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Visiting Mum in care home & juggling family life(2 Posts)
My mum has advanced Alzhiemers she has been ill with it for about 10 years and this year she had a fall at home banged her head and her mobility wasn't great she had a few infections and was pretty poorly and it was too much for my dad as she needed 24hr care so she went into a care home about 25 minutes away.
The home is a really nice place the staff are so kind and Mum seems settled and happy enough there and never asks why she is there or wants to come home. I have 2 teenage kids and work pretty much full time - I used to work part time while Mum was at home and took her out to a music group every week. I am really missing her and get over at least once a week and sometimes twice. My dad also visits 3-4 times a week, my uncle and my sister and sometimes other family or friends. So she has someone there most days.
When I go now I don;t think she always recognises me straight away last time she thought I was a teacher but after a bit she comes round and I know she knows I am familiar so I just sit and hold her hand and she chats away but not much of it makes sense. I am feeling terrible guilt that I am not there enough with her and also struggling to get on with normal family life, work, school run etc when she is in there. My 2 kids have friends and hobbies so they need me at the weekend even though my husband helps a lot too. The kids find it hard to visit - they were very close to my mum she looked after them a lot growing up and now they get upset as she doesn't recognise them. My poor dad is on his own now too and he really misses her. It was such a stress on him for years looking after her but now she is in the home he is a bit lost and suddenly seems really frail himself so again my sister and I are busy rallying round him and making sure he is ok. Sometimes it just all gets a bit too much and then when I try and do something nice to relax - it just never works as its on my mind all the time. I am already dreading this Christmas as I can't imagine it without my mum being there.
Anyone got advice on how best to juggle the needs of the teens and the parents and feel in some way as if you are doing a good enough job for both of them? xxx
You say she seems happy there, so that's a big positive. If she's beginning to forget who you are, she won't be keeping track of time very well, so she won't be aware that you aren't there every day - conversely, if you were to go twice a day, she'd probably not realise! Your main function at this time of life is to ensure she is well cared for, healthy and happy, and you are fulfilling this admirably, far better than many of us manage to achieve.
In your situation, I would concentrate on meeting your children's needs and your own (if you don't look after yourself you won't be able to look after anyone else). Depending on your father's age and frailty, either encourage him to get involved in some other activity (community work is better for giving a sense of purpose than attendance at a day centre for the elderly), or look longer term and see if he could move into the same care home as your mother?
As long as your mother has caring people around her, which it seems she does, she doesn't actually need family there every day - so that's where you can cut yourself a bit of slack. You are doing your bit for her by having found a good home for her, supporting your father, and keeping an overall eye on her welfare.