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i want to go home - every day, every five minutes... for the rest of her life?

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
16
it appears my mum is one of the “i want to go home” bunch... she asks constantly, every day, Nd i’m told not to expect this to go away.
i try to empathise
i try to change the subject fnetly
i try to ask her how she feels.

butit always comes back to “i want to go home”

it this my life sentence? talking with mum on the phone every dayuntil she dies trying to ignore her pleas to go home?

she escPed the nursing home today andwalked10 kilometres to our house from 5 years ago... thank god she had her mobile and it was charged.... i could track her location and “rescue” her...

so now shes a wanderer too....

i hope she doesn’t live long but i suspect she will, she is physically fit enouhg to walk 10kilometersso you know....

id stop calling her every day if my conscience would let me.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
63,227
69
Dundee
I’m sorry to hear that things are so difficult. I wondered if you had seen this thread, you might find it helpful.

 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,006
High Peak
It is concerning she escaped the nursing home and walked 10k - that's really dangerous!

Didn't they notice? Dd they call the police? I would be asking questions of the manager and/or reporting to Sical Service safeguarding. Is your mum under a DoLS? (Derivation of Liberty Safeguarding order.)
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
16
I’m sorry to hear that things are so difficult. I wondered if you had seen this thread, you might find it helpful.
thank you izzy, i had followed an old link from a similar thread where it had been deleted.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
16
It is concerning she escaped the nursing home and walked 10k - that's really dangerous!

Didn't they notice? Dd they call the police? I would be asking questions of the manager and/or reporting to Sical Service safeguarding. Is your mum under a DoLS? (Derivation of Liberty Safeguarding order.)
i’m meeting with them tomorrow. they are “managing me” as a relative. mum does say they are nice, she trusts them, she feels safe. it just isn’t home. but how they missed her for two hours....
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
518
i’m meeting with them tomorrow. they are “managing me” as a relative. mum does say they are nice, she trusts them, she feels safe. it just isn’t home. but how they missed her for two hours....
Thus is not acceptable. My dad's home is not even a dementia home but they have a number keylock on the front door and alarms on all the others. Dad frequently sets them off. He did once get out through the keypad but they noticed it much sooner than that and he didn't get far.

If it happened very early morning or in the night, someone suggested a pressure pad which makes a noise when she leaves her room could be helpful.
 

pjapril

Registered User
Oct 22, 2017
77
Hi - I fully understand how you feel - my mum was an "I want to leave / go home" for many early days in the care home. She was also a serial escaper in the first few months (from a very secure specialist dementia unit!) - so I entirely sympathise. Mum used to wait by the locked door and follow people out sneakily until they had to put a "wanted" pic of her and her friend Joan up in the entrance to alert people! She usually got as far as the main entrance - but once she also went walk about once and they had to find her - yes it is dangerous and yes we complain to the home etc about the risk, and everyone is absolutely right that it should never happen and the care home needs to be putting measures in place - but you have to admire our mum's strength and determination even when they are dealing with a horrid cruel illness - they still have that bit of the "great escape" mentality that when she is safe again you can admire and smile at (that is what I used to do to get through it - tell myself how fab she is that she still wants to be up to no good!). Even from a very secure home a determined / confused woman will find a way so you cannot always go mad at the home until you know how it happened. But I agree with everyone that they should notice straight away!!
My best advice for the "I want to go home" is only distraction (which I know you are trying) - if it is any help - we used to tell her she was there for "a little break" and that is was nice to "get away from it all" and also that the weather was bad so she was better "staying for now". There is nothing to gain in trying to rationalise with her or to explain as all that will do is distress both of you. We simply found other ways to convince her - cups of tea / how nice her room was / asking her to show us something in the room whenever she started on the wanting to go home.
Having said all that - I really do sympathise as every "take me home" / "I want to go home" is heartbreaking - but it does lessen (I never believed it would in the early days - mum was in the home for 3 years). In later days she just mentioned a house in her confusion - but was never quite sure and was often talking about her own home as a child rather than the house she left.
All I can tell you is to stay strong and know you have done what is best for your mum and as the days pass with the same heartbreaking request to you - just remind yourself constantly that she has the care she needs and you have done all you can for her xx
Oh and one last thing - never feel the care home have to "manage you" - for me it was a case of - we are paying a LOT of money so I will ask whatever I want and ensure mum gets what she needs for her care and safety.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
16
thank you so much, i’m supposed to get email alerts when ppl reply here but i guess they don’t work.

i too admire mymum

but then i visit and find she has hidden all her belongings in her dirty linen obviously in her next guest escape, and i have to go through her linen and dig out precious family photos....

im now thinking abouthow i can nail everythingbyo the wall or floor!


sometimes it seems like she’s settled in , but i know from experience, don’t relax, she will surprise you, you’ll get mad. expect the worst and then you’ll be pleasantly surprised on your next visit!
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
16
regarding how she got out, she still died her hair, a staff member let ger out thinking she was a bereaved family member.

that won’t happen again! the poor staff member, who i trust implicitly will see my mum coming a mile away next time! they also have her spending time in the denpmentia ward doing activities so she isn’t spending all day packing and planning her escape.

im slowly removing bags from her room so she doesn’t have places to hide/carry things out...
 

Graybiker

Registered User
Oct 3, 2017
223
County Durham
Mam was a member of this brigade. Dad had about 2 years of it before she went into a home. She’d lived there over 50 years. She’d pack ornaments, cutlery, pictures, toiletries, you name it.It continued for some time in the home too. She’d ask the staff for bags, but when not given them would use cushion covers, pillow cases even tights.
It did eventually subside, though she still hid ‘precious’ things.
The only thing we found that helped was to tell her, in a very upbeat voice, “Oh, it’s tomorrow we go home. No need to worry about packing, plenty time in the morning”, or similar.
We also decided against putting any photos or anything we didn’t want to lose or get spoilt, in her room. When we tried to she took them out of the frame, folded them up and hid them.

It’s so hard I know, but from experience, reassure she’s going home soon then distract.
Expect to have to empty bags, pillow cases etc for a while.
Don’t put precious items in her room.
Don’t despair, it can change, mam did.

Good luck
X
 

millalm

Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
98
@lushr I have been down that road too, both with the escaping and the wanting to go home. I think @graybikers advice to tell her she is going tomorrow and you'll help her pack when it's time to go is the best approach, I know it worked with my Mum. At one point when she was mid stage she would't speak for days then suddenly would get this look in her eye and say 'come on come on lets go lets get out of here' and attempt to move her wheel chair to the exit door of the care home! It is funny looking back, but not at the time. She is now in late stage and she rarely speaks and when she does it is just random words strung together. Having experienced all the stages up til now I would suggest that you have to be careful what you wish for because there will be a time when she stops asking to go home, and then when she will no longer be able to communicate on the phone or in person and you will miss the sound of her voice and wish you could have any kind of conversation with her.
I wish you patience and good luck
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
16
@millalm wow, i’m so sorry, yeah, i see other residents like that. the day she escaped i had talked to her on the phone and said “i’m picking you up in the morning” but she kept packing and escaped. my new tactic is to distract her with our upcoming christmas get away. while reinforcing that the place she is is kinda nice isn’t it? tried to make it feel like homeL are the people nice? do you get to meet new people every day?

i lost my dad in an instant, and lost my mum to complicated grief the same moment, the alzheimer’s was hiding in the background but had already started.

but thank you for the reminder there are still things i have and will miss about my mum. i needed to hear that.