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jenacg
hi, 
two years ago my mom was sick and had to go into a nursing home, she lives in Florida, I live in nyc with my 5 year old and husband. I am 47 and my mom is 75.

My mom was very sick and I had to empty out her home and we thought she may pass, but she got much better and was thriving going outside and visiting her was ok because we could go out etc..for short trips to eat close by.

I cannot visit much as I am in NYC and with my young child and the expenses can be too much for me. Not to mention, I have to take time off and most of my time goes to my daughter. She doesn't have any other family but me as my brother does not speak to her, and her family is all gone. She has some friends, but to keep a long story short, she is often very angry and needy and yells, she demands things, when I go, she makes me feel guilty etc...she has lost some friends, I think, due to the way she behaves. 

In the past 6 months or so she has gotten sick again. she is not able to walk much, and has not been going outside. I planned a visit in the next few months to go alone, just me visiting her for about 4 days. I am nervous about it, as I know I cannot take her out and she will be demanding and needy and I am worried. We often argue, and it is very stressful to the point where I want to run out of there.

I am trying to be patient and understanding, I do not feel great about her being far away, I wish she lived in nyc but she refuses to move. 

Should I go and sit outside with her, for a few hours, or should I stay the whole day? I am not sure how to deal with it. It is a bit depressing and stressful. She shares a room with someone as well.  What if she wants me to take her out? It's hard dealing with her as she cant walk, with bad cellulitis and her being heavy, also, she has copd ... often times, I will go visit and when I am on the phone with someone she is rude to me and when I want to leave she gets angry or makes me feel guilty about it. 

also, I had one nurse who was amazing and would call me with updates and since she retired now no one calls me, I email them and call and I get no calls back. it's really frustrating. I am sad the nurse retired. 

any support or advice would help. 
Thanks


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Anonymous
Hi,
In instances where I am dreading the visit, and I have the option to bail early, I tend to give myself a pep talk. You’ll be there for 4 days, and you will be sleeping at some point each day (so not really 96 hours, but, for now I’ll call it 96 hours). What my grandmother told me once is you can endure anything, even torture, if you know it’ll stop at a certain time. 96 hours is a long time but you can do it. I’d go with the mindset of sticking it out and spending the full days with her, and if it gets too awful drop down to the shorter outside visits. Maybe the longer days will give you a better insight into her wellbeing since the phone calls have stopped by the nurse.

It may not be the best advice, but that’s how I would approach it. Good luck!
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jenacg
Thank you so much. I feel very guilt about feeling dread and wanting to run away from all of this. She is not walking much since her cellulitis infection is very bad right now, she has a courtyard we can sit in. As far as leaving the nursing home, I dont think she can right now. 
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Splotchy
I think you are asking an awful lot of yourself.  No one enjoys visiting someone who makes them feel guilty, who shames them, who criticizes them or who makes the day unpleasant.  I used to feel guilty about disliking difficult people as well, but I eventually gave myself permission to dislike them.  This gave me clarity about why I was still spending time with them. 

So why are you going?  Is it to find out how she is doing?  Is it because she needs you?  Is it to entertain her?  Is it to check on the staff?  Is it to bring over things she needs? Is it to alleviate guilt? Is it a combination?

When I go visit my mother, I find it helpful to clarify the purpose of my visit.  I live close enough to go often, but having a purpose makes it easier for me to define my boundaries and give myself permission to honor them. 

So if I am going there to find out how she is doing, I may decide to do a short visit (20 mins) and then speak to the staff.  If I am going to entertain her, then I will  stay as long as my schedule allows or until she starts being difficult.  That's my cue that the visit is no longer benefiting either one of us. If I am going because she needs me, I suck it up and stay until the true need goes away.  If the visit is to make sure her needs are being met by the staff, I stay around until the task is complete. If it is to drop off items, sometimes I drop them off and make it a quick visit. It it is to alleviate guilt, I remind myself that guilt is for when you have done something wrong and if I am doing my best to juggle being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, and neighbor, then I cannot be everything to everyone.

Having said that, is there a way to talk to her in between visits?  Conversations do not have to be in person to "count".  I have distant relatives who rarely visit, but sometimes when I am with my mom, I call people she has not seen in a while and let them chat.  It makes the visit go better for both of us.

In any case, good luck with your visit. I hope it works out.

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jenacg
hi,

it is a combination of things...
I am going to check on her, see how she is doing, which I am nervous about because I was told, she has gained weight and having problems with her legs again, to the point where she can only travel by wheelchair and since I do not drive, and will be using UBER, I think we need to stay in the nursing home when I visit.

I am also going because it has been a long time and I live far away. She has no family but me, and I feel somewhat guilty, and also I feel obligated. the closer it gets the more tense I feel about it. 

Not many people we can call when I am there, basically it 's just me. 

Thank you for taking the time to write to me 🙂
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