How often do I visit dad now: Hi, Well, dad... - Care Community

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How often do I visit dad now

Hi,

Well, dad moved down to a nursing home near me just before Christmas. He found the move "overwhelming" and the journey horrendous. He came down to the Home with a bad cold and, as I feared, ended up in hospital after only a few days so that he could be given intravenous antibiotics. He was there over Christmas and was then discharged back to the Home but had tested positive again for MRSA. Because of this he is being kept in his room and I think he is fed up.

I have been to visit him as often as I can - my husband and I both had colds over Christmas (caught from dad, we believe) and our health isn't good at the best of times. We now have to go up to the Midlands to put his bungalow (where we used to stay when we visited him up there) on the market. The trouble I'm now having is that I feel guilty that I don't go to visit him often enough! Or how often should I be visiting? We live about 5 miles away and I feel desperately sorry for him as he knows no-one in the new Home but we have to protect our own health as well as carry on with our lives. I'm hoping that things will settle down eventually once he is able to mix with the other residents and we've been up to the Midlands to deal with the agents.

I just wonder how others cope with the guilt and also how often others visit their parents/loved ones? When I do visit he is never that bothered and yesterday went to sleep. He is always more demonstrative with carers or others than with me but that's been a long-standing problem. I just don't know what to do for the best and am still worrying even though he's now close by.

Thank you for any replies and advice.

Karen

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Hi Karen

A very happy new year to you and I'm glad to hear that dad has got over his cold, but the quarantine needed because of the MRSA must be frustrating for him. At least he now has the chance to start to settle in his new location. Sorry to hear that your husband and you followed on with colds after his.

Yes guilt.....! It's horrible isn't it. I was tormented with it during my sister's last years. I so wanted to be with her, but then felt guilty if I did travel to see her as she hated it because of her paranoia. When I decided to stay away, guilt again, because I wasn't with her.

I think you just have to strike your own balance with visits and learn to live with a little bit of guilt, because whatever you decide, the guilt's still a constant companion.

I think it's much more important to want to see your dad, not as a duty. Just always resolve to let him know when your next visit will be, and, unless there's an earthquake, having arranged it, make sure you go. I think we get like kids again in older age, and suffer the same disappointments if we are promised something and are then let down. So one quality visit is worth a dozen promises to 'pop in' and then finding yourself unable to go.

Tell yourself, quite rightly, that it's so much better now he's nearer, because in emergencies you are much more available and can contribute more easily when things start going wrong.

Is there anyone else you could recruit to go occasionally on your behalf? If not, how about sending cards and letters occasionally, as well as phoning, between times? Or even having the odd treat delivered to him, as that will let him know you are thinking of him, even when you can't be there.

But you are quite right not to visit more than you comfortably think you can. You have a need for some life too, and I'm sure dad would rather have you there enthusiastically than just because guilt drove you to visit.

Very best wishes.

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Both my mother and my stepfather lived with me until they both died. My stepfather lived with me for about ten years my mother about six months. It wasn't to bad he went to senior center during the day when I was at work and they would bring him home when I got off work

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