Am I doing the right thing?

by Sharon
(Massachusetts)

My 93 year old Mom had a left MCA stroke on Sept. 11. She has lost a great deal of her ability to speak. She can't put all her thoughts into words. She calls me her husband. (I'm her daughter) She says words that make no sense when she is trying to explain something. As far as I know, she does not have dementia. She pretty much understands me when I talk to her but sometimes can not comprehend simple things.


She can walk and feed herself. She can wash herself and still reads the paper. All that being said, she is now living in a nursing home. She lived with me for 12 years and was very independent.

Since the stroke I don't feel comfortable leaving her home alone all day while I work. I feel she can not make wise decisions in certain situations. I don't think she could call 911 for help. She has trouble taking directions and I'm convinced she would try to do things she shouldn't such as cook or go outside to hang clothes.

I'm divorced, so no hubby to help out. Three useless siblings, and my daughter is not interested in helping out. So there's no one. Just me. I visit every night after work and I take her home on weekends. I think that's pretty good. Some evenings when I visit, she is darn near hysterical with wanting to "get out of this place", "I want to kill myself", "you have to get me out of here". Last night I asked the nurse to give her something to calm her down.

Fortunately, it worked. My problem is guilt. I am second guessing myself about her being in the NH. Should I bring her home, or should I just buck up and try to be strong? If I do take her home, I feel I would be losing a lot of my life. I know it sounds selfish, but the whole thing is so unfair. I really could use some words or encouragement.

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Don't make it any harder on yourself
by: Anonymous

Don't take her home to live with you! She may not be 100% content in the nursing home, but she may not be with you, either - and you would definitely be worse off!

Honestly, she is totally safe and cared for where she is. You are doing really well visiting her and remaining a part of her life, you don't have to feel guilty. It is better to take care of yourself and maintain your own independent life, but still visit her, than to take on complete responsibility for her care.

That would be too much for you. Choose what is best for BOTH of you, not just for her. You are being a good daughter already, you don't have to try any harder.

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Guilt...
by: Anonymous

Hi,
You are not alone there are so many of us who are caring for a parent. When you become a caregiver or guardian, your life changes. The thing that keeps me having a positive attitude is thinking back at all my parents did for me and my siblings for so many years.

Please think about you being in her situation, because one day we will need help. How would you want someone to care for you? It is sad and depressing in nursing homes. Some residents adjust better and faster than others. Make a schedule and try to keep it reserved for her and you will still have time for you.

Get your mom involved in activities and attend a few with her until she adjusts and feels comfortable. This is a difficult change going from being independent to losing all independence.

The two things I always keep in mind is to love her and support her and keep in mind what you would want if you were in her shoes. This Could be a long journey so do take time to enjoy your time as well. 😊

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