Is it okay to look Mom in the eyes and say, "Mom, this place isn't what we planned for, it must be so disappointing to you. I wish I could...

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... be here with you all the time. (Yet, I know she wouldn't want that, she's always been so independent.) Is it just rubbing salt in the wound to apologize - again - that she's not with me, but in the nursing home. Yes, I know she can't come home. She's too fragile. How do I tell her I care... she's always been one to deny pain or even disappointments, other than general complaints, but I'd like her to know I wish things weren't as they are. She can understand. She's not too far into her dementia. But I feel so sad for her. Today, they will up her Cymbalta because her restless legs keep her awake and moving at night. So her lucidity will suffer. But she is 93, and has no interest in anything. Please remind me she's okay, and that I'm just feeling guilty for nothing......

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Jocelyne your post could of been written by me. The place was nice, she had her own room but she wasn't interested in anything. This was a carryover from when she was still at home.

When I visited with Mom I tried to keep things cheery. As FF said my Mom thought she was in another apartment. She didn't even think she was in a nursing home and I tried to not correct her. I brought her magazines. She really enjoyed that. I sometimes gave her facials and did her hair up in rollers. Shaved her chin hairs for her. Stuff she never would let anyone else do. Just tried to pamper her.

Hope these are some ideas for you.
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Countrymouse... you said something that hit home... I'm having to watch my mom decline... and that is sad. And it's not the nursing home's fault, it is her age... and the work of time. I need to remember that.

When I take her downstairs in the private little TV room, we have lunch together and while there, I turn on Pandora and play music she likes while we eat. She has no "radio" and would not know how to use any kind of player. She just has no interest in keeping herself occupied with anything. Once in a blue moon she will have the TV on when I come to visit. But it's rare. That is very frustrating to watch, this giving up... as she used to be so active. It may very well just be the dementia or whatever...
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Second time I've forgotten to mention it - what about music? Many people seem to find it a great consolation, plus it's reputed to be good brain exercise. Might be calming, too.
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I'm sorry.... I really should say thank you to each one, your answers are so helpful. FreqFlyer, you are right... there are some things not worth correcting and just going along as mercifully kind as possible. Good comments. Countrymouse... yes, keep up a brave face is probably the best thing I can do for her. It's how she likes to be. She's always saying complimentary things from the decorating I've done so I know she's happy with how her room looks... all family pics are on the walls. All her children and their families. Her own family with her mom and dad at center. It is really nice. Too bad we can't post photos... or can we somewhere/somehow? It would be fun. She also seems to be relatively happy about the care she's getting. Even if it's putting up a good front, I will take her word for it and continue to observe, etc... and bring her treats. Thank You!
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Jocelyne, it is also okay to be sad, you know.

I'm struggling to explain what I mean. You should be honest with your mother about your feelings, that's part of being yourself. Only, perhaps, be careful to emphasise that what you're sad about is that she is frail and that you can't all be together, rather than dwelling on the awfulness of where she is. After all, she has to live there! - it won't help if you look on it as some kind of older people's boot camp :)
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JessieBelle.... so far this is what I'm doing. Keeping as positive as possible, and everyonce in a while, I wonder.... does it help to "aire" out the sadness. Well, maybe not. I'm gathering already from what you all are saying that I'm doing the right thing to visit her every other day, decorate her room as classy as I can - which is very classy - to help her roommate with her own decorating - Right now, I put up a small Christmas tree in her room and decorated it very simply, no balls, just red and gold string beads and four cute little children playing instruments under the tree representing her four children. I hung three beautiful Christmas tree ornaments with little ribbon from the top of her curtain rod behind the drape to make merry in the window. She is lucky to have the window side of the room.

So, I come and show her pics on my big smartphone, or take her downstairs to the computer room to show pics on our family Facebook page where I've asked family to post specifically for her.

She has no interest in any reading, puzzles, word-puzzles, or coloring... all things she started to slow down doing even when still at home 6 months ago. The parameters of her life were already shrinking before she entered the nursing home. It's as if God's timing is impeccable. I just need to remember to stay positive.

So.... thank you.... and I'm open to hearing more from anyone else! God bless you this Christmas season.
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I agree with JessieBelle - stay upbeat and positive about how your mom is doing well and is in a good place to care for her. Don't apologize or focus on the negative. Let her know you love her and bring small pleasures for her, if possible. A favorite kind of candy or a magazine or some cologne...whatever makes her happy.
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Jocelyn, maybe it's better to say the positive about how nice her place is and how well she is doing. There so much that you can be truthfully upbeat about. When I read the thing you wrote, it was a bit discouraging, so I wouldn't say it. If your mother is a trooper, she may prefer to hear the good things about her place and herself.
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Jocelyne, I found with my Mom I had to keep the sentences very very short, down to just a few words like "I am doing the best I can".

My Mom [98] thought she was in a hotel, and that I had a room down the hall. Well that was good. Mom would keep asking "when are we leaving" to which I would reply "tomorrow". Then the next day "can we call Mom to visit her" to which I would reply "I will call later".

Jocelyne, your Mom is ok, she is around Staff who are trained for anything that happens, this isn't their first rodeo where it was our first.
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If you're mother has always been in favour of soldiering on, I wonder if the best thing you could do is help her keep up a brave face. Especially as you feel she recognises that she is too frail to be safe in your home, maybe shift your focus to what matters now, where she is. Is she comfortable? Does she like her caregivers? Is there anything you could bring in with you, like photograph albums or books or puzzles (there are all kinds you can get, aimed at people with dementia, with bright colours and thoughtful designs) that she would enjoy? And keep talking to her about your and the family's everyday doings, even if she's not responding with any noticeable enthusiasm or interest. Some of it gets through, and it's better if that little bit is cheerful and comforting.

I'm so sorry you're going through this, it is a long, hard parting and it's terribly sad. But you have nothing to feel guilt about. You're making the best of reality, that's all; and it sounds as if your mother understands that. Hugs to you.
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