How to deal with Mum continually wanting to go home?


Registered User
Jan 24, 2007
East Sussex
Hi everyone

I am very bad at visiting this fantastic site more often. When I do I always think to myself that I should visit the site when I am feeling alone, confused, fed up, sad - not all necessarily at the same time:eek: But what with working, my daughter, my sister whose husband has just died suddenly and, bless her, my mum, it just doesn't happen.

But happily it did tonight. I think spurred on by a visit from the Memory support team who gave me loooooaaaaads of info including loooooooaaaaads of info on the Society which was great and I am now wading through it.

My Mum continues to insist that she wants to go home (after more than 5 months of being in residential care). She now recognises that she cannot cope on her own but it determined to find someone to come and live in with her and look after her. We are in the process of selling her little house but it is complicated cos she took a loan out years ago which unbenown to us (her children - 5 of us!) means that they sell the house, they choose the estate agents etc. So she gets up in the morning, has her breakfast, and calls a taxi and spends the day in her house. Then her very kind neighbour runs her home ready for supper at the home by 5pm. God knows what she has for lunch! She ended up in hospital in Dec 06 cos she wasn't looking after herself properly. I suppose being in the home she at least gets her medication which she didn't when she was on her own at home (my Dad died over 12 years ago).

Her poor GP (he's mine as well)!! She seems to see him as key in the decision as to where she should be and keeps making appointments to talk to him because he will know what is possible and get her some home help etc - the only problem is that she has done that sooooo many times -last Monday being the latest but when I pointed that out she said "I'd remember something as important as that!".

And then today (and not for the first time) she said that she believed her GP and I were in cahoots about her welfare etc which is, of course, rubbish. I try and make it perfectly clear that I of course listen to her but also listen to the medical profession and simply reiterate their recommendations.

I am also worried (sorry to keep on!) about her finances. She has no savings so therefore are selling her home as I said. The amount social services say she has to pay means that she has about £20 per week to herself but she has a little dog who of course has to eat plus she seems to be spending her money as if she is on holiday. She gets taxis up to her house (where she spends the day), she buys food for herself (and the odd bottle of sherry!) which she doesn't need to do, she is always saying shall we go out for lunch (we never used to be "ladies wot lunch!).

I am sure this is all to do with her illness etc but it worries me because I cannot be with her all the time and just don't want to take her card for the hole in the wall away from her - well I couldn't - she just would go wild and be so upset and see it as a little bit more of her independence being taken away from her.

Now I'm rambling - a comment I have seen in other posts. But probably because this is somewhere where you can "talk" and know that people will understand. So it's not really "rambling" but just talking to some people who are or have been in the same or similar positions.

Has anyone else worried about their loved ones sudden spending! I'd love to hear from you.

Should I just let the GP deal with the constant appointments with the same questions? He's great and his grandparent went through this.

Although I live locally to my mum I have a job which takes me away a lot (no other siblings here) so cannot see her every day. Therefore I cannot divert her from going back to her house until it's sold.

Oh I don't know - there are no perfect answers with this illness. Just hang in there and be there for her.

Sorry - started to ramble again! :confused:

Will stop now and promise to check in more frequently!

Take care all.


Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Hi Clare

Hi Clare,

Well, I was dizzy with all this, but not cos of your email - if that is your style, stick with it, I'm not known for my brevity either! - but can I get this right? Your mum is in a home, but can come and go as she pleases, including going home. She gets a taxi there and a neigbour takes her back. She can be trusted to do that?

Where is the dog? Who looks after it?

She wants to go out for lunch and is able to pay for it using her card? Even though there might be no money in the account?

I think you need to take out a Power of Attorney for your mother, it seems she is still mentally alert enough to sign it (but unfortunately mentally alert enough to refuse as well!). Perhaps a visit to her bank manager to ask him to write to her to tell her she is overspending (£20 a week can't go far!).

I wouldn't worry about her missing lunch if she she having breakfast and supper (and sherry! like my mum), she is probably getting an adequate diet if not the best.

Perhaps I'm missing the point, but a lady who can live in a care home and still go back to her own home during the day, and be trusted to return, is pretty unique. Your problem is probably that she is having to pay towards the care home, and you need to sell the house to do that. Well, I am told that you don't have to sell the house these days, they put a "charge" on it, which means that when you DO sell it, they get their share, so if I am right (and no guarantees), perhaps let her keep up with this pattern for a short while and see how she goes.

I can't see that you have much to lose by letting her carry on as she is.

If she uses her hole in the wall card too much, she will go overdrawn pretty soon, so I suggest a word with the bank manager to say it should be stopped as soon as it does so it doesn't build up an overdraft. Gee my mum doesn't know what a hole in the wall is, never seen a debit or credit or cash card, can't even write a cheque out and doesn't really know what a cheque does. She pays all her bills in cash, at the wrong time, misses payments but has recently been paying her monthly council tax weekly and wondering why she has no money left.

Let us know how you go on. It is a worry, I know.



Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Hi Clare,

I agree with Margaret, it does seem odd that she can buzz about back to her house & so on. That must make it even more difficult for her to settle in. Is there any way that the home can try to keep her there? Obviously, there is no coded door or anything like that. I would think the first approach would be to try and keep her in and away from her old house. If you do sell the house, what would stop her from going back to it & trying to get in with the new owners there? That might create a bit of a situation :eek:!

I would really consider having a meeting with the home & seeing if it's possible to stop her from taking a taxi. Is it possible for you to contact the taxi company & explain the situation? Perhaps they can say all their taxis are out & won't be available for a couple of hours. If there is someone at the taxi company who also has a family member with AD, I'm sure they would be very helpful.

Yes, speak to the bank manager. But, as Margaret already mentioned, the Power of Attorney is what you really need to be able to put a lot of things into play.

Good luck


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Hi Clare,

I am not sure whether I have quite got the gist of your mum's situation. Is she in a care home because the loan people are forcing a sale of the house? Or does the fact that she has moved in to a care home mean that the loan is now repayable? Is the Local Authority forcing a sale, as if so I don't think you will be able to postpone a sale indefinitely and just let the fees be secured as a charge on the house.

Whatever the answer it appears that the house will be sold and the loan paid off and the care home fees payable out of the net proceeds until your Mum is down to the minimum savings level.

My Dad is also 82 and is obsessed with having and spending money. He can no longer use the hole in the wall but has discovered that he can get cash out over the counter from the bank. We have spoken to the branch and they have agreed to limit cash withdrawals to £20 a time.

I don't know if this could be done with the hole in the wall. The usual limit is around £250 a day and I don't know if this is standard or whether different limits can be set for different people. It might be worth speaking to the bank. I know that they are bound by all sorts of rules and regulations but our bank was happy to use some common sense. You may well need an EPA for them to speak to you.

If you haven't got one make sure you sort it out before the rules change on 1st October - if you can persuade your Mum. She sounds a fiercely independent lady!


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
The £20 sounds like the "pocket money" that people in care retain, even when the local authority takes all their other income and assets to go towards paying for the care.

I do find it remarkable that the care home is allowing someone who needs to be in care to go off on her own in taxis, and stay away all day!


Registered User
Jan 24, 2007
East Sussex
Hi everyone

Thanks for your speedy replies. Lot's of really good advice there - thank you. To try and clarify things -

Yes Mum is in a residential care home which was recommended by the hospital when she was in over Christmas (which I mentioned in my previous posting) and they noted her poor memory and confusion. Also her psychiatrist and her GP feel the same.

So no, she's not there because the loan people want their money but the deal she made with them at the time means that they deal with the estate agents etc and get a percentage of the money raised by the sale to cover their loan and interest. Mum pays all the legal fees and estate agents fees and then keeps the balance which will then be used to pay for the care home fees. In the contract we have just received from the local social services the loan people are down as "co-owners".

The home cannot make her stay in if she decides to go out - they've tried but not very successfully. I will have another chat with them to see if we can come up with any other ideas - including the taxi idea Joanne.

As you say Sue, she is a fiercely independent lady! Always has been. Plus I know we are in the early stages here.

Regarding the dog Margaret - we were hugely lucky to find a home which would also let her have her beloved Angus so she looks after him at the moment (although he's getting fatter and fatter bless him!). He's pretty old too so she doesn't have to walk him which is probably best for her. He's great company for her.

So far Mum has had money in her bank account whilst social services have been getting their act together with invoices etc so when she has used her card it has been accepted. But social services have now got their act together and her monthly payment for the care home will come out of her bank account by standing order leaving her with less to spend per month than she has currently been spending.

Your advice about the bank is very welcome and I'll have a word with them. Plus keep talking to Mum of course.

Thanks again for your kind replies and take care.

Clare :)

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire

I am still gobsmacked that your mum is in a home, and can still come and go as she pleases - and go home - can you tell me why she is in a home? I am new to all this, so I don't understand all the ins and outs of this illness at all. And without being rude, how do you finance the costs of the care home if your mum still has her house to run, insure, heat, clean, maintain? We couldn't afford a care home without selling her house. Sorry, not being nosey, maybe you can finance it yourself, but most people can't/

I am currently looking for a care home for my mum, but her problem is that she must certainly not be let out of the home, as she doesn't know night from day, and will be at the bus stop at 3 a.m. probably going home. Well, as we are about to sell her house, she might find other people living there!

Oh, boy, isn't it all so upsetting?

Much love



Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Clarabella

It does sound to me that mum is pretty good in the scheme of things, as said previously my mum would have no clue where an ATM was, or remember how to use one, let alone remember the PIN.

Also I am amazed that your mum can remember her home, and where it is, yes, my mum wants to go home now and then, but usually its to the house she grew up in, which was bombed during the war. Your mum seems to be able to manage quite well to get herself in a taxi, etc., and trot out to spend money.

I’m going to be a bit radical here, and truly I don’t wish to be critical in anyway, I’m just going on the information you have given. Is there any reason why mum cannot go home permanently for the time being, with carers coming in during the day to look after her, meals on wheels, visits to a day centre etc.

It could well be that being home again on a permanent basis will curb her spending, certainly if you could, say after work take her shopping. And if her days are filled with activities at a day centre, this will also keep her away from the dreaded ATM.

Just because she is now in a care home, doesn’t mean you cannot reverse the decision.

I sincerely hope my response hasn’t come across in anyway judgemental, just trying to put another slant on your problem.

Best wishes