How will I ever get over the guilt I feel for placing my mother in a nursing home?

35 answers | Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
Crystalslayer asked...

My mom has been in the nursing home now for 3 days. I am riddled with guilt, I cry all the time when I am home alone, wondering did I do the right thing. Every time I go to see her she wants me to take her home, it breaks my heart, I have to lie to her all the time. I feel like I have taken every thing away from her. How do you ever get over something like this. Its tearing me apart?


Expert Answers

Audrey Wuerl, RN, BSN, PHN, is education coordinator for Hospice of San Joaquin in California. She is also a geriatric trainer for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), which promotes education in geriatric nursing and end-of-life care.

I am assuming you placed your mother in the nursing home because you could no longer care for her at home. Possibly, she was living in her own home, and now needs more assistance. Either way, you are overwhelmed by feelings of guilt.

If your mom has dementia, usually it is the "behavioral" issues such as wandering away, toileting needs, or even combative behaviors that precede the placement. Also, with dementias like Alzheimer's disease, the resident (your mom) may not even remember who the other family members are, the "new" environment is not familiar, and may start asking to be taken home. All of this is especially trying for family members.

If any of the foregoing is true, it is natural for you to be struggling. I would suggest you discuss your feelings with the social worker at the nursing home and be kept informed in what is happening on a day-to-day schedule for your mom. Participate in her care if possible. And especially, try to concentrate on the fact your mom is cared for, safe, and not alone.

Remember, too, it is never easy to become the "parent" of your parent. Take comfort in the fact you are doing the best you can for your mom.


Community Answers

Sharonmathews53 answered...

I feel so bad for you. You did what you thought was best for your mom. I wish I had the means to put my mom in a nursing home too where there would be someone who can bathe her and give her her medications and actually get her to take them. Right now she doesn't take them unless I am with her. Most of the time I am not able to be with her so she goes without. She hasn't had a real bath or shower for a long long time. In a nursing home I know she would get one. I try my best but I just can't move or move mom to get to wash her properly. She screams at the home health aids and told them to get out. They stopped coming and immediately left so that didn't work. My father before he died last year was in a nursing home. He didn't want to go but once he was there he started to improve. He had activities and he could be around people. He received the right kinds of meals and theraphy. I was happy he was there. The only thing that didn't make me happy was that I am poor and was not able to go and see him because he was in New York and I am in Florida. I would of loved to be in the same town to go see him.
Be happy that she is in a safe place. Just go see her whenever you can and let her know that you love her. I think crying is a good thing it gets out a lot of stress we have. I do a lot of crying sometimes I can't control myself and cry right in front of mom. Wish I was stronger. This site helps a lot because we are all going through the same experience with this disease. You know you are not alone and others care about you. What's nice is that they truly listen and give you good advice. Take care and be strong. God bless you and keep you safe.


Tilt1 answered...

I am new to this site and blog and I don't know if I am even doing this right. But I am at the end of my rope. The guilt that I feel is unbarable. I placed my mom in a nursing home 5 years ago after being with us in our home for 6 years. Mom came to live with us because during a visit here, she had a seizure because her heart rate went down to 20. She went to the hospital and received a pacemaker. Also received all new doctors and that's when we asked her to live with us. The docs told us that she could go anytime because her heart was so fragile. (2 previous by pass surgeries) We lived in fear all the time. Then she started to go down hill mentally. I could go into it all but that's not why I'm here today. I placed her in a nursing home 5 years ago and after three years moved her to a different one because of abuse. She has breast cancer stage 4 and is in very bad condition. Hospice comes in 3 times per week and she is on strong pain killers. I can't stand it. My heart is breaking. I cry and cry and cry. I feel so guilty. I feel as though if I had not placed her in a home and kept her with me she would be better off. I know now that I could not take care of her in her current condition. I just don't know how to live with myself. How can I get past this? Or can I? Please help if you have gone through a similar situation and found a way to cope.


Emily m. answered...

Hi tilt,

Thank you very much for your question. I'm so sorry to hear about the situation you are currently in, that sounds very difficult.

Here is a discussion that is all about feeling caregiver guilt: Guilt.

You may also find this Ask & Answer page helpful as well: How do I stop feeling guilty about suggesting to put Mom in hospice?

I hope that helps.

Take care, Emily | Community Manager


Kittykathy answered...

Not knowing your circumstances, I can only tell you how I managed my guilt - I took my 91-year-old mum home. We put her hospital bed right in our livingroom, so she doesn't miss anything. She's stuck in bed 24-7. We arranged for hospice care. It's been over a year, but the nurse comes once a week and the doctor writes the prescriptions. We use my mother's income to pay for nurse's aides to stay with her when we leave the house... much cheaper than a nursing home. I am not a nurse or a nurse's aide, but I observed various techniques when Mum was temporarily in nursing homes over the years. I find this so much easier than worrying about what nursing home personnel are doing or not doing when I'm not there. Sure it's role reversal to have to bathe and change Mum, but I have peace of mind. Perhaps not everyone could do it, but I didn't think I could until an aide handed me her phone number at the hospital. Mum has never had a bed sore in my house!


A fellow caregiver answered...

I too feel guilt at having my husband of 51 years in an assisted living facility. But he was not safe at home and doctors wanted him placed immediately. We were asked not to see him for one month so he could get used to new routines etc. It has worked beautifully. The staff are wonderful and he attends most activities. I am seeking a support group to help me with the grieving process and am blessed with a supportive family and church. I am able to visit him 2 times a week and we enjoy our time together. I will keep you posted.


Stashlover answered...

Crystal I know how guilty you must feel and if I didn't have my husbands support and physical strength to help me take care of my dad, he would be in a nursing home too. I thank God everyday that we can take care of him, he's 98 1/2 but can't walk too well as he has Parkinson's,COPD,Dementia and 2 hearing aids! He uses the belted Depends and it is hard to see him at home all day basically by himself with nothing to do. My husband works at home and makes him Lunch and sits with him a couple of times a day, but I wish my older retired sister would come down to sit with him, but refuses as she has too much to do? We promised dad that we would not put him in a nursing home as long as we could take care of him. It has been almost 6 years and we take him with us everywhere, but our lives are put on hold for now. We are trying to get him set up with a daycare a couple of days a week, but his life is better than if he was in a home other than ours. I do not look forward to what you are going thru and I hope the Dear Lord takes him before that happens.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am also going through this same guilt.My mother has been in an assisted living after 3 years and was recently taken to the hospital followed by a nursing home stay. Within the coming week, I am deciding if she should return to the assisted living, move her to another one, be in a senior living apartment with a live in or stay at a nursing home.The emergency hospital calls are coming more like once a month rather than every 3 months and I feel guilty that I cannot take care of her. I am physcially and emotionally exhausted and I cannot think clear. Is a nursing home such a bad thing? Some of them seem to give the care that so many people need. Right now I feel that I am losing control of the whole situation. This website has been wonderful to read.


Sho b answered...

Hi Everyone, Thank you for sharing your experiences and suggestions with "crystalslayer." You may continue this conversation in a safe and supportive environment in the Assisted Living Support Group on Caring.com: https://www.caring.com/support-groups/assisted-living You can also find other online support groups, including Caring for a Spouse or Parent here: https://www.caring.com/support-groups


A fellow caregiver answered...

My Mother died, but I have very close Aunts that are in Nursing homes. Both are the same. We know not what the future holds. All we can do is prey. Amen.


A fellow caregiver answered...

God bless you all. My grandfather actually wanted to go to the veterans home because he is 90 years old and going blind and has not been really able to care for himself properly in a few years but is fiercely independent and didn't want to live with anyone so he thought the VA home was the best thing for him. He has been there going on 2 weeks and he wants to go home. I went to see him for the first time today and he begged me over and over again to take him home. He did my mom the same when she visited him the first time after leaving him. They have him in a lockdown "adjustment" wing, all the other patients in this wing have severe dementia while my granddad is pretty sharp, this adds to his depression. They told us it was only for 30 days and then he could move out to a room in the general population. Today when he wasn't begging me to take him home he was talking about his daily routine at home and how he did things every day at home and how he cooked and cared for himself and made it just fine. I feel so sad but I know he is in a nice place that is feeding him well and we don't have to worry about falls or his being taken advantage of by shady neighbors on his street (this has happened in the past). I know my mom feels so guilty, I hate it so much for her. She is already raising my brother's 7 year old daughter at age 63 and still works part time. I was hoping this would be an easy transiiton for him but it is not going to be. I know my mom is wracked with guilt - both about leaving him and also about not going to see him for a while because he just begs to go home. Please say a prayer for her, she lost her younger brother just a few months ago too. I am worried about my mom.


Shan kaye answered...

Hi everyone. I just want to share my experience. My grandpa, who passed away last October, he had many health problems, and it finally got to the point where my mom and I had to put him in a nursing home. It was the hardest thing ever and made me just want my grandma back to help us make the hard decisions. I don't feel a lot of guilt, just a lot of painful memories of how much he suffered and how much he just wanted to leave with my mom and me and go home. I was especially close with my grandpa because the only ones he had were my mom and I, and my mom and I were his basic caregivers when he lived at home in his own apartment. Even when he was in the nursing home, my mom and I would come visit him two times a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends, and just sit with him. I just miss him so much, and there's such a huge void that I can't seem to fill. With all that being said, I have a lot of great memories of my grandpa. R.I.P. Grandpa.


Eduardito answered...

The guilt comes in waves"¦ mom is 83 and institutionalized almost 2 years. Between my sis and I we visit her just about every day. Mom's reason for care is dementia; her medical issues require attention but usually not much more than daily meds. Two years ago my sis and I were trying our best to do avoid placement--I lived with her for 14 months, and that stress (esp. the last months before placement) almost cost my job. I will always hate having to "pull the trigger," but I recognized that while mom needed day-long care, neither of my sisters would've been able to make the request for a nursing home. Some days mom seems mellow & even contented, but she resents the staff when they toilet her and bathe her (she's always been uptight about getting undressed) and frankly several of them aren't very nice so perform their functions robotically and seem to think dementia patients are "out there," and not paying attention--but even demented mom recognizes stinky attitude and resents how some treat her for making their jobs not-so-easy. When mom is emotional (tense or just sundowning) our visits end not-so-smoothly, with her crying to not be left there or angry at me for leaving without her (BTW, she thinks I'm her boyfriend and/or husband). Yesterday I said I needed to leave so I could get some dinner; she offered to cook, then offered to pay for it, then crying said goodbye because it was more important to her that I eat even though I left her there. She may confuse me with other men in her life, but somehow she remembers to be protective of me! I do like everyone else who posts here, it seems; I swallow the guilt until I get in the car or in the shower later, and just sob it away until the next time. My sisters and I do not have the means to have mom live with us, and her tension at some of the CNA's existed with the visiting nurses in the pre-placement times. I wish it could be different for all of us, and I really feel for anyone having to deal with this. I feel grateful because at least mom's still with us, but seeing her so sad and angry kills me every time. I'm writing this just after a 30+ minute sob, and I appreciate having this outlet.


Guiltridden answered...

I've read the question and the answers and I thank you all. I was told by Adult Protective services that either i sign mom into a nursing home or the next time she 'escapes' the house in the middle of the night while I'm sound asleep I could go to jail for neglect and the state would still put her in the nursing home. I know she is safer there, she can't get out and hurt herself or get lost, but the guilt is overwhelming. I still have 2 years before I reach the age of 62 and can retire and take care of her full time again. It's the time between now and then that scares me. I don't want her to die in a nursing home thinking nobody loves her or that she is all alone. She's only been in ther for 4 days and it's killing me, even in her demented state I miss her so much. I have no other family that can or will help me with her. when she 'escapes' she's searching for my brother, thinking he is hurt. None of my 3 brothers will have anything to do with her, not even a phone call or a Christmas or birthday card. Yet they are the ones she cries for and begs me to go help them because in her mind they are hurt some how or another. It breaks my heart, they don't even know she's in the nursing home. And I'm not going to tell them, they would show up only to steal what liitle she does have. I have taken care of Mom since 1998, she has lived with me. When she first moved in with me she was okay and over the years I have watched her go from a strong woman to a scared child. I want her safe, I want her happy and the nursing home will provide the safety for her but how do I supply the happy. They said I couldn't see her for 2 weeks to give her time to adjust, I don't think I can stand it that long. Yes I was worn out mentally, physically and emotionally but I want her at home. If I could find a way to work from home and keep her with me I would do it. I just couldn't keep her from taking off in the middle of the night or while I was at work. It was costing me $50.00 a day for a sitter for her, I'm broke now. Still have to work and pay bills so I can live but this guilt is eating me alive. Does it get any better? Will she adjust to the nursing home? Will I adjust to life without her? All I want to do is cry and go get her and bring her home, I know I can't stay awake 24/7 to watch her and I'm really beginning to hate my brothers for not helping her, she never abandonded us when we needed her but now I feel like I am abandonding her when she needs me. God help her please.


Kevin45 answered...

I've been caring for my 90 year old father at my house for about 5 years. We discussed nursing homes and he reminds me how much he likes staying in my home. We've both come to the same conclusion that as long as he can be safe at me house - he stays. An unsafe condition for us is if he began to wander or or created a dangerous situation such as with the stove. I always jokingly remind him "No Open Flames" when I leave for work. If it ever becomes time for a nursing home I feel my obligation is to select an appropriate one, visit daily if possible to check on things and continue to manage his medical care. I hope it doesn't come to this but I could proceed without guilt if it does.

To the original poster, if you've done what you can for your mother and you feel she receives better care in a facility AND you monitor her care, you shouldn't feel guilty.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mum went into residential care last year. Her deterioration was very fast and complicated by a number of illnesses. She became hostile with me and my young children hitting out and swearing at them. Mum was fine when I was on my own with her for a few minutes but then she would beg me to take her home and then out of the blue become afraid of me and call me by her sisters name. It would take the staff several hours to calm her down and in the end advised me not to visit as often. When I was allowed to see her, she was heavily medicated and wouldn't know who I was. Months followed and mum became a stranger. She wasn't my mum anymore. I grieved and became depressed. It got to the stage where I would drive over to visit and be unable to get out of the car. I'm now on prozac just to be able to cope. My mum has no other family, it is just me and her grandchildren and the guilt I feel is tremendous. I write to her but she doesn't read the letters. I've just found out from the care staff, that she has destroyed the family album as she doesn't know anyone in it. My 8 year old son was very close to her and has had to have counselling to come to terms with losing his gran. My daughter is lucky enough to be too young to understand. I just wish I was a stronger person. I feel I have let my mum down on every level and each day it feels worse.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am so sorry everyone is undergoing these problems. I just recently put my Mother in a nursing facility 8 miles from me. I visit her every day and usually eat lunch with her but my guilt is tremendous. I live in a small town and I know most everyone who works at the facility and also the patients! There are so many like Mom and so many like me! We all talk when we see each other, comparing notes, etc. Mom is very unhappy that she is there but she had a fall with a cracked pelvis and needs the daily PT that they can offer. Her heart rate is low and that may be why she fell but will be taking her 120 miles to see her cardiologist on Friday. He comes to various satellite clinics but can't seem to work her in so will make the long trip! I feel so guilty like there is something I could or should have done to keep her in her Senior Living complex and independent. I have two brothers who are enjoying their retirements living on the lake and never giving a thought to Mother as in their minds, I am the one who should take care of EVERYTHING. I am resentful of them and their treatment but they have always been that way even when my Dad was living. It was a "hands off" approach as far as they were concerned. Thanks for listening. I have a wonderful husband who reassures me daily that I am doing the only thing I can do but it hurts none the less!


Koalablu1 answered...

It was wonderful to find this site. I am about to place my mother in a nursing home and I just feel terrible about it. I have so much chatter going on in my head, should I move her there or keep her home. She doesnt have dementia or alzhiemas, but she has recurring urinary tract infections and is on a permanent catheter, she also has poor mobility, my bathroom and toilet are not really suitable for her and I worry every time she has a shower whether she will fall in there. Her mind is still very alert, she is 82 years old. I just feel totally drained, I had a son born with spina bifida and cared for him for 19years until he passed away, I had two years grace after that before my father become sick and i cared for him up until he passed away 5 years ago and now I have been caring for my mum for the last 5 years, I am on my own and its really hard. I love my mum and I know she is not happy about going into a home but I never know for sure if she has infection and the catheters keep coming out. Its just so stressful and my reason for feeling she needs a nursing home is just that there will be nurses there who are experienced with these problems, if the catheter comes out they can put a new one in straight away, I have to try to organize for someone to come and do it, the local doctor wont do it and if I cant get the home nurse to visit then we sit at the hospital for hours on end waiting for them to replace it, last time was 9 hours. I just feel my mother would have a better life in care but I just keep questioning my decision and its not easy when she makes it known that she doesnt want to go. I just dont know what to do


A fellow caregiver answered...

I just wanted to write and say how much I admire every one of you. I have taken care of my 96 year old grandmother for two years...she has dementia. Myself, mom and aunt out of a very large family have been the only ones willing to step up and care for her. But my aunt is at the end of her rope, my grandmother can be terribly abusive and demanding at times. Add to that the toileting issues, sundowning that medicine does not help... and not many want to deal with her. Yet WE did not want to put her in a nursing home so I offered to bring her to my home instead. Then I began to realize that with the exception of mom and my aunt coming once a week, I would get no break or respite. I cannot do it. Not 24/7 day after day....I feel so weak, because I told the family this. So at the end of the month she will be going to a nursing home. They say not to feel guilty, as I have put my life on hold for her, and gone above and beyond. Still, I guess it is natural to feel this way. None of us want it to end this way. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I hope that you may find comfort and peace from this moment on.


Quiltridden answered...

My mom came to live with us in 2005, broke and sick. Same old story my sister and her two daughters moved in after my father died and eight months later all life insurance and pension money ran out. At 55 I am the youngest of five children. My siblings doubt call and have not even spoken to her in years. Now her health is failing everyday and I placed her last hospital stay has her in rehab and I am really seeing the need for long-term. But the quilt is tearing me apart my husband of 35 years has always been great but is tired and can not do the personal hygenie side of her care. I cry daily is that normal? Is any of this right?


Jmart57 answered...

I too have had to put my Mom in a nursing home. In my mind I know it is for her safety and well being, but when I visit she cries and begs me to get her out and let her come home. This just tears at my heart and I have to cut our visits short because she gets so worked up. I wish I could have honored her desire to remain at home for the rest of her life. The guilt is overwhelming and effects many facets of my life and interactions with others. I don't know how anyone can answer the question of whether our feelings are "right" or wrong, they simply are what they are and we can only console and comfort one another in this journey


Anna40 answered...

We had to put my dad to a nursing home 4 month ago. He is 92 and he couldn't stay alone for more than half an hour at home. He scared of being alone so my mom simply couldn't leave the home, even for shopping or going to bank or nothing else, as he starred screaming and calling neighbours when my mom had to leave the home for doing some necessary staff. That put a lot of pressure on my mom, made her blood pressure to go up to 20/ 15. I live in another country (australia) so I couldn't be with them, and even if I could I could' stay with my dad every minute, as I have to work. Eventually we had to put her in abut sing home. This a good place and the personnel take care of him nicely. But I had such a terrible feeling of guilt, I know that it was almost impossible to take care of him with his situation, and if we continued that I possibly would have list my mom because of that much of pressure, but all of the explanations, don't take anything of the guilt burden from my shoulder. Sometimes I get headache from thinking so much that I wish I was never born, that's such a horrible feeling. What shall I do?


Irisann answered...

I feel for you. I too have tremendous guilt as my mom has been nursing home for 4 years. She was living on her own at that time, and it became unsafe. She was calling police saying that she was being robbed. Police called me at work as my number was on her refrigerator. The told me i had to do something. I told her I would pick her up and take her out for dinner that evening; instead I took her to ER at hospital where she was transferred to a psychiatric facility to stabilize her on meds. From there she went to a nursing home. I felt horribly guilty that she never went home. Her TV was still on, and her tray with her tea was next to her chair. She of course expected to be coming back home that evening. It tore me into pieces that I had to take her life away. Disassemble her apt, and her belongings. My mom cannot communicate much, she babbles. But she does manage to get across how much pain she is in, and she cries often when I'm there. She tells me she loves me, and wants to be with me. I work, and cannot take care of her in my home. No siblings to share this journey with. Its unbearably sad, and I feel so bad for the pain she bears. She is in a wheelchair, and I cant even take her out for the day as I used to when she first was there and mobile. All we can do is reach out to others and realize we are not alone. Hugs from me !!


A fellow caregiver answered...

This month I have put my mom in a nursing home as well. She lived with us for 10 years prior and was perfectly healthy. Last year she became mysteriously ill and has lost her coordination and the feeling in her arms and legs. We've been to so many doctors, no on can figure it out. Its left her in a wheelchair and unable to care for herself or to be safe in my home. I homeschool 3 kids 11 and under and I just couldn't do it anymore. I have a brother and sister in another state and they don't visit and call seldom. They will not take her into their homes. I feel so bad that I took her freedom, and now all the things she ever held dear are packed in boxes, and she hates me for it. I pick her up twice a week and hang out with her, but lately she's gotten so mean ( she's always been that way, she doesn't have dementia) that I hate to even see her. I've asked that my brother and sister take her to a nursing home near them. That makes me feel even more horrible. But I just can't do this anymore. It was effecting my health to the point that I had to start taking medication and my hair started falling out and my head began to tick. EVERYONE says I did the right thing...but it feels so wrong. When I told here about all the medication for stress I had to take now, she told me to increase the dosage so she could stay. Who does this to their child? I know she must be very scared and vulnerable, but I don't know what else to do. I've told my kids to never feel bad about putting me in a home. I would never hurt them like this. This whole situation is such a mental roller coaster for all of us.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother is 78 years old and has three sons. I am the eldest of her sons. Eight years, my wife wanted that my brothers also take part in taking care of my mother. Since then my mother shuttles between her three son's homes. This year, about one month ago, my brother's wife declared my mother is erratic and requires more care. Actually my mother diabetes medicene had to be adjusted and she was having severe hypos. Under pressure from brother's wifes (incl. mine), I opted to move my mother to an old age home. After a two week hospital stay (trauma because of hypos), my mother is back to her old self. She, every day, asks me when she can go home (my house). I am crying, even as I type this question/answer.


Helen'sdaughter answered...

My heart goes out to each of you having to make the monumental decision to place your mother/father in a nursing home or care facility. I, too, recently placed my mother in a rebabilitation/nursing center - actually over the past week. I had been her caregiver for 23 years....over the past 3 years I had noticed that her COPD had become progressively worse in addition to her becoming visibly weaker. My husband and I did everything we could to assure her safety but for the short moments we weren't looking - that one time for for 5 minutes the worst could happen. We attempted to hire a live-in nurse, or at least a nurse to be with her during the day while we were at work but mother refused - she stated she didn't want to feel as if she had to entertain someone. But her condition began deteriorating before our very eyes, and she began to walk around without clothing on, urinating on herself, etc. The signs were all around that I simply could go no futher. In addition, my own health was suffering due to a lack of sleep and taking care of myself.

I finally had to ask myself the question of "what kind of effective caregiver can I be if I am not taking care of myself?" I am the only child left in my family and the youngest as well. I knew I had given my mother a beautiful and wonderful life living with me and my family...but we reached the fork in the road where I knew my mother had to go her way and I had to go mine. So, I made the decision to enlist her care to a wonderful nursing home that I actually felt good about. Mom had been to 2 other rehab/nursing facilities since 2008 and I had grown weary of the lousy and negligent care she was receiving but after careful research and the advice of a wonderful eldercare attorney, my mother is in good hands. And for the first time in 23 years, I slept for 8 hours - we admitted mother to the nursing facility earlier that day and once I placed my head on my pillow, I went into a deep sleep.

Your parent(s) would not want your world to stop because of them. I finally had to convince myself of that notion. My mother loves me and wants me to be happy and live my life just like she had lived hers. My mother is 92 years old and had it not been for the love, caring and attention my family and I gave her, she would not have lived to this beautiful number !! Now when I see her engaged and clapping her hands while participating in a sing-a-long, I know I made the right decision - as heartwrenching, tear-drenched and bittersweet as it was....because I love her and want the best for her is why I am feeling better about my decision. In time, you will too.

We caregivers are the unsung heroes of our parents. We are the elite, Navy Seals and Special Forces of caregiving.


Miss not liked around here. answered...

My heart go out to each one of you. I know how you feel. I took care of my mom for 7 years. My dad helped me. It got to the point because of her Alzhimers getting worst it was almost more then I could handle anymore. She got where she couldn't hardly walk. I'm 4'11 and 111 pounds. She 5'8 160 pounds. I couldn't hardly handle her. She would get up a walk around barley able to keep from falling. She was very demaning. She became a sundowner. My dad lost so much sleep and then had to work the next morning. Then I spent the night so he could get sleep and then for days I would go without sleep. I have a home and family that also needed me. Got where she didn't want to eat or take a shower. We as a family I also have a sister decided to do the most painful thing anyone could ever do is put their parent in a nersing home. But, We had no other means to be able to keep her home. I cried and cried. She would cry and cry beging us to take her home. My dad would visit lunch for 3 hours the same for dinner. I had to tell him as much as it hurt to tell him Dad you need to let her be able to get use to being there. But, If we keep coming everyday it makes it even that much harder on her.Give her the time and space so she is able to use to her surroundings and the nurse and CNA then it will be easier on her when we visit.It has broken me heart leaving her there. It has broken my heart to see my dad go though this pain. I pray mom will be OK. I pray for us all. Thank you


A fellow caregiver answered...

I'm so glad I found this site. My father died on Mother's Day of this year after a long battle with Parkinson's. He was in a nursing home. The day of his death, I noticed a wound on my diabetic mother's toe. She was living alone at the time while my sister, partner and I took turns stopping by to give her meds, food, baths, etc. From my dad's corpse, we took my mom to the ER and a subsequent hospital admission. She then went to a physical therapy program for three months and went downhill there.

She was tired, and done and getting UTIs. All of this happening without a moment to mourn for my dad. My mother is now in a nursing home and is finishing up yet another dose of antibiotics for a UTI. Her dementia is clearing up a tad bit as she is now fully hydrated and is healing from her UTI.

Tonight she cried and cried and begged me to take her home. She no longer walks and is in a diaper all of the time. There's no way to care for her 24 hours. It broke my heart to have to tell her no, and explain why. The crying really got to me today. I'm tired, and just feel sad and frustrated that I have had to make certain decisions.

I have so little in common with my friends nowadays who are not going through this. I just constantly feel sad and defeated.


Nannys daughter answered...

I'm also trying to cope with not having my mom come home to her room, her stuff, her things. She has many medical problems, she is a fall risk and can't be left alone. she cant see well, can't hear, has small strokes...heart issues...but she has lived with me and my husband for 11 years. the most recent hospital stay is now resulting in rehab at a care facility, which she is unhappy about (she is still sharp, mind wise) and since I work fulltime, as does my husband, we felt it best she move in with my sister...we thought she would be happy not going to a home. but when she knew she wasn't coming home, to her "room"...which she loves, she fell apart. her blood pressure is horribly high with each crying episode, her eyes haunt me. I feel terrible for her...she just says she wants to come home. my sister, while retired, is not home a lot but her husband is. they love her too, so we thought this would be good thing, knowing it may not last due to her deteriorating condition. Mom is very attached to me and my children, which she feels she is losing...this sounds like such a good thing, her with my sister, who loves her too...but mom looks defeated and lost. she is 90 years old, still shap mentally but her body is not able to keep up anymore. I feel so sad for her, and for my sister who is trying to assist. just venting...I also know very soon, she will have to be placed in a home...maybe within the next few weeks, but until then, feel distraught.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I too feel Guilty about my Mom going to a NF, My Dad especially feels Guilty .. that my Mom can't be handled at home with a live in Aide. But none of us wished this on our loved ones!!! None of us caused these disabilities and diseases!!!! We would ALL give so much to reverse what we cannot !! We MUST remember that!! More importantly we need to forgive ourselves as we would forgive our family if we one day are in need of long term care !!! Now I need to read this over and over until my guilt subsides !! :-(


Alohalisa answered...

Such a common heartache for so many. My husband and I were caring for my mother after debilitating stroke for several years, when my sister in Hawaii suggested we move in with her so that she could "help" with our mom. We sold everything we owned, auctioned off our house and belongings and moved to "paradise". Except it wasn't. My sisters aim was instead to have two more people in her house who could help HER.....and she had no intention of helping with our mother. As we found our own house to buy, set up for my mom to come with us, she got sick and had a week hospital Stay.....from there, we admitted her to a NF WITH HOPES OF TAKING HER WITH US WHEN WE GOT MOVED INTO OUR OWN home. After a month in the NF however she is considerably weaker and hardly can bear weight.....which will make it impossible to care for her at home again. I cry frequently Also, and feel I've sentenced her to a faster decline . On the other hand , I am so grateful to have time with husband and be able to leave the house and have "friends".....and a more normal life......I don't know how I can go back to what we were doing before without exchanging guilt for resentment.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Thank you for submitting your question. I am currently struggling with this issue right now. The guit runs deep and I feel I like can not make a solid decision in my life. I have been taking care of my mom for two years. For the last two months, she has fallen at least 6 times and as a result she need 24/7 supervision. She has Alzheimer. She is such a sweet person to everyone else but me. I hired a caregiver and she does wonderfully with them, but to keep her mind stimulated, I want her to attend an adult day care program. The current program she attends has 40 which will not provide her with proper supervision. I decided to place her in a memory care facility for 30 days to see how she will do. She loves the place and thinks she goes home every day. But a part of me feels that she should stay in her home. I am hoping while she is in the facility I can try to figure out a back up plan.for her to stay at home, hire a live in and not allow it to infringe on my life because I did not have a life at all. That stressed me out. I am alone..I have brothers who live in another state and do not want to help. But I feel if she is in a home, I will no longer know her and she should be in the home she built. Just today I am focusing on my guilt trying to figure out how to manage it or eliminate my guilt.


Dmhl answered...

No answer. Just my story.my mom moved in with my husband and I after she has sx for an intestinal blockage and ran out of family to live with. During her time with us she had a heart attack. Went from a cane to a walker, was going to get hip replacement sx. She was 79. I said I can't take care of her after hip sx dr said she needed to find assisted living to go to before sx could be scheduled. Finally got that done. Month later she had another blockage. Sx was done but never fully recovered. No bowel movements and had a Cath. Long story short sent to skilled nursing sent back to hospital sent back to skilled nursing, sent back to hospital. Infection ,maybe in her stomach,they had no clue. She had pneumonia by this time. Dr wanted to due a contrast scan to see if blood clot in lung. Kind of ignoring all the intestinal issues. Contrast can damage kidneys hers wernt good already. My mom said no more test opted for no more treatment. Just pain meds to keep her comfortable .this was a sat. Went to hospice on Sunday. Saw her Monday didn't wake up. Was on methadone. Hospice called Tuesday not doing good. Drove there she passed 15 min after we got there.so much guilt thinking if she stayed in my home maybe this wouldn't have happened. She cold be difficult. I was getting sick from stress. Just hard to deal with the fact that she chose to die. Tired of Drs not knowing how to fix it. Guilty very guilty


A fellow caregiver answered...

I took care of my mother all by myself for 6 years after she suffered a serious stroke. Finally yesterday she was placed in a home because she has a lot of pain in her left leg and can't even help me to stand her up anymore. I know she is in a wonderful place, it is beautiful, everyone is so kind and even the resident cat is already sleeping on her bed. But all I've done for two days is cry. I miss her terribly and I'm lonely because we are very close. I'm hoping that this is some kind of grieving process that I will work my way through but right now I can't function at all. I know that she seems very happy where she's been placed and for that I'm grateful. I guess it's time to let go and try to get on with my life but I do feel guilt as well as an overwhelming sense of grief and loss.


Child in distress answered...

Wow, this is hard. I have read all the posts and guilt is the sad thing happening to us. Mom lived with us for 20 years. She always said if the time comes to go to a care facility and she cannot decide we must do it. She, however decided it is time to go. That was the easy part. We waited for 7.5 months for placement. In the meantime she would tell other people she is going but not "telling" us. When the time came she just refused to go. We skipped the turn. Then later another chance and she refused again. But for the last year she has been crying - and it became worse as time went by. I just cannot stand the crying anymore - she is being treated for depression. She has dementia and also altzheimers.
Thinking about it all now I realized that when we were young we went off to school, college and work - while Mom got a little break. We grew stronger and more independent, making the caregiving maybe a little different - easier? Mom needs care most of the day, she is growing weaker and more dependent - that is the difference between taking care of your children and taking care of your parent. However, it doesn't take away the guilt - I can only pray for all of us and the many to come for wisdom and acceptance and thank God for places of care. Tis has taught me one thing - I have booked our place in advance, hoping that it will help my child not to go through what I'm going trough. May God be with you all and fold you close in His arms while your are suffering this pain. Rika