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How do you cope with the questions from your mum who doesn't think she needs to be in care. Are you honest?


New member
Sep 18, 2021
Hi everyone. My mum is 90 and has lived with me for the past 25 years and my husband and I built a granny flat on our property for her. About 10 years ago she was diagnosed with Dementia and I have looked after her ever since. As well as dementia she has really bad arthritis to the point where she could hardly walk. Over a period of around 5weeks she had 3 falls the most recent the doctor advised that she go to hospital to be checked out. After two days in hospital they told me that she needed 24 hour a day care and since that is impossible for me I looked around for a reputable care home in our area. I found a beautiful place with really nice and caring staff and booked her in for 4 weeks respite.
My mum has not taken well to this and each time I went into visit has bombarded me with "I want to go home", "why am I here", "what have I done", "don't you want me anymore", "why don't you just take me out and shoot me".... it has been a nightmare to the point where I was so stressed that I thought I would have a breakdown. Luckily for me, because it is covid, my brother is not working so he stepped up to the plate and has gone into visit my mum everyday for the first three weeks.
When she lived with me I lived my life around her, going over in the morning to give her medication, then again 11/2 hours later to give her breakfast and get her up... and so on lunch, morning tea, afternoon tea, dinner, and bedtime, medication.... so on every day. Increasingly I had no time for myself, and my mum thought she was doing everything herself even although she was doing nothing.. so to be told she would need 24 hour care was just impossible for me. I am home schooling my grandchildren and have a husband who has been absolutely amazing at the things we have had to forego to make her life happier. I was not willing to go and live with her in her unit.
Since entering the home she has constantly being asking all the staff and everyone who will listen to go home. She has told me herself that she has been a "bitch", to the staff (who are really lovely) her words, nasty to the staff and calling out for "HELP" during the day and night when she is left on her own. The home are amazing and trying all different ways to deal with her behaviour but I always knew it would be hard, and I tried my best to keep her in her own home as long as I could... but I didn't realise it would be this hard.
I don't feel guilty about her going in there as I know in my heart I done everything I could possibly do to make her life happy, but I feel very stressed and miserable to see her looking so unhappy and the fear in her eyes as she asks me "am I never going home".
Can anyone help me with how I should deal with these questions. My brother is fine, he hardly seen my mum before she entered the home so much so that she asked me if he was her brother. He has all the answers and tells me just to deflect the questions which is easy for him as she doesn't relate him to home but I have looked after her one on one more and more over the last 10 years to the point where she basically only got up to go to the toilet by herself and got help with everything else. So when she sees me she wants home and no matter what I say or try to deflect it comes back to that.


Registered User
May 24, 2021
dear fox when i read your thread it brought tears to my eyes because you and your family have done everything at all possible to look after your mum - i only wish i was able to have done the same- my mum is 86 with alzheimers and like yourself she needed 24hr care and i was told this could not be done at home by the doctors then told it could by a social worker who assessed my mum for 5 minutes- i knew it was impossible for me to do had seen my mum and dad who passed in may gradually decline , i always promised dad i would look after mum- and the decision for a nursing home was the worst thing ive ever had to decide in my life and still feel i have let mum down- you and your family could not have done more and you need to try as i am to accept that your mum is being well looked and that all her needs are being met - dementia is awful and it is heartbreaking - my mum can hardly talk now,cant walk feed herself, doubly incontinent etc , but if she could i know she would be saying the same as your mum i can only look in her eyes and try to imagine her thoughts which is distressing - im sorry if i am talking about my mum alot but i do understand how you are feeling and you are a wonderful daughter - i would just tell mum that she needs nursing care to help her get better and stronger, and that you,ll be there with her as you,ve always been as often as you can x


Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
We told MIL that the Doctor wanted her to stay there 'for a while' to convalesce , that way the onus was not on us, when she asked why she was there. Fortunately most of the time she thought she was on holiday, in fact she still does 16 months later.
A couple of things that might make things easier for you , ask the staff how you Mum is when you are not there and don't take everything she says on face value . It is amazing how even years into dementia they still manage to 'press all our guilt buttons', you may get a very different picture. You will find lots of stories on here on the subject.
We were advised to limit visits in the early days to break the cycle of who to look for for assistance and to allow the staff to build u a relationship with MIL. We only went once a week for about an hour for the 2 months she was in the Psychiatric Dementia Unit and usually timed it to when there was some activity on, this was pre Covid. We continued this when she moved into her Nursing home. You say you don't feel guilty about her going into care , which is good, but you are still 'programmed' into carer mode and that one takes quite a while to diminish. Take a small step back , give the staff chance to do their job and you will eventually be able to just be a daughter again.


Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
You're going to have to tough it out I am afraid. My mother, 91, still says she wants to go home but I just say "you need a lot of looking after" which is accurate. Your brother has a point about deflecting the questions. Many forum members advocate distraction as a way of dealing with difficult questions. Try to change the subject if you can. I have also reminded my mother that she had a number of falls at home, some caused a lot of bruises when she hit her face on furniture, the final one broke her hip. You can say it is too dangerous to be at home.


Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
Hi @Fox53 and welcome to Dementia Talking Point.
I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I'd cut back on the visiting for a while so your mum gets used to going to the carers for help. As @thistlejak says blame the doctors for why she is there, and ask the carers how she is when you're not there. My mum was feisty to say the least when she went into care, but there were times when she was enjoying herself and as the months went on mum settled more and more
Whatever you do don't think you could carry on coping at home, your mum has got to the stage where she needs round the clock care from a team, not just you.


Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
My mother in law was in a care home and she often told my husband it was a "living hell". She said no one helped her, ignored her. Well the home had a Facebook page and there she was on one of their uploaded photos, smiling and enthusiastically joining in with the activities. After that we just ignored the complaints

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