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My mother has been in a NH for a year (Parkinsons, dementia) and during that time has broken a hip and had a stroke. A life long A1 narcissist she had few friends, acquaintances actually, not really friends. One "friend" has been to see her a couple of times, the second time out of guilt at being gifted an expensive ring (which I had no problem with - they're a matched pair and I have the other). The other remaining friend insisted if she was close by she'd visit every day. 45 minutes away, retired and with a car, she hasn't visited once.
Every time I run into the first friend she says "Tell your mother I'm coming to see her soon" - I don't as she never does. I would add that both of these women are single, no children and don't work.

My mother desperately wanted to see my house about 15 minutes from the NH so yesterday, taking my handyman with me as I can't lift her into the truck, I picked her up for the short drive. We drove around the house and the back 40 and I brought the dogs (one formerly hers) out into the backyard for a ball game. After that we went over to the next road to get some free range eggs so she could see the chickens, pet turkey and other animals.

She was pretty much incoherent and kept falling asleep. We've never been close but I've done my duty by her and I know she's just too weak to ever leave the NH again. Her condition deteriorates horribly by the day such that I doubt she'll make it into the New Year. Last evening I called friend #1, told her of my mother's condition and said if she planned to visit she might want to do it soon. She said she would, but will she?

Part of me says, being a total narcissist, my mother has never been a true friend to these people, actually not even to me or my father, another part says they're avoiding because it's unpleasant and "there but for the grace of God..." (though friend #1 takes her dog visiting NHs every week) and another part of me says they're just plain selfish and makes me want to lash out at them. It's the principle of the thing somehow. I've decided not to call or update again. I guess you can't force people into giving more than lip service to being compassionate.

I have no family and I guess I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

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Thanks for writing, Ashlynne. You have wonderful insight into the situation and frankly answered your own question. First - your mother hasn't been a true friend so while these people - maybe out of a sense of duty - say they will visit, they don’t feel a real need to go to the trouble of carrying through on their promise.

The second point is very common. People can become vulnerable as they age from the "there but for the grace of God go I" syndrome. That's often the reason people resist nursing home and hospital visits in general, even when they care deeply for the person who is sick. They may not be aware of that fact themselves and they may have many excuses, but in the end they know that they, too, could be in this very situation and it frightens them.

You have done, and are doing, everything possible. Your last excursion had to be wearing but you did it anyway. I wouldn't worry about the friends, in that it just takes energy from you. You can't make people want to visit or insist that they get over their fear. It sounds as if your mother doesn't have long to live, so if she does ask about these friends, simply say you're sure they'll visit when they can. Then move on. Give what you can to your mom, even though she was less than ideal as a mother (to put it nicely). Once this is all over you will know you've done your best.

Please contribute to this community any time and watch for answers from others who've been in similar situations.
Do try to take care of yourself, as well.
Carol
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So sorry for your situation. My situation may or may not have anything in common with no one visiting your mother. MIL tells us she doesn't have visitors at the NH but we see evidence of visitors having been in the room - folding chairs set up, cards without postage. People from church and the community tell us what a nice visit they've had with my MIL. My MIL either just doesn't remember their visits or she is trying to guilt us into visiting more often.
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Thank you all for your responses and you're right. I don't call my mother any more as she's always sleeping and is incoherent. I visit once a week to make sure she has all she needs. I've done all I can over the years and it's time for me to rebuild my life and move on. When my mother went into the NH I moved to a wee cottage in bad shape on 2 acres in the country. I'm working on renovations over the winter and, come spring, I plan to get into a little homesteading and do some volunteer work locally. Not sure if I could do Meals on Wheels as my truck is always well coated with dog hair :) (I have 2 dogs and drive transport for dog rescue) but there's a hospital nearby and I'm sure there are other options as well.
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As Carol said so eloquently, you've answered your own question. Peace to you and your mother.....hugs..
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I feel your pain - my mom has 7 children and over 30 grandchildren. One or two of the children visit but rarely the grandchildren. She was a wonderful, loving, Christian woman but even her sisters and former friends don't visit. This is so sad. I find myself visiting more often to try to make up for their lack.
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With mom's progress as you described, you are in for a difficult time.
Blessings to you and mom,
L
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sonswife I expect she's just trying a guilt trip on you. I popped into the NH on my way shopping on Sunday to see if my mother needed anything. She said she was sick and "it started when I went to Walmart" but that was weeks ago. Then she said she'd had a tuna sandwich for lunch and that made her feel sick so she wheeled herself back to her room and got herself on the toilet. She can't stand by herself and if she's doing that there's going to be another fall and broken hip. She insisted I get her BBC1 or BBC2 on her radio. Told repeatedly that we can't get that here, we're not in England any more, she stared at me blankly - she's been in Canada over 25 years. She's also taken all family pictures down from her notice board.

The staff at the NH are wonderful and take great care of her. There's nothing more that can be done except keep her comfortable. I doubt she'll make it into the New Year.
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I hear you about no visitors. My mom is at home -- has friends that live in the subdivision or less than 5 mins away and THEY don't come to the house. The only one who does make it over gets paid for helping out with errands and mom pays her to clean the house even though the 'friend'' is 77 and shouldn't BE cleaning the house much less getting paid for it but as of now it's mom's house -- not mine -- I'm just the caregiver. Unlike your mom my mom was a true friend going to hospitals, taking them to dialysis treatments so I really have no great love for these people who pulled their Houdini act. If mom should pass away before they do and they have the nerve to come up to me at the wake or funeral acting all sad -- I will read their sorry asses and tell them what they can do with their phony "I'm going to miss your mother" bs. As far as I'm concerned they are 'missing' her right now.
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I truly understand why people don't want to visit. It's just awful. My MIL lives with me and frankly, I prefer no one comes. She treats visitors wonderfully and they tell me how lovely she is. As soon as they leave, she becomes nasty and belligerent. Now that she lives with me, I get her company.........which requires me to "entertain" them or at least be very hospitable. To tell you the truth, I'm too tired to sit with them making meaningless conversation. I'd rather they just leave so that I can get her in bed on time and get a few minutes TO MYSELF. lol
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And no..........I don't ask them to stay while I run my errands. Visitors don't like being trapped like that...............Frankly, I wouldn't either.
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