I write on the calendar the days I will be coming. So far it's 3 times a week, even though I had hoped 2 would be good... but I don't see how that will work. My husband thinks two should be plenty as well. She has mobility issues/mental health issues. I talk to her daily and when I explained that I couldn't come every day, she acted very offended. I need to learn to not let it get to me. How do you just put it behind you for the rest of your week (how they act, etc.)?

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I am in the exact same situation, although my mother is in a SNF. I have my own kids still at home, one of which needs significant support, a full time job and a desire to have some free time/joy in life.

It took me a while, but I can now walk away without guilt for a few reasons. First and most importantly, I know both my parents would want me to devote/dedicate myself to spending the time necessary to raise my kids to be successful members of society. They would be proud that I have a career that makes me happy and provides financial support. Finally, I know that my parents felt the same when their own parents needed care.

If I had made my mothers desires my primary focus, I never would have married, had kids or a career as she has needed care for a long time. I can leave it behind because she gave me the strength to stick to my priorities, she just has forgotten what is important.

To be honest, I will never be totally exempt from any guilt. I never wanted her to be in this position and I never wanted to be her care giver. But, regardless of her expectations or reactions, I know I am doing exactly what she wanted, she just doesn't realize it now.
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Let mom be mad. She probably didn’t cater to you as a child either. I taught my two children to play together or alone, mom was busy lots. Sending you hugs, as it must be hard to have so much need directed at you. Take care of you, our mental health matters too!!!

Funny how I can feel hurt, for never having been “the chosen one”, when in truth, it’s blessing. I’m getting to do what my parents spent their 60 & 70’s doing, what they wanted, and they sure did. I wasn’t taught to cater to my parents, as the oldest. I was taught to work, be responsible, and I never eased into that “best friends with my mom” role. Too close in age maybe, 20 years apart. She had our much younger sister for that role. I think it can be normal, the oldest breaking loose, and growing up fast. I did.

I do not drop in unannounced to their home, they still have covid fear, so when I drop food, I text I am, and if they wish to invite me in, that’s nice. My parents are 5-10 minutes away from me, and it might as well be the lower 48, for all I see them.

GRIEF……never guilt, cause I tried for years. Our sister likes a controlled space. I miss them, and when I do see them, I try to make them laugh, and know how much I love them. I have never once doubted their love for me, they just old and visits aren’t as easy now.
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Yeah, my mom is at home with her caregiver, and I am at home working, taking care of my own needs, looking after my pets, cleaning the house, etc., and that was offensive too. She asks what I'm up to when I talk to her and I list it all out and when her name isn't on it, it sounds like, "Well, excuse me, sounds like you have a lot to do todayyyy."

"Yep I sure do but you know what it's getting done and I'll be so caught up with it, so I'll talk to you later." Gritting my teeth but happiness in my voice.

With a lot of therapy, the best thing I did was learn to accept that this is how my mom is. She's having a hard time accepting that "talk to you later" is how I am now, but that's ok. I used to swoop in and save the day at the slightest raise of her voice. I should write an opera about the day I said, "I'm sorry you are feeling this way," when she flipped out on the fact that I was ordering groceries instead of going to the store so she could call me every 2 minutes to add to the list. Your mom is in a safe place with people to help her in many ways, what's bothering her is that they don't have the emotional component that she can set off, like she can with you. She may now be seeing what happens with behavior that is less than desirable, something we never said or did anything about all along. We let it go because it was our parents and we'd better do as they said. It's hard, I know.

My mom used to use the "because I said so," on me. Not enough reason then, or now.
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Should introduce her to my dad. When he went to AL over 3 years ago he expected me to come every day, didn't want to ask staff to do anything, wanted me at his beck and call just like I had been before he moved. The assisted living facility was only 5 minutes from my house but even a short visit was an hour out of my day and wasn't helping him acclimate to living there. I generally did 3 days a week plus coming to my house for Sunday breakfast. Then I scheduled something for one of those days and said "I can't come on Wednesdays." Then it went to a couple of days of week plus breakfast, so slowly I weaned him off the visits. I'd always call before I came over and he started saying "I'm taking a nap soon. Can you come tomorrow instead?" as he started establishing a new schedule for himself. The important thing for you is to keep boundaries with no guilt. He won't ever establish a new schedule if you are always there. Find out the activites schedule at his AL facility and just give him a call to remind him that there's music in the lounge or a movie that evening so he can start participating in the activities without someone having to drag him down. Four years later I've even managed to move out of town (we'd been waiting to make this move forever) and now come to see him every three weeks. Do I have a little bit of guilt? Yes, but my husband's life and my life is so much better it's worth it.
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For what it's worth, if you live close by would it really be that difficult to carve a half hour out of your day for a daily visit? Really, once in "the facility" it has got to be devastatingly sad. She's lost her home, her ability to chose what she wants to do, her body has given out on her, and when she has lucid moments she must know that her mind has severe limitations. You can still maintain your quality of life while helping her to not be so lonesome. Of course, if you have a long trip to her facility, it may not be feasible to have a daily visit.
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AnnReid May 2022
Why do you assume it’s “devastatingly sad”?

Many of us have spent A LOT of time in ALS and SNF, and I’ve rarely encountered more than a few residents who have appeared to suffer from the thoughts you’ve named.

My own mother spent over 5 AMAZING years in her SNF, and thrived mentally AND physically before her death at 95. Nothing even like “devastatingly sad”.
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Another thing that MAY be happening is that her disappointment gets verbalized each and every time because her filters have come down. Many times, this is due to cognitive decline.

I am 58. I would LOVE to see my daughters every single day. They are just a lot of fun, and I enjoy their company. 😎 I know that that’s unrealistic, since they have their own lives, and don’t see hanging out with their Mom as something they want to do every single day.

Since my brain hasn’t begun its possible descent into cognitive decline yet (my children may dispute this! 😂🤣), I don’t express every little disappointment that pops into my head.

Your Mom’s possible lack of filters allow her every thought to be expressed.

You're a good daughter for visiting at all! 😍
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Offended, or disappointed?

I doubt if she likes anything that's left to her as much as your company. Is she supposed to pretend otherwise?

How does this particular ALF fare when it comes to activities and socializing? If there is plenty of it but your mother would rather sit in her room and hold her breath unless you're there, you might actually want to think about visiting *less.* Or, rather, visiting more for now, but only to accompany her to shared activities until she finds her feet.

If there's not a lot going on, how about dropping some encouraging hints to other friends-and-family members?
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Me, my Mom was literally up the road. Not 5 min away from my house. I went daily if I had no other plans. But because of the severity of her Dementia, I never stayed longer than 15min, a half hour. If longer its because I found a resident or other family member to talk to. She was so close, I could literally be running errands and stop in. Once she was moved to another town, I did not go as often.

Your Moms mobility is not an excuse not to join in with others. I asked that Mom not be left in her room. So she was brought out to the common area. Since it was a one floor facility, she was able to walk the halls and end up back at the common area. They had actuvities. Always some kind of party birthday or holiday. Entertainment. They should have a calendar posted listing what is going on that day. Maybe pick a day that you can take her to the activity and get her interested. This is what an AL is for. To keep Seniors engaged.

I am not a game player nor do I put puzzles together. Either was my Mom. I am not an activities director nor do I entertain. One reason Mom was in an AL and I think she enjoyed it as much as she was able to. I know she loved it when there was entertainment.
Your Mom needs to take advantage of what is offered. If you feel 2 days a week in enough, then go 2 days. 3 days would be almost every other day.

You have a responsibility to your husband too. He is #1. Mom needs to realize this to.
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As others have said, twice a week is fine. I visited my mom once a week.

Mom acts "offended"?


So what?

Please learn not to be ruled by the unrealistic expectations of others.
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Tell your mother you will come 2 days a week, because you wanted to make sure her other daughter has a chance to visit.

(In other posts, you said that you are the "chosen daughter." Has your sister seen her yet? Are there brothers, too?)
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Mom can act offended. That's fine. She can be angry.That's fine. She can be sad and she can cry. That's fine. No problem. Life is full of unhappiness and it is especially full of it in age when things are taken from us one at a time, our mobility, our freedom from pain, our hearing and sight, our continence, finally our minds and who we are. It's inevitable if we live long. There is no "fix it" on this.
Mom has had her life. You now have your own, and you should have as much a quality life as you can; there's not another shot at this. Guilt isn't an issue. You are a human being, not god. Thus you have limitations. Grief, the other g-word is appropriate.
You cannot do it all. Two days is sufficient. Your husband is correct.
I wish you the best.
Remember, in all her life your Mom never had a decade when things ALL went HER WAY. And she still doesn't. That's called real life.
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