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Care & carers

Don't like visiting Father in nursing home.

(15 Posts)
Dawn22 Tue 02-Apr-19 16:12:41

My Dad is 90 and l am 60 and l am part of the sandwich generation, inbetween my own father and then my own children. Since my mother passed on in 2007 l have been visiting my father intensively, in later years now in the nursing and l am just so tired of it. I get all the family news, from him whether l want to hear it or not. He tells me all about his money and different charities he gives to. I have been under alot of strain for many years and unlike me my father is in excellent mental health and l have not been. Have 2 siblings but they are real copers and there is no chance of gently drifting apart whilst my father is still with us. There is always some big family occasion on around my father and in the last while l feel anxious going to them.
Just wondering had anyone a difficult elder care situation going on and any tips for coping with it l would appreciate. Just feel so tired of all the visiting, the same conversations etc.

silverlining48 Tue 02-Apr-19 16:44:17

Not knowing distance etc or how often you visit but if you feel like this reducing visits a bit may help. It sounds like you may be depressed and if you haven’t already perhaps a trip to the surgery might be worth considering. Or a chat with your siblings to explain your feelings. Visiting a care home can bring you down. My poor mum had dementia and I visited her initially three times a week but after a few years had to cut it down for my own sanity.
Good luck and don’t beat yourself up, hope you feel better soon.

SueDonim Tue 02-Apr-19 16:52:56

I hear the same old stories and gripes from my 91yo mother every time I visit, although she is still as sharp as a tack and in her own home. She isn't very mobile and doesn't get out much so her world is really very small nowadays and I suppose she doesn't have much else to say.

It can be extremely trying but I try to grin and bear it by having some other topics to talk about and changing the subject when I can.

Jane10 Tue 02-Apr-19 17:38:35

We tried to all take turns visiting MiL then mum in nursing homes. Just so they had at least one visit a day. Could you do a sort of rota? AC took a turn in ours as well as DH, sister and I.
I actually quite liked visiting and missed it when it was no longer necessary. I think I could easily be a volunteer visitor if such a thing existed.

sodapop Tue 02-Apr-19 17:54:24

A Rota of visits sounds like a good idea Dawn22 . Talk to your siblings about your concerns as well. However I have to say there are times when we need to put our own feelings aside to help others. You are lucky enough to be able to go home at the end of your visit, your father is not. His conversation will be restricted as his life is now so do what
SueDonim says and try to introduce new topics. It can be trying but your father will appreciate the fact you go and see him.

Vonners Tue 02-Apr-19 18:05:28

Same here, my father, 89, lives alone and goes over the same stuff time and time again. Its as if he's telling the tale for the first time. I keep thinking 'I'll be like that one day'. He only wants to talk about what he wants to and has no real interest in anything I say. It is tiring.
Dawn22, you need to take care of yourself too, if your father is in a nursing home I would be inclined to reduce the visits to help you cope - at least you know he sees someone everyday and is fed.

BlueBelle Tue 02-Apr-19 18:17:17

I visited my Mum in residential almost every day for seven years it was difficult she could be agressive or unhappy sometimes in ears in the later years she didn’t know me and couldn’t converse only in baby babble it was not easy but I couldn’t have not gone,there was only me, no siblings, and even if she didn’t know me I couldn’t not go
We all have different levels of tolerance but as Sodapop says your Dad hasn’t chosen this end of his life condition
As you have siblings and your dad has others visiting, cut down a bit perhaps stay less time or go every other day if you go daily It is hard work and tiring bring the same stories but it’s not his fault and there will be a big hole in your life when’s hes gone Don’t live to regret your visits I’d give my right arm to see my Mum again and give her a cuddle x

Septimia Tue 02-Apr-19 18:49:09

If your father is able - and if it's allowed in the residential home - could you ring him or send him messages by phone or email? Like others, I can understand how frequent visiting can be very wearing. He is being cared for, so you don't need to worry about that, and perhaps if you took a bit of time off but contacted him by other means so that he doesn't feel ignored, it would give you a chance to regroup. Can you take yourself off for a day out as a treat instead of visiting him? And send him a postcard to show that you've thought of him. Actually, postcards or letters (especially with attached photos) instead of visits might be a good idea. It would give you a different task and him something that he could look at lots of times. You'd also be able to talk about the postcards or photos when you do visit.

Dontaskme Wed 03-Apr-19 16:58:11

I would cut down the visits myself - when my Mother was in a home I went once every blue moon tbh as it was a drag and she had lots of other visitors and company. When it got to the point where she didn't know who anyone was I stopped going altogether.

My DH visits his Mum twice a week and it drives him bonkers, as she says the same things every single time he goes, shows him the same things, can't hold a conversation and the whole thing is, quite frankly, boring. Nothing helps - tried photos, talking about the past etc but nothing changes. Personally I don't think she even knows (or cares) who he is, but he'd be upset if I told him that.

I've already told my AC that they don't need to feel compelled to visit me if and when I'm in a home, as I know what its like. I'll be looked after and there is always someone around, no need for them to worry themselves.

Look after yourself Dawn22

rosecarmel Wed 03-Apr-19 17:51:55

I had a bit of a run in with my sis in a similar situation- She was burnt to crisp from caretaking which also involved daily visits and endless repetition - What she didn't seem to realize was that she often picked up the phone and repeated the process to me - When I finally told her I understood because she was repeating herself to me daily she became very upset - Understandable - But in so many words I told her that she had to decide to keep her routine if she wished or change it - As a result, she distanced herself - Now when we speak, less frequently, she is mindful not to repeat herself but more importantly no longer visits the nursing home every single day - She now takes much deserved time out for her - She was shaky about it at first, but now is confident that she broke free and is standing on her two feet -- instead of leaning on an old routine and others needlessly -

Bagatelle Wed 03-Apr-19 18:21:39

Poor Dad.

rosecarmel Wed 03-Apr-19 19:26:03

I also encouraged my sis to understand that nursing home provides more attention than when our parent lived home alone - There's attention from staff and other residents - It need not be an every day thing - When time is devoted to a parent so much so that one suffers debilitating exhaustion, the parent in the nursing home is not the cause -

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 03-Apr-19 19:38:03

I didn't look forward to visiting MIL when she got dementia, for a few years she struggled proudly at home and then she went into a nursing home. At the very least we knew that she was safe, clean, fed and watered.
Could you limit your visits a bit? A rota is a very good idea.
Is it at all possible that you could take him out in a wheelchair to a local park? A change of scenery might perk him up a bit, even if he forgets about it an hour later. Many of us on this forum have been in this situation, so virtual support is here.

Harris27 Wed 03-Apr-19 21:47:59

I'm reading this as I wait to attend my mums funeral tomorrow it has bee hard the last six years as she didn't know us in the end our visits were often and constant. We did cut it down to a couple of times a week doing Rota. She is gone now and the relief I feel,is immense but the sadness is there too. Good luck to you all.

Mamissimo Thu 04-Apr-19 00:04:50

Harris 💐