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She is unable to speak, walk, or eat on her own.

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My Mom came to live with me Nov of 2014. I never felt it was going to be permanent. Placing her in an AL was always the plan.

I am the oldest of 3 surviving children. The other two are my brothers. Its always been me that my parents relied on. My Mom had an active life. She had friends and Church activities that kept her busy. But, she started to get needy. I don't do needy well. By the time she came to live with me, she had become like a child. This woman who had been a strong person and kept her 4 kids in line now acted and had the expressions of a child. For some reason this bothered me so I would ignore it by not engaging her. I couldn't have a conversation with someone who just rambled. So, I didn't try. Mom had our old family room with a bath. Big enough for a bed, dresser, recliner and TV. I would bath, dress her and get her breakfast. She lost the ability to read, her favorite thing. She wasn't a game/card player before and now short term didn't allow her to learn. So it was TV till we had dinner. Mostly we went out. Sometimes we would run in to people we knew. Home and then sit with us while watching TV. Then get ready for bed. I do feel guilty about those times I ignored her but I just didn't know how to talk to her. Eventually she went to an AL. I would visit 15 to 30 min a day. (I lived 5 min away) By this time Mom's rambling was worse. So I would sit with her and other residents. This way I could carry on a conversation with at least one person and try and include her which really was a lost cause.

So yes I see why you have a hard time calling her Mom. Because...the Mom you knew is not there anymore.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I wanted to speak up again. I call mthr "dear" to her face as I do my sons, daughter, the checkout girl, the mailman... maybe some think it's patronizing but I can't remember names well and it covers that problem!

Even when the boys were little, I'd go through the list oldest-youngest until I got to the right name even when there were just 3. "Dear" takes care of them all - I picked it up from the book Cheaper by the Dozen. My children then picked it up from me - they are brotherdear or sisterdear in conversation even now. Mthr has no problem with Dear.
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heathie7 Jan 20, 2019
That's a great solution! Who doesn't like being called "dear"?
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I think there's just so little of the "mom" I know left in her struggling, broken body, and brain. I've become her guardian/mom. There's even been a couple of instances when medical staff have referred to me as her "Mom".
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simplyexhausted Jan 20, 2019
Hi Peggy. I know it's been a month but I wanted to respond to your message because I am in exactly the same situation. My mom's stroke was last August and after unproductive rehab and a miserable stay at the nursing home, I brought her to my home on hospice with 24 hour aides.

But I can't bring myself to spend much time with her. The loss I feel is tremendous. Her caregivers and hospice team celebrate when she speaks a few words or moves her leg, but all I see is that the woman I had as my intelligent advocate and friend is now bedridden, incontinent, and unable to speak. There is nothing to celebrate here, and I am heartbroken.

How are you and your mother doing?
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I’m sorry that this must be a very sad time for you as well as your Mom. Do you think she understands or recognizes that you’re there? I’m unsure why you have this hesitancy to call her Mom, but I’ve heard that hearing is one of the last senses to go, so she may be able to recognize your voice, regardless of what you call her. My mom is blind and has dementia, but she still recognizes my voice. So I guess my question is do you not want to speak the word “mom” out of sadness, or do you not want her to acknowledge you're there as her daughter at all?
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peggy40 Dec 16, 2018
Mom seems to have an awareness about me, as her daughter, when she sees me but since she's unable to ask about much of anything or anyone - she doesn't seem like "mom" and I suppose its part of the grief and sadness I'm feeling.
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I can understand that. Mthr is in a memory care and does not recognize me. I believe she's not in there anymore, and I'm pretty much over it. I think your reluctance to call her mom is a recognition that that shell is not really your mom anymore, mentally and physically. I think you have grieved that and are over it too. Going to see her is a huge gift to her no matter what you call her. Hugs!
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peggy40 Dec 16, 2018
Thank you for helping me understand this better.
I'm crying "tears of release" because of your reply, you're right.
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No. Can you explain why you feel that way?
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Reply to Shane1124
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peggy40 Dec 16, 2018
Yes, Mom, before the stroke, well-read, vibrant, active, a daily dog walker.
Since the stoke, all she can do is scoot backwards in a wheelchair, barely using her left arm and leg. She doesn't seem to try to communicate except through yelling or hand gestures.
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