asks me when he can come home or what have I got to do to get out of here? That always breaks my heart because I wish I could bring him home but he needs around the clock care and momma is just not able to do that. Plus she wouldn't do it even if she could....but that's a story for another time lol....
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