How to overcome guilt and worry when you put your parent in a nursing home?

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happytravelling, at my Mom's long-term-care the facility celebrated Thanksgiving the week before with each wing having it's own special day where family and friends could come to have a holiday dinner with their loved ones. Majority of people in my Mom's wing didn't even know it was Thanksgiving then or on the actual day.

Guess it all depends on who all still have families... many of the patient's siblings have already passed, and some of the children have died, too. Don't forget 40% of caregivers die leaving behind their loved one. Couple weeks ago my Mom [98] was waiting for her own Mom and for her siblings [all had passed on years ago].
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happytravelling, can you take Dad out for a pass?

my Dad's skilled nursing let me bring him a little wine - unfortunately it was not real good wine and gave him a headache - I think he know I meant well though :-) My mom did not smoke or drink, but she loved pizza and there was a place nearby we went a couple fo times, and we'd go out to eat after dentist visits. We had to modify a vehicle for her wheelchair once her car transfers got too bad but it was worth it. The cab services for wheelchair users were not very safe at the time. You can rent vans too and drive them yourself.
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Happytravelling - there are good facilities and bad facilities. My mom is in a fantastic place. No, you can't bring disallowed things in their. If you do, they could lose their license to operate. It's not our place to overrule those kinds of restrictions.

People with dementia make noises. They reach out. They holler and scream. They fight and claw and spit. Their brains are broken. This is not the behavior of someone with all their senses. In an advanced state, their brains are missing whole areas that used to control behavior and noises. It doesn't mean they are needing rescue or that the facility is causing it. The disease causes it. The facility can make them comfortable and keep them safe from themselves & each other. Sometimes families won't approve the use of medication that would help.

A lot of people don't have visitors. It is very sad, but they depend on volunteers to come in and be companions. There should also be an activity schedule. Maybe you should consider volunteering where your dad is and make some of the others without family happy with a little visit now & then.
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I couldn't put my terminally ill mom in a nursing home, quit work and took care of her until she passed. That was the start. I have spent the last 10 years taking care of first my mother, now my father. I HAD to put him in long term care after 5 amputations. I simply cannot take care of him will no legs.knees. This has destroyed me, but I am going to try to take him somewhere where he can enjoy the few years he has left.

Let me tell you WHY you should be afraid of nursing homes: I had to live with my mom after she was stopped and put in a nursing home because of dementia and I had to live with her take care of her. I went to her on Thanksgiving in the evening to tell her that I had signed all the papers and we would go home soon and I would live with her. As I came thru the doors there were many people loudly crying. I asked my mom what was wrong and she said "It's thanksgiving and noone is coming to visit".

At the facility he is at now, at 86, he say's all he wants is a smoke and drink. They tell me they will call the police if I bring alcohol for him.
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Maybe it will help to redefine what you are feeling.
It's new and powerful, but honey it is not guilt.

When you have to take steps to intervene in a loved one's life to ensure they are safe and cared for, pat yourself on the back. Don't kick yourself in the shins.

I really hope I prepare my kids for that day in the distant future (I hope) where this duty will become theirs. When I can't take care of myself anymore, I want them to know I expect them to do what must be done, because why would you not?

Journal out the exact names of what you are feeling and what is making you feel that way. Just blurt it all out on paper. This is not for a grade. Get a thesaurus and go to town. It's complicated. It's a very long list. You'll know when you're done because you'll be exhausted, but purged.

Fear
Regret
Frustration
Loss of control
Loss of possibility
Unexpected finalization
Unwanted change
Unprepared
New responsibility
Unequipped
Alone
Uninformed
Etc. You do your own list

Then what? It's a lot easier to deal with this hairball one thread at a time. Take one thing off the list and start looking for solutions or a remedy. This site is FULL of ideas and experienced people. Ask questions!

Over time you will cross things off that list and add new ones. This is a journey, not a sprint. Educate yourself. Find out what happens next so it doesn't surprise you. Come back often & tell us how it's going.
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freqflyer - Unfortunately my mom has dementia too and is getting worse every day. Plus she is almost blind from the stroke so she can't go anywhere without help.
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lahenz, has your Mom been able to make any friends in the nursing home? I guess it depends on what unit she is in and how able the other residents are to communicate. I think having a buddy is so important. My Mom has serious dementia so communication is so very limited, and she's unable to roam on her own.

At my Mom's nursing home/rehab center, you see a lot of women scooting about in their wheelchairs looking for their new friends :)
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freqflyer - it is amazing how fast things change. My mom is here and there and still thinks she is going home. I just want her to be at peace and that will give me peace :)
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lahenz, it is tough seeing our parents decline, especially when they go into a rather quick decline. Example, my Mom [98] a couple months ago was like The Flash, she was quick on getting around but she had refused outside help for her and my Dad. Now due to a serious fall, she is in long-term-care bedridden and doesn't even know where she is :(

We need to remember, our parent had a nice long life.
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Thank you freqflyer - The hardest part is not being in the same state and my brother is not either. We can only see her short times and we don't want to move her because she has lived there almost all of her life. She does have grandkids and friends there visiting her thank goodness and they keep me updated. I just wish I had a clone so I could always be with her now! She is almost 91 and had a stroke and lost almost all of her eyesight and her left side is weak. I just hear her sadness in her voice and it kills me. She has always been so independent and I see her failing. I am just grieving her and I miss her - she is just not the same.
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