My mom after a severe medical issue was admitted to a wonderful nursing home facility. How do I help her understand and stop feeling so guilty? -

My mom after a severe medical issue was admitted to a wonderful nursing home facility. How do I help her understand and stop feeling so guilty?


At this point more than a year later my mothers OK. She's doing pretty good. I know that the excellent medical care, nutrition, and the socialization is what has improved her health. She still has continued with medical issues and a dementia that is increasing. She is using a walker part of the time. She is continually asking me when am I going to get her out of here, when is she going home. She blames me all the time and not my three brothers. She called me selfish and that I just don’t just don’t want her anymore. I usually visit at least 5 to 6 days a week. Prior to entering the nursing home she was ill for six months, hospitalized three different times and I took care of her 24 hours a day at home but it was exhausting both mentally and physically. I had to get on an antidepressant and also saw counseling (gave up on her because she just keep telling me to not visit so much, I’m retired so have the time and want to). I know that the NH is the best place for her at this point. Even the past five years I limited my social life because she did not want to be home alone. She moved in with me when my Dad had a stroke and had to be in a NH as well. I know intellectually that the nursing home is the best place for her at this point but emotionally I have difficulty every single time she asked me when is she going home , why don’t I want her home I’m being selfish, she is independent and they do nothing for her. Obviously not true. I just don’t know how to handle it. It seems that she just repeats this montage constantly and never takes in what we (my brothers and I) say to her. I know it’s part of the dementia but it still hurts. My brothers say they don’t want me to bring her home it would be too hard for me. The guilt is really getting to me at this point. There are days when I think I should just bring her home even though I know it would be difficult on me and on the dogs (she's very abusive to them ) and verbally abusive to me. I do bring her home sometimes for day visits and see this abusive behavior and unrealistic views of what she can do physically. What can I do?? How do I help her understand and stop feeling so guilty??? Sorry for the ramblings. Thanks in advance for the help.



You acknowledge that mom's doing well in the NH, that she's well taken care of and is thriving and socializing.
You admitted that she was too much for you to take care of.

But she's not happy. So, she is trying everything she can to get you to bring her home. I'll bet she's cried, screamed, pleaded and is now hauling out the big guns-GUILT "If you love me you'd bring me home.". It will be up to you IF her tactic works. Will you cave in to pressure because she has told you what a "bad" daughter you are?
Would she have said these things to you when she didn't have dementia?

I agree with the other posters, even though you CAN visit her frequently, you should back off. She has become dependent on you and will continue her antics until you give in. She will wear you down, like the mothers of the kids in the candy aisle.

You're right, she should not come home, especially since you have suffered mentally from it and have to take medication.

You need a therapist to help "strengthen" your backbone. Think of a counselor as a mental trainer.

Therapeutic fibs are also good to use.
"Mom, Your doctor told me you need to stay here until you're stronger." And the like.

Good luck. Think about YOUR life too. Mom will be fine.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to SueC1957

I know this is hard. My mother lives with my brother and is beginning to get really sick of him "holding her down". Well, she CHOSE this dynamic 21 years ago. She asked me if she could move in with me. I told her (gently) "Mom, you chose this setting against my (and 3 of my other sibs') objections. We KNEW how "R" can be and he has been just that--controlling and keeping her "locked away".

She still chose to live with him. I told her we can move her to an ALF if she wants "out" but none of the rest of us kids will/can take her in.

Your mother is getting better care--better nutrition, better everything b/c she has a fresh turnover of caregivers every 8 hours. You did the best you could for as long as you could.

I think your therapist was right. You're spending far too much time with mother. She needs the time "alone" to adapt an adjust. My therapist routinely reminds me to keep my boundaries with my mother in check--she stirs me up something fierce, plus I have to contend with a semi-crazy brother, too.

The idea of fewer, more specialized visits sounds brilliant! Since I can no longer go to mother's home, that is what I have to do. It works. I'm less stressed and I can drop mother off and not deal with brother.

My mother does not have dementia. I hope everyday she'll stand up to brother, call my OTHER brother and ask to see some ALF's. She'd be so much happier.

A parent with dementia--you just have to keep telling yourself "this isn't Mom-- it's the disease."
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Reply to Midkid58

I hope you have read the MANY other postings here about dementia patients "wanting to go home'. It is almost never the home they lived in most recently --- it is the home of the period where they are mentally stuck. For my Mom (stuck in her late teens) it was the home she grew up in. The CCRC she had lived in for 6 years wasn't it! Come up with a dozen therapeutic lies --- the house is being painted and the smell will make you sick; The doctor wants to help you walk better before we move you, etc. I would stop taking her for day visits --- instead make the outing to an ice cream parlor or a little league baseball game or to watch the children in a playground.
When the abusive comments begin, make your exit. "I'm sorry you feel that way Mom, it's best I leave right now. With any luck, the comments will quiet down. Drop the guilt, it doesn't help anyone.
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Reply to geewiz

You have as much right to health and happiness as your mom does. Right now, you're not acting that way. Visit mom less frequently. Obviously, your visits aren't calming her down any or making her happy where she is. Maybe if you visited less often, she'd get involved where she was. At a minimum, YOU'D be happier and that's just as important as mom's happiness. I would also quit bringing her home for day visits. That's just making her desire to "come home" more of a possibility. You're lucky your brothers support you and see the situation for what it is.

Your mom is safe, she's got children who love her and visit her, and she's in a decent place. That's about all any of us can ask as we head into old age. Instead of looking at what she doesn't have, focus on what you have provided for her. You've done a great job. It's time to take care of yourself with that same level of love and concern. {{{Hugs}}}
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Reply to blannie

Put it this way...You are a Senior taking care of a Senior. TG your brothers are on your side. She takes it out on you because you were her caregiver. They always want to go home but...where is home. Could be where she grew up or her first home. Six days is a lot. I would cut back. Your retired!! Find things to do. When u visit Mom and she gets started leave.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Perhaps your counsellor was seeing something that you are not prepared to acknowledge yet. The frequent visits to your mother are not in your best interest. She is verbally abusive to you in the nursing home, in your own home and mean to your dogs.

You need a break from her behaviour. You need to redevelop the social life you are missing and take care of yourself. There is no need to feel guilty, you have made sure your mother is in a safe place. Now you need to find a mentally safe place for you too.

If you do not feel you can reconnect with the counsellor you were seeing, try a new one, but keep in mind they will often suggest making changes that do not feel comfortable. That is part of the counselling process, to work through tough issues.
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Reply to Tothill

Abusive might have been a harsh word, she just yells at the dogs for no reason and occasionally would try and swat at the big dog (115 lbs) but he barely felt it but understood it as anger. Don’t worry I keep a very good eye on her when we are home and the dogs stay away from her.
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Reply to Lifesabeach28

You said you know it's part of the dementia; repeat it to yourself "IT'S PART OF THE DEMENTIA".  One thing you could do is to begin to visit less often; you need to pace yourself so you don't totally burn out, and that would help. I also hope you don't ever take her back home, for several reasons, one being the dementia gets worse, and also for the poor dogs' sake.... I wouldn't let someone abusive to my dog or cats anywhere near them! God bless sweetie; you can change some of this stuff.
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Reply to mally1