Is it sometimes counterproductive to sit with an elder in a nursing home too long? - AgingCare.com

Is it sometimes counterproductive to sit with an elder in a nursing home too long?

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I don't want to give details, I just get reamed for expressing annoyance overmuch. Suffice it to say, the last 3 days I have sat with mom for over 15 minutes and that is when the 'insanity' starts. Says things that ultimately don't make sense, doesn't understand answers, etc. Gets to the point I just leave because I can't take it anymore, she won't drop it, and I will not hang around trying to 'fix' it. I think things go better if I stay less than 15, 10 minutes. Is it possible to stay too long? I know her brain is not working too well anymore, Some ways she is still sharp, but other areas she is as dense as the proverbial log. I've noticed that when I answer she seems to have a blank expression, and nothing I say seems to register as she will simply go on and ignore what I've said, even when it answers the question, and repeats it. I'm thinking of testing the hypothesis out and see if longer/short periods make a difference in how she acts. Anyone out there similar experiences?

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People often sit too long with both patients in hospitals and residents in nursing homes. I can speak from the perspective of having been a patient. It takes a lot of energy just to be the person being visited. I once told a visitor that they could stay if they wished and thanked them for coming, but that I was going to go to sleep on them for I could not stay awake any longer. I fell asleep.
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What is your mom's ailment and why do you think you need to sit with her everyday? I think I would like my privacy and would not care for an all day visitor, though the intention may be good.

I have a friend who's doctor told her to stop visiting her mom, who had dementia and was in a nursing home, everyday. He said it was not healthy for her. She cut it back to 3 days a week.
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thanks very much. difficult to do, mom has only 2 people she knows and one is very very busy, the other has vision difficulties, can't drive there, so when she is up to it I pick her up and bring her.
I find when I bring them, there are long silences, mom just sits there looking blank. I just don't think there is much to talk about, but at least they do come occasionally. I have no. one. else. I am there almost every day.
There is the possibility that she'll end up back home as she is still 'medicaid pending', and I am waiting for that cement shoe to drop. I may end up with an astronomical bill and mom home complete with all the problems with her memory, what she wants and unable to express it, etc.
Your suggestion of just leaving seems to work the best. Mom always looks pouty but seems to have forgotten things by the following day. It is simply that I am now '3 for 3', 3 days in a row there has been a problem. I will try just staying shorter period of time see how that works. Thanks.
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Absolutely. Despite so much focus on how relatives as visitors are treated, there's little said of the demands on patients who need their rest and down time, peace and quiet, especially with multiple illnesses or if they're in rehab.

The perception or an obligation to be cordial, friendly, cheery or whatever can become a real drain. The patient may just want the visitor to leave so he/she can rest or sleep.
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Some visits I can't get a word out of my mom. I know she can speak if she wants to - granted, it doesn't always make sense but I'd take anything besides the uncomfortable silence. My usual routine when she's giving the silent treatment is - I'll tidy up her room, re-fold/organize her closet and dresser drawers as the staff isn't great at putting her laundry away, all the while keeping up a stream of conversation and asking questions trying to engage her. After that it just gets so freakin' awkward and frustrating - so I tell her I've got to get to the grocery store and get home. At this point she'll say something and protest my leaving. At first this would get me to sit down and stay a while longer but guess what? She starts the silent thing again. So now when I say I'm leaving, I leave. Good visit or bad, I'm usually there about an hour. However, I honestly am starting to believe she is doing this on purpose - a final power play. My mother has always been a master at manipulation and even in her compromised state I think she's still playing me. Today's visiting day - I always go every Friday plus another random day during the week. I've never really looked forward to these visits but in the past month or so I've begun to dread them. It's going to be 100 degrees here today - as usual she'll have her room set at 85...
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It is very possible to stay too long. I have found mom behaved better if we were in one of the lounges where other people were around. Keep your visits short and when she starts rambling or criticizing, it is time to kiss her and tell her you have to be somewhere. Bring someone else with you-- because one on one seems to inspire the most negative and critical comments from her.
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