Ok, first, I will admit that I have been marveling in my much needed r and r for the past twelve days; although it has been bittersweet. Mom has been in the facility almost two weeks and I haven't gone to visit her. I have talked to her a couple times on the phone. I know I have to go see her but after I get myself ready and head up there, I am overcome with anxiety and a "fear" of going. I feel like a major jerk and I have tried but I always turn around and come home. Any input on this?

You are burnt and may have PTSD. I had it and only visited my mother a few times a year, I could not have done more. It was a matter of survival. (((((((hugs)))))). You need time and distance/detachment to recover. Mother bad mouthed me to any one who would listen yet I was the one who helped her. Stay away as long as you need to. You are not a jerk. You have been abused.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to golden23

The first time will be the hardest, so you might just have to push through. Since you are obviously afraid of how she will react you might try timing your visit for when she will be out taking part in an activity or you could ask the dining room to set a place for you at lunch so that there is something going on that will act as a buffer.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to cwillie

Hey, welcome to the club. I have no prize, sadly.

Welp, you soldier on. You have to detach somewhat in order to do for and by your LO. We were grounded by nursing staff because our presence caused agitation. So we have missed two weeks. Well, three because of weather.

I am so sorry. If your LO is awful, and no redirection helps, say you will come back when feeling better.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Segoline

I luv this group! Thank you all for input. It is true, unfortunately I believe I may be burnt out at this point. It took A LOT to get there: endless efforts and accommodating with no appreciation; everything a battle; would do a backflip for everyone but me; acts like an immobile bedridden person when reality is she has great strength and always 'impresses 'therapists etc.; with her walker can absolutely shake and shuffle; I've been the good daughter I promise, but nothing is ever good enough, enough and the more I cater the more ridiculous it gets. I recently have had to accept the fact that in my mothers eyes, I am simply a means to an end, there is no mother daughter relationship and as an only child quite frankly, it hurts and it sucks. Bad. Even her home care case manager sees through the rouse mom puts on- it's selective and geared toward making things complicated for me any possible way. I've tried to treat it like a caregiver client scenario, but I'm finding that difficult because I feel it as daughter mother. I had hoped that... never mind, it didn't and won't happen. Carry on soldier
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to PharSytid

Make over half of your visit a "professional" one. Stop by the Dir. of Nursing office and chat there, then visit the social worker or facility director. Stop by the nurses station and introduce yourself and ask how she is settling in.

Then go see her. For the 1st 6 months, they will ask to come home or blame you for "incarcerating" them. Try your best for an upbeat visit. If it goes south quickly, say gee, look at the time, good chatting with you, get up and walk out. Then breath deeply, go to the nearest gas station, treat yourself to a soda, Snickers and lotto ticket and go on about your day.

All of us on this site have spent entirely too much time wallowing in guilt. Maybe it's a generational thing. My parents did not lift a finger to help their parents, but expected me to be their indentured servant. You are not alone and I think your "strike" was brilliant!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Mincemeat
Kendramott Jan 24, 2019
I really can relate to the indentured serving. I have nicknamed myself Cinderella as my mom expects me to jump when she barks an order. We are in the process of applying for nursing homes. She is so incapacitated no facility seems to want her. But the advice to make visits short and walk out if your parent starts blaming you or accusing you is great advice. That is just setting appropriate boundaries. Also frequent short visits often does make a difference. Your mom will get better care if the staff knows you drop In often.
Don”t over think it. Just do it as the ad says.
Recognize that you have a problem with caring for your mom that needs attention.
Does she use a walker? Maybe it’s time. Is she in the SNF for rehab? Is she coming back home? I’m very glad you are getting a break but you need a plan for next steps.
I agree, if she is able she needs to go to the bathroom. Perhaps go with her. Have her start wearing pull-ups in case she doesn’t make it.
I’m sorry it’s so hard for you. Therapy? Anxiety meds? Try something to get yourself together. It’s not your fault she fell but you do have a responsibility to address the situation that’s driving you around the bend. If she is coming back home, therapy can come and evaluate the situation for her mobility issues so you know if you are asking too much of her. Let us know how it’s going.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to 97yroldmom

Yep--the first visit is the worst, You don't know what to expect.

Mother CHOSE her rehab center, I told her it was a dump and begged her to find an alternate before her hip surgery--but she still went ahead. My first visit there, she tries to chuck a bedpan at my head. (it was plastic and she can't throw--it actually made me laugh pretty hard, so....)

It may likely be kind of depressing and if she blames you for being there--well, it is what it is.

Keep your visit light and short enough that there's not time to hear how awful it is. Keep your eyes and ears open--you do need to still advocate for mom, so be aware of the things other posters have commented on.

It's a "new norm" and I wouldn't take any complaints/grousing from her with a lot of concern.

This is new to you, too. She's probably mad at you and you're not in the mood to hear criticism, are you?

I know with my mom I am simply a means to an end. She is happy to see me when I visit, but it's always because I am doing something for her, that wouldn't get done otherwise.

Deep breaths...short visits. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Midkid58

Can you arrange a visit at or near a lunch or dinner?
That way if she is in a common room you can sit and "enjoy" a lighter conversation while she is eating. It is also less of a "medical" "nursing home" feeling.
After lunch or dinner you can go back to her room in you wish or just say you have to talk to the nurse and then you can be on your way. And do talk to the nurse, the aids they will know how she is doing, how she is adjusting. Also I think..and this may be just my imagination...that if the staff knows you will be visiting often they will care for Mom "better" because they know you will notice if she has been tended to or not. And do bring in a treat for them once in a while, not as a "bribe" but as a thank you for caring.
Keep your visits short and sweet so your Mom does not get over tired, agitated or excited. She can and will pick up on your feelings of fear, anxiety so the short visits will help since in your mind you will be there only 15 minutes, or 20 minutes however long you decided to make that first visit, second visit.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Grandma1954

First of all, it's ok. You are not a jerk. It sounds like you are/were exhausted and needed some down time. That's not only ok, it's smart. Your mother is ok. Each of these changes we go through with our ailing parents can bring new feelings and emotions which take time to process. It's hard, and it can be very heavy.

Here are some ideas that may help you to get over the hump of the first visit.
1. Plan to bring someone with you, either a partner or family member, or a trusted friend. Sometimes it helps to have a buffer.
2. Bring a prop(s). Could be a book or magazine, newspaper, family photos, or whatever. Be prepared with something that you can look at or discuss together. Can you read to her? Listen to music? Watch a Nat Geo documentary?
3. Ditto...bring a treat to eat. (I'm of the mind that at this age, my elderly parents should eat whatever she wants and enjoy it. My mom likes Danish, French Fries, chocolate. I'm sure yours has favorites. Also you can bring something for the nursing staff. It can't hurt!
4. Take her for a walk or wheelchair ride (depending on mobility), and go look at the grounds of the place, or the hallway, or the common room....just get her out and about. If she can get into your car then you can go on a little drive get a treat. Milkshake. Ice Cream.
5. Keep the visit short and sweet. You can do one hour, right?

These are some options that have worked for me. When you get over the hump of the first visit it's going to be easier from then on. Wishing you good luck!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Rabanette

I think part of it is that feeling you are going to get sucked back into that chronic caregiver routine after experiencing some freedom. Face it, physically and emotionally you got some much needed rest. It’s hard to come back to the “real world”...especially when you don’t know how long this intensive caregiving “gig” is going to go on.

Give yourself some grace. Uncertainty almost always brings on some anxiety. And anyone who has had the grind of visiting someone in a care facility has had thoughts of “I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up,” “I want to escape to a desert island,” or resenting friends who haven’t got this on their plate (yet).

Resume your visits...but don’t stay as long. Or maybe decrease visits to once every other day if you feel as if you can test the facility caregivers. It was one of the mist wearing things I did. But making time for me was you make time for you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to ruthie1460

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter