Jan 23, 2017 - 10:32 AM
Can she be alone? When you are gone, is there someone else that needs to come in? A lot of times, change is very hard for people with dementia, so you leaving may cause anxiety, which comes out as giving you a guilt trip, but you also need to put yourself first, otherwise you will not be able to mentally care for her in the long run. If she is alone, it might be helpful to set up some activities for her - puzzles, music, audiobook, etc. This way, she isn't focused on the fact that you aren't there. Not a permanent solution, but for many people, this at least helps.
Jan 25, 2017 - 09:54 AM
You are not remotely wrong for trying to maintain a fulfilling life even as you care for your mom. Indeed, it is absolutely vital that you do so. Family members caring for their loved ones with dementia are tremendously vulnerable to burnout: to psychological as well as physical illness resulting from the toll this labor of love can take on them. The best way for you to stay whole and be present to your mom when you are with her is to ensure that you retain your own, healthy sense of self and do all you can to preserve your own well-being. You will be a much better care partner for your mom by doing this.
If you start to suspect that it is not safe to leave your mom on her own (or even that she would be happier with consistent company), it may be time to investigate having a companion or professional caregiver come in a few hours each day. Adult day centers are another option, and good ones can be really revitalizing for people living with dementia, who have started to feel isolated from the rest of the world.
Make sure you leave energy and time to care for yourself as well as for your mom.
Jan 27, 2017 - 03:33 PM