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Missing mom
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2023 12:41 PM
Joined: 9/29/2021
Posts: 12

Just over two weeks ago, my mother with dementia moved from my house to a SNF.  I was told she was fitting right in and attending all the activities and doing very well.  I just called yesterday, and they said she is wandering around a lot, into other people's rooms, and hanging out by the door trying to get out.  It's an all dementia facility with about 60 residents, but it does have a completely secured side.  They are now trying to figure out which room to put her in, as they think the main side is a little too big for her.  All in all, I guess that's not too horrible, but it really depressed me when I found that out.  


I really miss her.  She had lived with me for 12 years.  I do NOT miss the caregiving, finding things in weird places, bathing, dressing, killing my back, etc.  I've been going back through photos of the last 12 years, and realize how far into dementia she has fallen.  I miss her, but the person I miss is not really there anymore.  It's like a very slow death.  It's so sad.  


I used to be co-dependent when I was married, and have prided myself that I didn't believe myself to be co-dependent anymore.  I'm worried that because I miss mom, I still am.  I thought I would be immediately cleaning & changing things around and delighting that things stay where I put them.  I'm not.  I'm still exhausted.  


And when I visit her, I feel like she gets confused and thinks she's back at my house because she starts asking what I want for dinner.  When I leave, I say that I'm going to the store or running errands.    It's all a huge adjustment, and I suppose I need to be patient with myself.


Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2023 4:52 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 3339

Of course you should be patient with yourself.  Two weeks versus twelve years?  It's only been a drop in the bucket.  I'm certainly a believer in working on co-dependency issues, but I wouldn't jump the gun.  Do you have someone to talk to about this?  An objective therapist might help a lot.  Good luck.
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2023 5:20 PM
Joined: 3/9/2018
Posts: 79

Oh, maxmama... my heart goes out to you. I have been here taking care of my mom for 8 years now, the last 2 full time. Even though I am exhausted, depleted, defeated and lonely, if I suddenly had none of the responsibilities of caring for Mom I'd be lost. Missing her and even missing caring for her doesn't make you codependent, it makes you human. Your life has centered around her and her needs for so long you have to relearn how to take care of YOU. And even though being a caregiver is incredibly stressful, it also gives you a feeling of purpose. So I'm sure you are mourning the loss of that or at least readjusting. Not to mention the familiarity. Give yourself some grace. You are relearning your life and yourself. You are 12 years older and have different wants and needs than you did when you first started your caregiving journey. Give yourself some grace and plenty of time to adjust.

As far as her being confused about her location when you are there, that actually sounds like a blessing. I read all the time about people visiting their LOs only for them to beg to be taken home. That would be heartbreaking. That she feels at home enough to just revert to how she was when you lived together is comforting. Sounds like you found a great place for her. 

Sending you love and patience and gratitude for taking such great care of her.


Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 9:25 PM
Joined: 9/29/2021
Posts: 12

Thank you, M1. No I don't currently have a therapist.
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 9:34 PM
Joined: 9/29/2021
Posts: 12

Thank you, sunnydove. Your reply made me feel a lot better.  

But I went to visit Mom today. I went to her room and she wasn't there so I went to ask somebody where she was. They said that they moved her to the secured side already. I was a little upset. Apparently they took her clothes and nothing else. Her horse blanket was on the other person's bed and all of her pictures were still there on the wall, her stuffed animal and fuzzy pillow were still there, and also her recliner. The room she's in now is for 3 people instead of just two, and the TV doesn't work. Thank god a couple of the employees helped me bring her things over because I wasn't allowed to do it by myself. They tell me that they will move her recliner on Monday and talk to people about the TV on Monday but they couldn't do anything about it on the weekend. And the people over there on the secured side are worse. There's a lady walking around in nothing but her underwear, muttering unintelligibly. I was so upset I wished I could bring her home. They had called me earlier this week saying that they might have to move her to the secured side because she was walking into other people's rooms and hanging out by the front door trying to get out. But they never called me when they actually moved her. I don't feel so great about that place anymore.

Debra Lynn
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 2:02 PM
Joined: 3/19/2023
Posts: 1

I am so sorry you are dealing with this. We had the same thing happen with my mom. She was going into other peoples rooms and trying to leave to find my step-dad. It is heartbreaking. I encourage you to speak up, ask questions, and keep asking. 

Give yourself time as well, it's a huge adjustment and allow yourself the time to grieve this change. I realized when my mom passed away I'd been actively grieving for 2 years and didn't realize it. Give yourself grace and know that all you've done and all you are doing are pure acts of love. 

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 7:18 PM
Joined: 3/9/2018
Posts: 79

I wouldn't necessarily jump the gun on the facility just yet. Just as you found it upsetting that there was someone walking around naked and mumbling, loved ones of the people in your mom's old wing might have found it upsetting that she kept wandering in to their loved one's room. I'm not saying I wouldn't find it upsetting to get there and not know where my mom was, but they may have had to act quickly or had an opening to move her and took it. 

As far as having 3 people per room instead of 2, it's possible your mom will find that more comforting. She's less likely to be in the room alone at any given time. My mom doesn't know people exist out of her sight so being alone is scary. Maybe your mom will even luck out and find a friend or someone she connects with in a positive way. 

I'm going to hold out hope that she settles in and feels happy. Try not to beat yourself up about putting her there. You're doing the best you can and you are there for her. Many people, even those with plenty of family, don't have support and help from loved ones. Your mom is very lucky. 

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 11:45 PM
Joined: 9/29/2021
Posts: 12

I guess I'm just a horrible person and I wish I was never born.
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2023 11:13 AM
Joined: 8/13/2022
Posts: 3

Dear Maxmama,

I am sorry to hear you are feeling so bad about yourself.  I hope you can find a support group to meet with in person.

It sounds like you are doing everything you possibly can for your mother.  This disease is wretched.  The person who loves the one with the affliction is every bit suffering as much, if not more.

Please know many people would welcome your experience and be willing to share their experience in return.

Best regards, and take care,


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