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I just found this wonderful place and need to share tonight. I am the sole care giver for my  almost 90 year old mother who has dementia among several other illnesses. I moved back to my home town a few years ago and was taking care of her while working but it became too much for me to do on my own. Even though she was living with a sibling he didn't take care of her physical needs. About 2 years ago, as it happened we(I) had to make the    decisions to place her in a frailcility, as one posting called it. I would not have been able  to make that choice had it not been for the circumstances that pointed in that direction. I  had become exhausted and overwhelmed at that point. In the last 4-5 months her dementia  has worsened and she is having delusions but thank goodness she still remembers me and my sibling. I  don't have a large extended family so I am usually the only one who visits  her regularly. What happened tonight is that when I went to visit she thought I was there to pick her up and take her home and that my sibling was coming to visit. After trying to   explain to her a few times that she lived there and no one would be visiting that late, she  became agitated and angry with me. I do realize that it's the illness that causes her   reactions but it's hard to accept that my once energetic and loving mother has this other  "side" that comes out. I enlisted an aide to try to divert her to another subject and she did calm down. The first time this sort of thing happened I was so upset and felt lost like she had really died. I just have a hard time being around her when she gets in these states and it's not predictable what she'll be like when I visit.

Thanks for listening and most of all understanding.

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Hello Frankie


Welcome to our safe corner of cyber space!


First off deciding to place your loved one into a frail care facility is a very difficult decision, its emotionally draining to say the least. When the care recipient is not willing to go or stay - that makes it 100 times worse.


I had to make that decision in Oct 2008, and its taken over a year for things to finally settle down and my mother to accept her 'new home'. She was VERY anti to it and took out her anger, frustration and fear on me. She blamed me completely for 'leaving her there to rot'. Whereas the real reason was because I couldnt' take care of her by myself anymore. My mother has MS and is severly limited in her mobility, even knowing this she would demand to go home as she doesn't need to be there. If it wasn't anger it was floods of tears. Whenever a friend would come visit she would near drown them in her tears begging to go back home, making them very uncomfortable (never mind me - I would often need to walk out the room, because I couldnt' stand it anymore)


The good news is my mother's attitude toward the place has improved quite a bit since then, she likes having nurses on call all the time now. She doesn't have to struggle and get out of breathe getting into bed with only my help, now she has two or three nurses helping her into bed. There is a definite hope that your mother's attitude toward the place will also improve with time, but even if it doesn't - you need to strengthen yourself that you have made the best and most loving decision for her. If you feel at fault - then her accusions will hurt all the more. I had to learn to forgive myself 'for failing' before I could get mentally 'healthy' about the decision. My husband played a large part in convincing and showing me that I did not fail my mother, in fact I loved her a great deal and because I love her I do all I can for her that is humanly possible. The first and prime reason for placing our loved ones is for THEIR welfare. If we were super woman (or maybe three of them!) we could take care of them at home and not be beyond exhaustion and near breakdown, but since we are not we have to make sure they will properly be taken care of.


I think that one of the most difficult things to accept is 'losing' the mother we had. Your mother's dementia makes things extremely difficult to keep connected with her. My mother's MS often affects her cognitive functions. Meaning that at times she is somewhere else and no matter what you say you can't get her back on topic. There are times I really miss my mother. I still think of her in a certain way, and when I go visit the total difference in her disposition and attitude still upsets me. Even though I have to recognise the real changes in her I still prefer to think of her in my rosy glasses way....


Please keep us posted on how the visits go... being able to vent the hurt feelings really helps!


Hugs
Skwirl
Thank you for your kind words of understanding, Skwirl. It truly does help to know that I'm not alone. I used to try and visit almost everyday but now realize that it's not so healthy for me when she has episodes like I mentioned. I know that you know what I mean.



I will try to post about the "good" visits as well. There are times when we make each other laugh and those are precious moments.

Take care,

Frankie
Dear Frankie


I agree! The good visits are really precious. I know for a fact I would never be able to visit my mom everyday (even if I physically could) because emotionally it takes huge amount out of me each time. I arrive with high hopes and in 2min my hopes are dashed and I know its going to be a tough visit. Don't feel bad at all about not visiting everyday, I certainly couldn't and I know of many others who also can't manage it, try by all means to make each visit as pleasant as you can, and sometime the old phrase 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' really is true.


I often left earlier than I intended because it just gets too much. I don't blame myself for that anymore, if I need to leave to 'preserve my sanity' then that's what I should do. I still keep hoping the next visit will be better. So I reckon if you're feeling 'cornered' or a bit bullied in anyway just make tracks... you can even go back a bit later if you want to. Having the knowledge that you can excuse yourself is calming in itself.


I truly hope that the visits improve and you can also take the time to take care of yourself - something very important!


Sq
Hello:

Welcome Frankie! You are not alone... My 92 year old mother is also in a facility (frailcility - lol) of her own choosing - TG. My father passed away a few years ago after a difficult time with cancer and dementia issues. I was his main caregiver for almost six years.

I visit my mother on holidays mainly and I know I should see her more often - but it is difficult... There have been many different family issues that have caused serious rifts over the years. I do think that care-giving can sometimes aggravate already problematic family relationships. It is no easy task! At any rate, I am working to repair the rift between us and to forgive/forget the past. I am just grateful that she is in a good place.

The main thing that I have realized is that they do make a life of their own in the care facility over time. Your mother's resistance should gradually fade over time if all goes well. It is not an easy transition and there is not much anyone can do about it. Just know that we are here for you and try to remember to breathe deeply and take care of yourself.

Hugs, Glenda
Welcome Frankie,

While I never had to place my parents into a home, I know the difficulty and what you are up against. I think both ladies have shared from their experiences.... it sounds as if you are really handling it all well. I think as our parents age, we find daily losses that we experience... with a dementia it is even more difficult so as Glenda says, it's important to enjoy the good ones .. and as you know let go of the not so good ones and don't take them personally... you have found a safe place to share and to be supported... richest blessings in all you are doing

gail

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