My mother lived in her own house until right after Christmas when she needed to go to hospital. She has never returned home and does not remember her house, her husband (my dad passed 4 years ago), preventing her kids, grandkids, etc. She seems very happy to see me when I visit her at the memory care facility but after she "lights up" and hugs me, she immediately goes off on a tirade of all that is wrong with her and how no one understands her pain. She uses a certain word All of the time to describe or talk about anything or everything. Uses it 3-5 times in every sentence!
She and I always had a very close relationship. I am only girl. I can't seem to get over the fact that I can't figure out a way to visit, care for her, help her with her questions and somehow handle everything moment to moment. I do know that each day is different for her (and to her) but I don't know what to do! One of my siblings pointed out that he doesn't have any problems with her interactions with him while he is there. He gives me all kinds of "tips" but when I try those she becomes very mad and tells me that she doesn't like those things.
I have more details but my one sibling and I don't get along....for many reasons....and it is all an ugly mess! And I feel SO sad and lonely....I've lost my mom and it seems like all my connections to her! I love her very much but I don't even recognize her anymore. I have extreme guilt because I don't see her but a few times a week, but I am so stressed and upset after even 10 minutes with her.
I have people that tell me that I should see her everyday and spend as much time with her as I can while she is alive. Most of these people have a mom that has passed. So I listen with my heart but I think that only my husband knows and understands what is going on. The guilt is crushing! I work part-time. I do live close.
Gosh, there is so much I could put down to round it out some more. But it seems that I could write forever. I have reached out to the nurses, aides, directors of the residents, etc. but they are also seeing what is transpiring. I would like to go to the Alzheimer's monthly support group but I don't feel that I want to be in the one that one of my siblings would probably join after he would find out I was going. I feel like I am in prison! I also suffer from depression (postpartum that never went away 20 years ago) so I can't even think how to handle/organize getting her house sorted, cleaned out and ready to sell. And I know that is needed due to what she will need as time goes on....we have been working with elder atty., so that is moving along.
Got to stop. Thank you all.
You are seeing your mom more than enough and from what you said more than you should. Once a week is plenty and if that frequency is too much go to every couple of weeks or once a month. It is about what you need to keep yourself healthy and happy. Mom will not miss you, she will not remember when you were there last.
Why do you have to take care of mom's house? Will sibs help at all? I also stayed out of that completely and sibs did it all. Though I was asked to help, once they locked me out of the house help had to be on their schedules. And I did not want to spend time with the. I provided the care, so did my part. Now it is their turn.
We can only do what we can do. What someone thinks they would do in hindsight and grief is ok for them. It us not realistic for most, if it were they would have done it when they had the opportunity. After someone passes we all have regrets, maybe theirs is they did not visit more. Those opinions are not helping you as it is an unrealistic expectation for them to put on you or you to put on yourself.
Visit with your Mom as much as you think is right for you. Some children would spend all day at the facility, others might spend a 1/2 hour if that. Neither one is wrong.
My Mom is in long-term-care, and if she is sound asleep when I visit and if she doesn't respond to me calling out her name, I will just kiss her good-bye after a few minutes and leave the facility. If Mom is alert and chatty, I will stay for a 1/2 hour or more, but if I see her becoming agitated, then I will leave. I rather have her calm, thus that helps me not to feel so guilty when I leave.
Question, does your Mom have problems with hearing? I found the male voice is easier for my own Mom to hear than my own voice. Thus my Mom can't understand me, I can't understand her. It is so sad, it's like who is this person?
Your mother probably complains more to you I think because women tend to do that more with females than with males. Men I don't think are as interested in hearing complaints or are as verbally sympathetic, (not that they aren't - they just don't always verbalize it) or may not be comfortable hearing of issues for which solutions are hard to create.
I think also that women tend naturally to try to solve problems, sometimes if solutions aren't readily available. That's just our nature. Men try more to find ways of accepting and living with the issues. Both can act to blend together to offer reassurance. Perhaps you can discuss this with your brother and work out ways to tag team when you visit.
Or, instead of offering solutions, perhaps you can try to get more information on each specific complaint, taking notes, and indicating you'll do what you can to find out what, if anything can be done. At least your mother will know that you're listening, are sympathetic, and will try to find solutions.
On the other hand, it may not be solutions she's seeking, but rather a willing listener. Be sympathetic, offer understanding that these issues are hard, challenging, etc. Don't challenge her but reinforce and validate her feelings, but do try to segue into other issues, such as the change in the weather, family activities, or better yet, issues that interest and please her.