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Care home visits verses home visits

Patricia Mary

New member
Aug 31, 2021
We had to admit my my mum into a care home last June with Alzheimer’s as my dad has cancer and we couldn’t cope caring for them both at home. We can now visit mum and fetch her for days out.
My question is I am not sure what is best just to visit her in the care home where we feel constantly under surveillance and have no privacy and it seems so impersonal. Where as she and we love having here out for a change of scenery and stimulation. The draw back is she is unhappy when we take her back which makes us feel awful 😞 anyone else have this dilemma?

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @Patricia Mary

You probably are being observed when you visit but only for the care staff to see how you and your mum interact. It would help them get to know her [ and you ] better.

If you prefer privacy perhaps you could take her to her room for the best part of the visit.

I agree it`s unwise to take her out if she becomes unhappy when you take her back.


Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Patricia Mary . I hope that you find our community helpful and supportive. There's a wealth of experience and knowledge here.

My wife has been in. a care home for 2 years. I preferred to visit her in the residents' lounge as this gave me a chance to interact with the other residents, get to know the staff and join in any games or other activities. Since Covid restrictions came in we have been confined to meeting in her room or the garden if the weather is good enough. Privacy has never been an issue and, if we are being observed, this has never felt like surveillance. As @Grannie G has said, the more that the staff know about your Mum and her family relationships the better. This will help with care planning and delivering personalised care.

As for going out for visits, I would advise that you do this with caution. I never had any problems getting my wife to go back to her care home after a trip (she no longer wants to go out) but I know that this can be a problem for some people. It rather depends upon the person's state of awareness and the degree to which they have started to think of the care home as the place where they now live (never the same as 'home' but the next best thing). I found the "this looks like a good place to get a cup of tea, let's go in" ploy, or something similar, quite useful in the early days.


Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
Hi @Patricia Mary and welcome to Dementia Talking Point.
Covid restrictions have made visits in care homes rather different than they were pre-pandemic. Mum moved into care in 2019 and what I found worked was to get involved with the activities that were going on. That gave me a chance to get to know the other residents and the staff and made sure that mum was getting to know them too.
Of course things are different now, though hopefully things are opening up, but I'd still engage with any staff that are around when you visit. Your mum needs to feel it is her home, and she may be picking up that you are feeling uncomfortable, which will make her feel the same.
As for going out, at first I just took mum to different areas of the care home, I don't know if that is possible in your mum's home. That was enough for mum to feel she'd been out. A little later we did go for coffee in a local cafe, and even shopping a couple of times. I would never have taken mum to my house even though it was nearby, as mum would then have assumed she was coming to live with me.
These are early days, and it is horrible realising that a care home is what your loved one needs, but I'd try to put a big smile on next time you visit, start chatting to the staff and keep telling your mum how lucky she is to be there. I know you won't be thinking any of that, but it is important for your mum to feel settled in her new home.


New member
Sep 19, 2021
Iv had exactly this situation today hence why I joined this forum. Iv often read these forums & it made me upset everything I read I was going through I feel Iv got to the point I need support and to share my experiences. My mums had Dementia 10 years now, went in a care home in January as my Dad couldn’t cope anymore. 2 months ago my Dad was diagnosed with cancer he just got out of hospital we couldn’t visit due to covid. So today I picked my mum up from the care home took her to see my Dad when upon leaving she refused and got angry. Saying I was interfering and to leave her alone. The care home said if we couldn’t get her back they would have to call the police which would of really upset her! Not to mention my Dad is on a feeding tube as he can’t eat anymore & she wanted to stay with him. I felt so bad it really upset me I felt like she was blaming me for being in a home which is silly she went in because it was to dangerous for her & my Dad couldn’t cope. We managed to talk her into the car and get her back there but she refused to look at me or speak to me when I was leaving saying she would be dead by tomorrow! I just feel like utter rubbish! I’m totally drained and find it hard that it’s her illness and not my mum. Thankyou for listening ❤️