DEAR DEIDRE: The memory of my mum asking to live with me, or my younger brother, rather than live in a home to see out her final days is clearer than ever.
Even when I was a little girl, I remember mum commenting that the worst thing that could happen to her would be if we put her in a home.
I’m now 54, mum is 79 and my brother is 53.
Mum has quite advanced dementia now.
Unfortunately, going to live in a home would absolutely be the best thing for mum right now, but I feel so guilty I can’t bear to send her.
She currently lives in an apartment within a retirement complex but there are no services.
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We pay for carers to go in twice a day to make sure she is taking her medicine, eating her meals and washing.
But it’s clear that the care that I have organised isn’t enough for her. I work full time and live 40 miles away so I can only visit twice a week.
She keeps setting her microwave on fire, flooding the bathroom and refuses to go outside now and see anyone.
She knows who I am still but didn’t recognise my brother last time he visited.
He thinks we need to get her in a home as soon as possible but I feel too guilty.
I know part of the reason why she’s going downhill so quickly is because she spends all her days alone but I also know what mum would have wanted.
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DEIDRE SAYS: This is such a difficult time for any family – judging when the time is right to put a loved one in a home.
Guilt is a very common emotion – even when like yourself – you know a home makes the most practical sense.
You are only thinking of what is best for your mum, so genuinely you have no reason to feel guilty.
It would be good to visit some different homes with your mum and brother.
There are some homes that offer excellent care that will reassure you.
You are no longer that little girl, but a grown woman, who is working out the best path for your mum.
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