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Should I visit the nursing home & get attached all over again?

I lost both of my grandparents that I loved & adored deeply. It's only been about a yr., but losing them both w/in 6 wks of ea. other, there are days it doesn't seem like it's been that long since I've heard their voices or gotten a hug. Part of me wants to be a volunteer visitor at a nursing home, but the other part of me is afraid to get too attached to a resident that will die on me soon.


Asked by mrsmom110 at 7:46 AM on Aug. 18, 2010 in Relationships

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Answers (9)
  • My mom died in a nursing home. I volunteer every week at a retirement home, and yes, we lose them all the time, but most of them are lonely, and they look forward to my coming. The way I see it is that I am helping make their last days a bit more enjoyable, and that's nothing but a good thing. It's not about me! It's about them!!!

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:51 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • We've had family friends that have passed away while living in a nursing home. Honestly if you decide to go back to volunteer, do it with an open mind that any of them can pass on any day. You know that one way or another they'll be passing on, so just help to make their lives now as wonderful as possible so that when they do you'll know that they passed on being happy. It's never easy, and you'll shed a tear or maybe even a waterfall, but you'll know that they're in a better place. It's going to happen no matter what, it's nothing that can be stopped. Just think positively about it and know that they never truely left cause they'll always be in your heart.

    Answer by DesertRose75 at 7:59 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • If you can find a hospice nurse to talk with, that would absolutely make you feel better. Hospice nurses work with the dying and the families of the dying, they know all the right things to say, the right things to make you think about and the right attitude about all of it.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 8:13 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Look it this way. Would you not have loved to know that there was someone there to visit your grandparents? Just so they could have someone to talk to them make sure they were alright when you couldn't be there? So go for them and their relatives.


    Answer by oldermomof5 at 8:01 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I taught exercise once a week at a nursing home for a year. At the end of the year I realized that I was grieving all the time. I'd get attached to resident and next time I went they were gone. Even though they loved me, and I loved them, it was best for me not to do this. So I'd suggest doing it, give it at least a year, and then you can decide whether to continue or not.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:17 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • op, you have no idea the joy you might bring into a nursing home to an otherwise forgotten relative who would love nothing more than a familiar face to see. Yes, you do have to be pretty unselfish to actually endure the pain of loosing them but oh the joy of bringing in that joy is so well worth it.

    Answer by older at 8:23 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I have also lost my grandparents and great grandparent, who I miss dearly. For awhile I have been concidering adopting a grandparent. Elderly people are wise and I need wise people in my life. But I think at what cost? I think that as soon as I get attached they'll leave and I'll be back at one.

    Answer by reigndrops12689 at 9:18 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Don't think of it as "Oh, they're just going to die on me soon and make it hard on me." Think of it as "I'm going to bring joy and happiness to this person who may not have anything else to be happy about." Many people in nursing homes don't get visitors, so even one person would probably make their day!

    Answer by musicalbabe85 at 10:27 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • follow your instinct. this could be a healing experience for you as well as a wonderful gift to someone else. you never know how long ANYONE you have a relationship with will be in your life, but at least with the sick and elderly you can generally prepare yourself. you can learn how to love without strings and barriers and learn how to gracefully let go, knowing that you have given someone and incredible gift of love when they are lonliest.

    Answer by figaro8895 at 11:59 AM on Aug. 18, 2010