‘Heartbroken I’m kept away from mum in a care home’

I fear I’ll never see my mother again

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My heart is aching at the moment and I realise I’m not the only one experiencing the same problem.

My lovely mum, who’s 96, is in a care home (much to my shame) and I have only seen her four times since March.

I saw her last in August for half an hour in the garden, and then the visits were stopped.

I got so desperate that I drove over last week and asked to see her through the window, but they told me it was against the rules. I can’t speak to her on the phone because she’s deaf and confused.

When I did see her, she said she’d been abandoned by everyone and now I fear I’ll never see her again – what an awful way to end our lovely relationship.

Of course I write a card to her now and again to tell her I love her, I miss her and I’ll be there as soon as I can – what else can I do?

I’m keeping myself going by helping out with my grandson, but in bed at night it really gets to me and I feel so upset.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dear Coleen

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Coleen says

Sadly this is a huge problem for many people across the country at the moment and I truly hope the Government makes ­tackling this dreadful situation a priority.

If seeing your mum through a window is against the care home’s policy, then I think they have a duty to tell you why that is. Will it upset your mother more or is it a question of resources in that they’re understaffed? I think they ought to discuss it with you.

The problem is, there are different rules in different parts of the country, which makes it even more confusing and frustrating.

Please don’t feel ashamed that your mum is in a care home – she’s there because she can receive specialised
care that you wouldn’t be able to provide yourself.

You’re staying in touch with her via letters and keeping in contact with the care home – you’re doing everything you can. Maybe put some photographs into letters or ask if you can send a video clip of yourself and other family members.

I know it’s hard not to feel guilt, but please don’t blame yourself.

Finally, it’s wonderful that you’ve been able to help out with your grandson and it’s important that you’re being supported by family too, so reach out to them when you’re feeling vulnerable. I hope you get to see your mum very soon.

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