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My 94 year old mother with dementia has lived with me the past 2 years now since June. She's laying over there bedridden...and I'm sad, crying, feeling guilty that I could've/should've done more about letting her visit her home and be around the things she loved. She lived on the property where she was actually born and raised and loved to sit on the porch and try to figure out what the neighbors were doing, watch traffic etc. We did try to take her a few times when my hubby would do yard work and it went pretty well however the last time was somewhat of a disaster when she informed us she was going to stay and would not budge so we never took her back. Has anyone else ever had these type feelings??? I don't know, it just always seems I'm on an emotional roller coaster feeling guilt about one thing or another and today this is where my mind is.

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You are having an attack of the "responsibles". You aren't responsible. Life is. I could sit here at 77 and tell you about the losses in my life. My right breast. A relationship with one of my daughters. My Dad and Mom. Last week, my last little dog.
But you won't think that you are responsible for these, my losses. Because I am not your Mom. But you will try to take on the grief and loss you are seeing in your Mom. You see what is left at the end of all those losses, and in the end of our life it is ALL about loss. The loss of our looks, our health, our mental csapabilities, our autonomy, our homes, our choices, our friends. It is all about LOSS. If it goes on long enough you will look over the steaming cup to see your mom curled into a fetal position much like the one she left the womb in. All the muscles contractured to that final position that I looked at, and while an atheist still thought I saw a cycle the gods might devise for a full circle of life.
I think that all who do hands on care with elders, and all who are aging, recognize the grief at this loss and at witnessing it with all helplessness. I don't even do hands on care for my brother, but since I learned he has a probably Lewy's and since I took over the care of his affairs, I am somewhat obsessed in my mind. I do all I can to get away from it, but you are stuck there, and seeing it 24/7
As to guilt. Nope. I don't do that. I haven't killed anyone. But when you feel guilt please remember that only good people feel it.
I believe, if this is to go on long and long you may need to let go that you are responsible for everything. You are grieving and feeling responsible for things you should not have to. I don't think it will be better. I am so sorry.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Harpcat Oct 11, 2019
Excellent comments. This was a priceless gem..."But you will try to take on the grief and loss you are seeing in your Mom. You see what is left at the end of all those losses, and in the end of our life it is ALL about loss." That is what is so hard is watching the losses. Thank you Alva
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Bless your heart. Please please don't let those thoughts come over you. Just know you have and are doing the best for her. I was in the similar position with my Mom at the same age. She was living in a condo that she loved. She called it her doll house. I cared for her in her 'doll house' for a long time. At first coming and going each day, cooking, cleaning, giving meds, etc. Until I had to move in with her, after I was called at 3am, by her neighbor, telling me she was out wandering, knocking on everyone's doors, etc. Hen I got there her neighbor had taken her in. She had on 3 layers of slacks and tops, sun glasses on, etc. It was a very foggy night and her condo was right beside a lake. Forgot to mention it was in FL and and water was home to alligators. I moved in with her immediately.

Even though she was in her loved condo, she didn't know it most of the time. She seemed to think she was in a home. She would dress for breakfast, including jewelry and ask when the others would be there. I cared for her in her condo until I realized I could no longer.

I was able to find a wonderful memory care home for her near me. However that meant I needed to sell the condo (which was in my name) and pass on the items she would no longer be needing. Oh my,,,, that was not easy, especially before she passed, but I kept telling myself it was what was needed because this was where we were both at for the very best for Mom.

Even if I would have taken her back to it. She would not have known it was hers. There are sad times through it all, but try not to go there. Like someone told me,,,,,remember it was when she was thinking normally that she put you in charge of everything (legally) and she did that because she knew you would do what was best.

Sometimes you need to use little white lies to make the transition easier for them. Such as, work needs to be done on the house to make it safe, etc. Plumbing not working. Workers on strike. No heat in the house. Road is closed. Etc. But ALWAYS change subject and walk out of the room.

We as caregivers need to do everything we can to keep them safe, along with so much else. I know,,,, now 12 years since my mother's passing my husband is in mid stage Alzheimers. I adapt, live in the moment and try not to be sad about what he/we lost but what we had enjoyed together. Bless you dear daughter. A daughter so many mother's would be blessed to have.
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Reply to Marylepete
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There's always the 'what ifs'. It sounds like you've been a loving daughter and did the best you could.

You didn't do her a disservice by not taking her to the house anymore. If you'd kept bringing her, it would be hurting rather than helping! She would get more and more upset about leaving each time, and that's just painful for her.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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As people with dementia progress, they are not capable of processing information and experiences the way they used to. It's sad, but, part of their illness. There is nothing that they or anyone else can do to change brain damage. The compassionate thing is to prevent any unnecessary suffering and for that you should be glad that is what you did. When you are kind and attempt to prevent pain, you should feel proud of yourself. For those who don't try or who harm others, I get why they may feel guilt, but, for those who have good intentions and work so hard with their care, I don't see where guilt has a place. I hope you can find peace with it.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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It is incredibly sad. I think I can echo what you're feeling from what happened with my close friend's mother. Her responsible older son and DIL had found her a very nice nursing home. Yes, it was necessary - there had been falls, her health was getting poor, her cottage was in an isolated village, she couldn't be supported at home in safety. My friend, her other son, had been sent to clear his remaining possessions out of her home; and while he was packing up I was left looking around the mother's sitting room. From her armchair, with the needlework side table beside it and the tv in front, you could see through one window to the church where her husband was buried, and through the other to the garden she'd tended for forty years.

If they'd left her there, she'd have fallen, broken a hip, been all night on the floor waiting for help to arrive... we know how it goes.

But then again. So? You can't help wondering which evil is the lesser, sometimes.

The big difference is that your mother has you there with her; and I should think that matters more to her than anything else. It's still terribly sad that the life she lived in that community has come to an end; and these decisions *are* dilemmas and they do tear us in two; but guilt? What part of your mother's aging or illness did you do to her?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Thanks so much to you all for the kind responses and support, means so much. I honestly appreciate this forum so much! It's a place where there's always someone who will listen and you don't feel like you're bothering anyone when you need someone to "talk" to. Even before I started actively participating just reading the questions and responses helped me so very much. Sometimes you wonder where all your friends went when you are a caregiver and I think some people are even uncomfortable asking about or even visiting a person whose main problem is dementia. But here on this site there is always...ALWAYS someone who can relate. Thank you all.
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Reply to Countrygal55
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Yes you want so much for them to have the life they once did, but we can’t turn back the clock. One of the things I remind myself when I get caught up in the sentimental emotion of how dad's life used to be is to remember how fortunate he was to have a good life for so long. That this is the next phase on the journey to the end. And although I truly wish he wasn’t going through such a long slow demise, the sum total of his life is not these last two years. Realize that our lives have phases, all of which are natural when we live into such an old age. You are not in control so lose the guilt over what you didn’t cause nor have control over. Get out of the heart and into your head and realize this is the next phase, the next reality. And be grateful for her past better times.
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no1cares Oct 11, 2019
What a beautiful expression of reality, your words are so true, and they are words we all should think of at those times of going through the feelings that countrygal155 is going through, I will save your thoughtful response, it made me think of my guilt feelings and put them in retrospect...we always wish we could have done more, we always have guilt, I hope we all can realize we can only do so much, just let them know how much they are loved and remember that we all do the best we can in that love for them.
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We went through this with my inlaws and their lake cabin, which was great for them when they were both able to climb stairs, walk on uneven ground, jump in the lake off the dock and swim, etc etc. Once they moved to indy living, MIL asked to go back and hubby and I looked at one another in horror because we knew a visit would end with MIL in tears and FIL having a panic attack at the sight of MIL in tears. We felt guilt and recognized that it was irrational guilt.

Do something nice for yourself every day, and be gentle with yourself. If you keep beating yourself up you will never get off the emotional roller coaster.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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I think reflecting on situations is perfectly normal. Our minds wonder. Sometimes we get stuck though and could use a bit of support and a hug.

Many hugs for you!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Hugs!!
My mind wanders a lot too! If I don’t stop it, when I notice I’m doing it, I start to question myself on everything! The further I get into my “wandering“ I am depressed, sad, and my body aches.
FOG bites me in the butt a lot but I’m slowly learning and getting better, especially reading here from others stories and experiences 😉
It’s an emotional roller coaster for sure !!!
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 9, 2019
Hugs for you too! 💗
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