Dc saying goodbye to my dm

(18 Posts)
Ikeatears Fri 21-Oct-16 01:01:44

My dm has dementia, she's in a care home and has got progressively worse over the last few weeks. She is now incontinent, paces constantly, doesn't really recognise people and is losing weight rapidly. My dsis and I feel the end is probably within the next 12 months (she is 67). My dc have been to visit regularly and love grandma but it is getting increasingly difficult. We never know what we are going to face and she has been quite distressed and verbally aggressive on a few occasions. Dh, dsis and I all feel that maybe it isn't in the dc's best interests for them to continue visiting. I spoke to the older two tonight (11 and 14) and they agreed that they are finding it hard and that they would like a final visit with her this week. They wanted reassurance that I would still go but they admitted that they are finding it upsetting and I know it will only get worse. They were both devastated. Ds2 sobbed and ds1 was happy for a hug (unusually).
We all feel it's the right decision but how do I support them through it? To them, grandma will be gone (although really she's gone already)
Please note, I said to both of them that I would never stop them going but that I felt I had to give them that choice now. I feel so sad for all of us.

ThatGingerOne Fri 21-Oct-16 01:09:12

So sorry for your situation OP flowers

catkind Fri 21-Oct-16 02:21:55

So sorry for your situation, and 67 is so young too.
I'm wary of holding out false hope, but with carefully managed sedation my DGM came through an aggressive/distressed stage and was able to be calmer and more peaceful towards the end. Is there any possibility of that in your case? Perhaps you could just agree that grandma isn't well enough to appreciate visitors at the moment, and if things change you'll let them know.

Mediumred Fri 21-Oct-16 02:40:44

Hi, this sounds terribly sad and 67 is such a young age for dementia. Maybe like catkind says this doesn't have to be a final decision for your children though, they could go and say a goodbye but if circumstances change, or their feelings change about seeing her, it doesn't preclude more visits in the future.

I am so sorry for you all, you sound a lovely daughter, sister and mother thinking about everyone's feelings. Take care of yourself too. X

Ikeatears Fri 21-Oct-16 03:00:48

Thanks all. If they ever changed their minds, I wouldn't stop them from going. I just felt they needed to know that it was ok to say they don't want to. Sad as they were, they almost looked relieved. Dsis went today to see her and phoned me sobbing. She suggested sedation actually so it might be worth looking at. I can't cry, I don't feel it in me at the moment.
It's strange, because she's been ill for so long (at least 6 years) people seem to have forgotten that this is our mum and we are watching her die. People don't necessarily associate dementia with death in the same way that they do with, say, terminal cancer.
My poor little boys tonight. They were so lovely and so brave. sad

Mediumred Fri 21-Oct-16 03:12:36

I am so so sorry, it is terribly unfair, such a cruel illness and that your poor mum has suffered from such a young age.

You are right to try to spare your poor boys from this, but poor you too, it's so hard, there's no good answers or good options, just hard ones, sounds like you are doing amazingly well in very very hard circumstances.

Ikeatears Fri 21-Oct-16 03:24:17

Thanks medium. I don't know, I feel like I should cry more but I'm just numb at the moment. She wasn't the greatest mum but she was an amazing grandma and it's sad that the dc will miss out on that relationship.

Bobafatt Fri 21-Oct-16 07:31:23

Sounds very tough.

I think you have already done the hardest part for them. In bringing this up you have taken the burden from them of saying they don't want to come, or visiting but wishing they weren't there. You've acknowledged and allowed those feelings, so horrible as it is for them I think you have taken the worst part away.
You've also enabled them to say they if they want to visit again, giving them a choice.

I think when you visit I would say how your Mum is - restless today, or quite lucid today (optimistic) so they know they can ask and speak about her.

And I don't know if you already do this, but you can reminisce now, Grandma used to like that.....

It's rubbish. However good a mother she was it is still the loss of that role. Nice that she was a good grandmother.

Do you have anyone you can offload to?

LuckyBitches Fri 21-Oct-16 16:30:43

I've no useful advice but flowers for you. Dementia is such a horror -my Dad has it at a similarly young-ish age.

Ikeatears Wed 16-Nov-16 00:21:17

Well, it took until this weekend for the boys to get to see Grandma - she hadn't really been 'well' enough until then. We had a nice visit with her, I put hand cream on her and massaged her fingers and her arms and we got her to eat some cake and have a cup of tea (first food in a couple of days really). We had a bit of a sing (she can remember the melodies quite well) and they hugged her and told her they loved her.
I haven't made a big deal of it - I haven't said anything about it being the last time they go. I planted the seed and they were aware of that on the visit but I'll leave the ball in their court now. At least if they don't go again, they'll be left with a positive memory of her their last visit. Thanks for the support - I'm sorry I took so long to update.

sandgrown Wed 16-Nov-16 00:27:15

Just wanted to say I think you are handling the situation so well flowers

Ikeatears Thu 17-Nov-16 18:53:16

Thanks Sandgrown

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Thu 17-Nov-16 21:56:49

I agree, it sounds like you've handled it well.
My son hasn't seen his Nan for a long time now, she's also in a care home with dementia.

Ikeatears Fri 18-Nov-16 22:49:55

Has he ever asked to see her Buttered?

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Sat 19-Nov-16 07:48:29

No, I don't think he likes to see her the way she is now and he doesn't like having to deal with the other residence when visiting.
I think he's grieved in part already.
I feel I grieved partly when my mum was diagnosed with dementia, then again when the house was cleared, now I feel I'm waiting for the final part.

Shop Sat 19-Nov-16 07:54:18

My grandma had dementia and was in a home.
I really wish my mum had given me the option of not going, i really dreaded the visits as my gran was not herself (obviously) and I found many of the other residents scary. I felt tremendous guilt that I didn't like going and that I didn't enjoy seeing my gran when she was so ill.
If someone had explained it was ok to not want to go it would've saved a lot of heartache.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Sat 19-Nov-16 08:02:17

Shop That's perfectly understandable to feel the way you did. I agree, children shouldn't be forced to visit.

Potentialmadcatlady Sat 19-Nov-16 20:32:47

I did similar with my Mum..I didn't completely close the door on visits I just kind of stopped taking them after one particularly bad visit when they got very upset at their Granny's behaviour.They didn't visit after that for nearly a year or so.. When she was dying in hospital I gave them the option to see her to say goodbye... One of them choose to say goodbye and one didn't.. I went in first to make sure she was settled and looked as best she could then brought the teen in..it was only a two min visit but it was important for her to do...after she died they were also given the choice to see her or not and strangely enough the one who hadn't said goodbye in hospital wanted to see her then to say goodbye- again I took my lead from him and he stayed only as long as he needed...
I guess what I'm saying is let them take the lead so they feel in control and don't have regrets when they are older... It's a tough road- hugs for you as you support them remember to be kind to yourself too..

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