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I spend 2-3 hours daily with my Mom at her dementia facility. I often get a lump in my throat and tears start to flow, especially when we're singing together at the sing-along. I try thinking about something happy like puppies or babies but it's still too emotional. I need a trick to distract my brain to turn off the tears in these situations. Like during dental torture yesterday, I went to my happy place in my mind on a warm sunny beach. Anyone have a suggestion for something unemotional to focus on? Thank you.

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Thank you for the above responses! I found a trick that has helped me not cry most days. I imagine I'm singing camp songs with my Brownie troop. A couple of the little angels were quite challenging so I have to keep on my toes! When my Mom collapses into me I imagine it's a homesick little camper. Well, it keeps me from becoming a blubbering mess trying to find a Kleenex!
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Dear dmasty,

I'm so sorry to hear how you are feeling. I know its hard to see your mom in dementia facility. Its not easy to see our once independent parents in this condition. I know you miss your mom the way she was. And you are trying so hard to cope by going to your happy place.

gladimhere, has made a lot of kind and gentle suggestions. I know its not easy. Its going to take some time to adjust to this new phase in your mother's life. Thinking of you. Sending you love and hugs.
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Sounds like a combination of anticipatory grief plus present grief which the experience of a loved one's dementia creates.

gladimhere said it all and I have nothing to add.
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D, First try not seeing her every day. The emotional upset each day is not doing you any good. You do not need to stay so long. Keep visits shorter. Does the facility have a caregiver support group? Give that a try. If they don't have one you can find listings online through Alzheimer's Assn, Area Agency on Aging, many other websites. Churches are beginning to have support groups for caregivers as well. Seek out a counselor. Find something fun to do for yourself.
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