Is there usually a point in which you know your parent is "gone" and you have to let go?

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My mother has been in home for 2 years and while she is pleasant, she is constantly referring to boyfriends, parties, and seems to see me as her sister. This is especially difficult for my father as well. It is becoming difficult to visit yet she may live for years. If it wasn't for my father's sake, I'm not sure I would continue to visit on a regular basis. Have I finally given up on mom? Should I?

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Sherry, My advice is to never give up. No matter who she may be visiting with she is you beloved Mom. Be gentle and remind her who you are, if she prefers to think you are her sister or even a kind stranger who comes to visit, go with it. Use your compassion and loving heart to be with her. Don't take it personal or dwell in the who she has become. It is not her fault, she would never choose to go down this path in her life. No matter how difficult it is for you it is so much worse for her. If she were your child instead of your parent I know you would not stop going to visit. Be in the moment with her as she is today. Yes, she may live for many years, but today is all you may have with her. When she passes from this life you will have solace in the peace in your heart that you showed her your love and support till the end. She may not know the who, what or when anymore, however she she knows what being loved feels like. We never know how life will go for any of us. One of the wise things my Mom raised me to understand is to always treat others as we would like to be treated.
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My mother in law had dementia. When my father in law was in the hospital and couldn't visit, she would ask where "that nice man who comes to visit" was. She didn't know what his relationship to her was, but she missed him and knew he was kind to her. The hard part is that she was no longer there for him and her children. They had to grieve while she was still alive. She was in her own world. My husband and his Dad used to say, "I don't know where she is, but she is happy in her world and that's ok."
My father never had dementia, but it was difficult to visit him every day. I would go every other day and as time passed I tried to think of him as a person who was facing the end of his life. He wanted to know that his life had some meaning, I listened to the stories no matter how many times I heard them.
As we visited our parents, we felt our hearts were being ripped from our chest. We grieved every loss as it happened. It's not an easy road. In my case, I'm glad I kept going. I did have to "let go" of the image I had of my parents and see them as they are in the present moment. Which made the visits a little easier.
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U need to continue to be visable for the facility. folks with no family tend to not get quality care. human nature. U R family and caring and vigilance needs to start and end with you. no matter now hard. been there done that.
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When my mother became too riddled with Alzheimer's to really know who I was when I visited her, I remembered how she went to be with my younger sister who was deaf, dumb and blind from age 14 months to 26 months in the hospital each day. She held her, fed her, though her baby daughter gave no sign of life nor recognition. If only for that, I would have suffered the many visits to my mom during her two years of severe dementia. She would have done the same for me. That's what real love is, it hurts sometimes.
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When it becomes too difficult to think of your mom in this way, reach deep into your compassionate heart and be there for this fellow human being. Show her kindness and love. Both GregsMom and SunsetSheila have excellent points. Remove yourself from the equation -- that is, don't take it personally. Your mom has a disease and that's what is talking, not your mom. Stay with love.
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Krusso~You are not a monster. I am struggling now with feelings of relief because the neurologist said my mother is legally incapacitated. This opens more doors for us to help our mother but I feel horrible that I feel relief.

Sherry, I don't think you have given up, you are grieving the loss of the mother you have always known. She is no longer there but yet she is. I suggest you read the book by Pauline Boss, "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia". It will help you to understand why you feel what you feel as you journey through this disease with your mother. I also suggest that when you visit her and she thinks you are her sister, just go with the flow on it, don't try to convince her otherwise because her reality is very true to her even though you know it is not real. An example: Yesterday my mom called me ( I was just at her house 5 min. earlier), when I answered the phone, she asked if I was Sharyn or "K"(my sister), I said Sharyn. She responded, this does not sound like Sharyn, I said, I have a cold mom. She sarcastically replied, well so do I!! Then she said, I will call back later when Sharyn is there. I calmly said ok. She called back 10 minutes later and everything was fine, she knew who I was. My father passed in 2003 from Alzheimer's. The last 2 1/2 years of his life he was in a snh. I visited him 2-3 times a week. Quite often he sat with his chin to his chest dozing. I would talk with him about the grandchildren and what was going with everyone in the family. This one particular day, I could not get him to wake up enough to talk, so after about 30 minutes, I gave him a kiss and said I was going to go now dad, I love you. As I walked away, he said, "Don't Go". I was so shaken by his comment because I didn't think he could hear or comprehend anything I said. I sat back down and he was awake for about 30 minutes while we talked together. I cherish that memory of him and I learned that even though he may not seem to be awake, he was listening to me and enjoying what I was saying though he could not respond back. They are in there, but they are in their own world that does include you, so enjoy where your loved is at the moment even if you have to their sister, a childhood friend, or their deceased mother. It is worth it to have cherished memories of them. Hugs to you!!
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I know how if feels I have a mother the same way. Giving up is not the answer unless you don't want to be bothered anymore. Got to remember when you was little if something happened to you in anyway. Would your mom give up on you? walk away? It's not her fault as we age things just sometimes happens its very sad but that's life. My mothers the same way she calls me sometimes momma. But I just tell her I'm your daughter mom your my mom. She calls her son her brothers name and my sister her sisters name but she knows who we are I asked her said yes I know who you are. That is because she can't remember our names it's hard to say sometimes she does remember and calls me by my wright name. My thoughts are is that she really loved her family she lost them all early when she was in her 20s and as I was growing up she always cried about them talked about them sometimes in tears they are in her mind her heart and soul and now because her mind is not right there in her mind still. Kinda hard to explain all I know each one of us has a story. Maybe your mother loved to go out have fun and still wants too! It's hard to accept being the way she is now like my mom I think I would feel the same way if I was in there shoes. I pick my mom up and I take her from the nursing home in my car and I take her out cause she still wants to and likes to go out and can still. I try and make her happy as much as I can all I can say for me as long as my mother still can breath walk and function Nobody's gonna stop me! I Love My Mom. Just remember maybe you mothers calling you a sister for a reason?
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Sherry, if you mean give up as in you don't want to visit your mom, please don't stop. Her disease has taken over and it's normal with progression for them to not know you. There were times my dad knew me and times he thought I was a coworker. I didn't care, I just wanted to be by his side.
If you mean give up as in this isn't my real mom and I want her back then yes you need to give up. The mom you knew no longer exists and short of a miracle, your mom is never coming back. That was the hardest part for me and its called denial. I got into counseling to help me. As long as I live, I'll remember the day I accepted that my dad was gone and not coming back. It was more difficult than the day he died. I still cry about it.
This disease is horrible for everyone. I pray every single day for those with it and for those who are caring for someone with it.
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Krusso, I visit my mom three days a week. I travel 180 miles a week to see her. I do not do it out of obligation. I do it out of love. We can only do what we can do. I wish circumstances were different and that I could still care for my mom at home. I have Bipolar and anxiety. It's only gotten worse for me and I can't do the 24/7/365 anymore. But what I give my mom is love, compassion and try to improve on her quality of life as much as I can. She still knows me and my sibs and looks forward to seeing each of us when we visit on our own special days. I try to come up with something special for her and I to do whe I visit. We just put together a photo album, colored pictures today. I realize it is different as your mom is not the same and you want her back. I feel the same with my mom. She's fading with her memory and it just breaks my heart. But I know in my case, if the tables were turned, my mom would be there for me. you are NOT a monster. Each of us are different and not everyone can deal with or handle the heartbreak of this disease the same way. But this site is an absolute godsend. We will support, listen and care about what you have to say, contribute and share. Blessings
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Maria17, unfortunately, I've read some negative answers on site - I think last week sometime. But you're right, the tones are hard to read on a site & you do need to read the entire answer - but no I won't give up on this site - I just had a "moment" of feeling very guilty which I think all of us are prone to, aren't we? Thank you for caring...
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