I'm struggling

I looked after my mum who had dementia for two years and then she died. I did this by myself because my brother and sister didn’t phone or visit for over a year and a half. Carers did come in three times a day to change her pad. But I did everything else like give her medications and feed her…I was overwhelmed and stressed out.
I had severe depression, anxiety and insomnia when I was looking after her.
She couldn’t walk and lay in the living room in a hospital bed and I slept on the couch below her bed. Because I had insomnia I usually wouldn’t get to sleep until about 3 am in the morning but my mum fell asleep around 10pm at night. She would sometimes wake me up around 4am, and one morning she woke me up at 4am and I was annoyed and told her I was going up the stairs to my bed to have a sleep. I was annoyed because I was exhausted as I knew I would have a lot of work to do the next morning and day. I knew she would cry but I was just too tired to talk to her or comfort her, I was exhausted, so I went up the stairs and put my earplugs in, but I could still hear her crying. I tried to sleep and lay up the stairs, I lay for about three hours and I don’t think she stopped crying the whole time. I feel really guilty about leaving her to cry on her own for three hours but I was shattered. I told a friend about this and told her I felt really guilty about leaving my mum and my friend said that I should feel guilty because what I did was awful. What do you think, should I feel guilty for doing this?


I feel the same as you. I lost my soul mate and best friend for it seems forever, in August from vascular dementia. Although she had children from her marriage, she lost her husband in 2006. I look after her when she was diagnosed with dementia, like you 24/7, it’s hard and it takes it toll on your mind and body. Like you I would get so tired and sometimes, when she wouldn’t eat, drink or take her medication, I would shout at her, I knew it would make her cry. I always felt so much guilt, and I still do, I lay awake at night asking so many questions of myself and feeling so much guilt knowing that I can’t put it right that it hurts even more. I know this is part of the process of grief and maybe one day the guilt will stop and we can say we did the best we could have. Take care.

No no no please don’t even consider any guilt. You are a human being, not a saint. Just nurse yourself now you deserve it. Just like me you reached the end of your tether at times.

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Thank you Tansy

Tansy, were you replying to me. I left my mum cry for three hours while I slept?