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Can't accept care home as "home"


Registered User
Jun 13, 2015
My mother is now in a care home after 5 weeks. Because of her dementia she cannot accept that this is her "home" and constantly asks me (son) as to "When am I going home". She is constantly asking about relations, parents .. brother who died 20 years ago. She is on a one level accommodation but always refers to "coming downstairs" from her room. I think she is regressing to an earlier age. My dilemma is what would the suggestion be as an answer to "when am I going home". She sometimes gets very emotional and argumentative with me. This can be very distressing. Any help on this would be great. Thankyou


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
I would suggest "When your health is a bit better. When you are a wee bit stronger. When the doctor says he thinks you are well enough to come home etc". Probably best to avoid saying that she is never coming home.


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Hi Oldland, welcome to TP
I think you have to accept she's in the best and safest place for her and learn to live with her ways. To her what she's saying is reality, you won't change that in her head so why fight it, it's much easier for you to enter her world than her to enter the real world. The best way to avoid the arguments is to just go with the flow, whatever she says is real to her you won't make her better by correcting or contradicting her all you'll do is cause stress for you both.
As for the "going home" question just deflect it, say when the builders have finished the repairs or the drains are fixed, it is a phase that usually passes.
My mother lived with me for her last few years, when she asked to go home I'd take her out in the car have a drive round then go back to my house, when we got back she'd say "home at last". Just do whatever makes life easier for her and yourself.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
I agree with Marion - if, because of her dementia, she is going to be unable to accept the need for a care home, then whatever 'love lie' (as we call them here) that will work for her, is probably best. Many of us here have done this - whatever will keep the person contented for the moment. If short term memory is already very bad, she will be unlikely to remember that you said much the same before.

You are probably right in that she is regressing to an earlier age - this often happens as newer memories are lost. At a certain stage my mother went through a long phase of wanting to go and see her parents - by then dead 30+ and 50+ years. She had begun to think I was her sister. I would just say something like, yes, perhaps we could go tomorrow, when the roads aren't so busy, etc., and that would always keep her happy for the moment.


Registered User
Dec 14, 2011
5 weeks isn't very long. It took my mum months to really settle but the important bit is that she has, and incredibly well too.

Just some ideas...

Perhaps cut down on the visits for now as you, and other close family, might be the trigger for anxiety. And it's always worth asking the staff how she is when you're not there. There have been plenty of posts on this forum about how people have observed their loved ones having a lovely time, laughing, joining in, and seen all that change as soon as they make themselves known.

As far as what to tell her when she talks about going home, I'd say experiment and see what works. The weather was a good excuse as far as my mum, so if she wanted to go travelling (with her it was more that than going home) it was too cold, hot, rainy or windy but we'd keep an eye on it and go as soon as it cheers up, but let's have a cup of tea for now. Fib and distract.


Registered User
Aug 19, 2015
Adelaide South Australia
I am new to this as well. Mum has been in the CH for a month. So far she isn't confused about who I am or where she is. She isn't talking about people who have passed as still present. In the beginning we told her if she hated the CH she didn't have to stay because frankly it was the only way to get her there. Of course by that we meant we would transfer her to another one if it was poorly run. We never mentioned her returning home.

Of course mum interpreted it differently and when she asked when she was going home we stalled her with "you haven't given it a fair go". Just this last weekend I arrived to see her and she had gathered her belongings because she thought I'd come to get her. I said I hadn't and she said "when then?" I told her she couldn't live alone anymore and a huge row ensued. She called me a selfish b**** for dumping her there for my own convenience. I explained her memory was failing significantly and home was not a safe place anymore. I tried to be civil but she became so nasty I said "I'll see you later mum when you've calmed down" and left. She shouted "f***ing b**** at me as I left.

Should I have stalled her? I don't know to be honest because on some levels mum is pretty aware. If I had stalled her she would have still got angry, I'm certain of that. She was ready to go and that was it. I will not be going back for some time. She doesn't give my brother a hard time and he visits every other day.

I am doing all the paper work and banking stuff and letting my brother do the visits. I feel I had to be honest but it depends how receptive mum is. Some are easily distracted and placated with "love lies". My mother is shrewd and suspicious and often spoiling for a fight. My reasoning is that by not lying she will accept this is permanent more quickly and stop asking to go home. Time will tell if this is the best strategy or not. Right now I just don't know.