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I dread my visits now. I visit my mom weekly in the nursing home. My visits are usually quick, lasting only 10 to 30 minutes. She has Dementia and we don't have a lot to talk about. I bring her a small gift each week but she complains about what I didn't bring or how bad the nurses are to her (which I know is not true). I am having a hard time adjusting to her condition and never knowing if she will know me when she sees me or not. Then she makes me feel guilty becasue I don't visit longer. I try to explain how busy I am, but she pouts like a small child. Am I a bad person for making such short visits?? I love her but it kills me to see her the way she is. How do I deal with the guilt?

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You could be there every day and she would still make you feel guilty. The guilt card is the most powerful weapon in any old lady's arsenal. Throw it away. Remind her that lots of residents have no one to come see them. Change the subject to the weather. Tell her how good she looks. Remind her you'll be back next week. Kiss her cheek and go with a smile.
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There is no "good" or "bad." There's just trying your best with the time and responsibilities you've got. The only person that can juggle them is you and you shouldn't listen to anyone that rates you as "god" or "bad," either, because they don't know your situation.

As for guilt, you take the burden she puts on your shoulders and you let it hang like a boulder upon you. If it were as easy as telling you to just get rid of it, I'd do that, but you and I both know that's not how guilt works.

Do your best. You can keep telling her something like, "I'd rather visit short more often than just wait for a long visit and just never visit." If you say that often enough, depending on her condition, she might remember it -- or, she might now. It's worth a try, though.
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I so agree with pstegman. My mom has been in a nursing home since August 2012. She went for therapy, due to falls, broken bones, etc... Now she has dementia and it is progressing rapidly. Unfortunately, we will never please them. We try to guess what to do for them and even our heartfelt gestures aren't appreciated. My mom has also been a negative person, but she has days where she is just mean and nasty. Today was one of them. I was going 4 times a week and cut back due to me being sick. I have kept it back to 2 visits a week.

This is part of the disease and the process. Not many are happy in a nursing home and usually it is directed at the child/caregiver they are closest to. Mom is very negative about the staff, but when I question her, she really can't give me details.

I hate the entire situation, but it's out of our hands. We just keep doing the best we can. You aren't alone.
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Guilt the gift that keeps giving!

Does she have other visitors? I'm curious if she does the same thing to them..It would be nice to know that "you're not the only one"..
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Pstegman is right. No matter what you do it won't be right or enough. Lose the guilt. One thing that helps...when you leave, don't say you'll see her next week, say you'll see her in a couple of days - it sounds like a shorter time and she really won't know the difference.
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Reverse it.... whenever your mother complains, agree with her.... "yes, the nurses aren't doing their job" [even though you know they are].... "yes, I am not visiting enough times or long enough, you are right, I will try to do better". See how that will work.

I need to try that with my parents any time they complain about something and throw the old guilt trip on me. I don't handle guilt well as I am someone who never had an over due library book and try to do everything right.
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I'm not visiting at all for a while. Since going into the NH eighteen months ago my mother has stayed in her room with the door closed, in bed or in her wheelchair, fantasizing and obsessing about everything and nothing. She refuses to attend activities or mingle and try to make a friend or two, yet complains bitterly that there's no-one to talk to. Since another stroke a few months ago she's deteriorated terribly and can do nothing for herself. I've been running down there three times a week with cookies, chocolates, flowers and anything she asks for and by doing so I feel I'm enabling her self imposed isolation.
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Pick 2 days a week, an hour, and the length of the visit. That might relieve the guilt on both sides. Stick to your guns.
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Ashlynne, if your Mom refuses to mingle with others at the home, well that is a choice that *she* made, no one else. We can't force our parent(s) to make new friends, and if she wants to pout, again that is her choice.

I know it seems like the guilt trip is a never ending ride :[
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freqflyer you're so right. Last time I saw her I told her it was not my responsibility to entertain her, make her happy or find her friends, she had to get off her butt and do it herself. All she has to do is go through her door. I doubt she will.
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