Is it possible to be "too available" for a parent in an ALF? - AgingCare.com

Is it possible to be "too available" for a parent in an ALF?

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Hi All - my 90 year old Mom has been in an ALF for a few months now (following a fall at home, hospital, short term care, then to the ALF). We had visited the ALF a number of times together, prior to her fall, and have a very favorable opinion. She is there, with her dog and her own furniture and wardrobe.
Here is the issue: Her short term memory is failing, and she is rapidly becoming mean and abusive. She will call me at night saying she just wants to come home (which is not an option anymore).
I feel, at times, that my visiting or calling too often is interfering with her adjusting to this new life, this new home. I used to visit 3-5 times a week, and call once a day, and be available if she calls me. Now I dread going, and I can't handle these night time calls anymore.....
Is it time to step back and not be so available?

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Is it possible to be too available? - oh yes, it most certainly is. Isn't there some saying about getting a dog and then barking yourself?

Short sweet visits I'd keep up. But her phoning you all day and night? Nope. Either change your number or screen your calls and turn it off at night. Get a cheap disposable cell phone that the staff can contact you on only in case of emergency, and don't give the number to anyone else: in particular threaten death and destruction on anyone who gives it to your mother.

I hope your mother settles in to her new routine soon - I think your suspicion that your constant availability could be preventing that might be right, but don't do anything more drastic than you're happy with: you don't have to cut yourself off altogether.
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Good question - I should have clarified! My mom and I have lived together for several years (I have been her caregiver for some time now). She is legally blind (macular degeneration) and has not been able to live on her own for the last 7-8 years. I transitioned into this role when she was diagnosed and successfully treated for ovarian cancer, and it was apparent that living alone was no longer a wise choice for her.
I must add that the more I do visit her, the more she seems to be determined to be miserable....I had some recent medical issues that prevented me from visiting for two weeks, and she seemed to adjust ok to that. But, now that I have stopped by a few times to visit, the nasty phone calls have resumed.
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Yes, cut back the frequency and the amount of time you stay there. I have found that after an hour, mom gets grumpy. They do tire easily, and would much rather play with contemporaries.
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The way I would look at it is how often did you visit with your Mom back when she was fully mobile and living on her own?

My parents [mid 90's] are still living in their own home, their decision, not mine. And I only see them face to face when I pick up my Mother's grocery list, and when I deliver their groceries the next day.... and whenever they need to go to the doctor.

Therefore, if and when my parents ever decide to move to a retirement village, I probably would cut it down to once a week once they get settled in, as the village has transportation to the grocery store and doctor offices. At least it will be quality time, not errand time.
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