I'm struggling


Registered User
Apr 11, 2006
Beckenham Kent
I don't post on here very much, but I log on and read all the threads every day.

My mum has been in an EMI NH for about 15 months. She is being well looked after and seems pretty stable at the moment.

My problem is that everytime I visit her she begs me to take her home with me. This is the only things she says and she repeats it the whole time I am there. She says she doesn't like being in the home and she wants to sleep in her own bed. NOTHING I say distracts her, I tell her lies (which I hate doing), I tell her the truth but absolutely nothing changes the fact that she wants to go home (I don't think she knows which home she means).

She doesn't go on so much with my brothers but I am her only daughter and we are very close. I struggle to know what to say to her and often end up in tears.
She is very physically disabled (can't walk etc) but she is able to speak reasonably well and understands what is said to her.

I have tried taking in photo albums and talking about the past. Tempting her with her favourite chocolates but nothing stops her begging to be taken home.

If anyone has any ideas or solutions that they have tried I would love to hear what they are.

Best wishes to everyone. Love Sheila


Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
Well, this is very very difficult and I dont know if there is an answer, but I went through this with my mother for several months and finally I dealt with it and to some degree resolved it, by saying to her, well, ok, we can think about u going home but there is a lot we have to sort out.
She did know her bungalow had been sold so it would involve actually FINDING a home in the first place, and then when I put the ball in her court and said it is all well and good but how are you going to do this this this and this, listing all the things she would need to be able to do to live at home, she did see that she couldnt (although she did make some pretty inventive suggestions) and then finally she did accept she was in the best place.
I must admit in some ways I did feel very cruel doing it but like you I felt uncomfy lying to her.
If your mum has some understanding then maybe a similar tactic might be worth trying


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Oh dear, Sheila, that must be so hard to cope with. I haven't (yet) encountered that problem, but I do know it's very common in AD sufferers.

Sylvia (Grannie G) has been coping with it for months with her husband, and she'll give you lots of sympathy when she comes on.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, but I do sympathise.



Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
Hello Sheila

Wanting to go "home" is a common theme of AZ sufferers, but which home? Mary will often, sat in the comfort of her home for the past 33 years, ask when we are going home. I try to get her to describe the home she wants to go to and sometimes it is her childhood home so we spend some time talking about that home and ocasionally this will distract her.

There is no simple answer to this problems and I fear that in Mary's case it will continue fore some time to come and often she says she is frightened but cannot say what causes this fear. I suspect that fear is of the world they now inhabit and cannot understand and they heark back to a time they felt secure and not a place.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Sheila,

I`m sorry your mum keeps begging to go home, it`s heartbreaking for you.

The only thing you can do is either agree she could go home, and like Natasha, tell her how much there would be to do to get the house ready for her, after being empty for so long.

Or you could tell her she really isn`t well enough to look after herself and that`s why she has to be in the care home.

I`m afraid lies are justified if they help ease the situation. The lies are not to benefit you, they are to help your mother.

It`s different with my husband. He is AT home, but he still needs to `go home` to a place where he was happier. In fact he has been planning to `go home` all day.

However heartbreaking it is for you, you are just going to have to ride it, because there is no alternative.

I really wish I could think of better and more helpful suggestions. Perhaps someone else might. I really do feel for you.

Love xx


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Hi Sheila
as you have already been told this is a common thing "going home".
My Peg did it foryears and the only way I found round it was to change the suject,make a cup of tea,fetch the biky tin or go to another room for a while.
Hope this helps

blue sea

Registered User
Aug 24, 2005
Hi Sheila
This is such a distressing situation for you. I can suggest two ways of approaching it, neither of which might be approprate for you! One, which I used in a comparable situation with my father when he was in an EMI home, was to tell him that his doctor said he had to be there as they wanted to sort his medication / sleep problems out. Once things were sorted he would be able to go home. (True, in a way). When he asked to go home I repeated this and said I would have a word with the doctor next time I saw him. Then I changed the subject and chattered on about anything and everything. Didn't always work but sometimes did! The second approach, when we went through a particularly difficult period, was I tried visiting more often but for shorter times, timing each visit so that I left as he went into lunch or dinner. I found the distraction of going into the dining room helped with the parting.
Finally I would add that if you can't change your mum's pattern of behaviour on this matter than you have to try to let it not upset you (really hard I know). It is probably only the stimulus of your visit that makes her think of going home (you could ask the care staff about this) so for most of the time she is comfortable and at ease with being in the home. In a way you have to regard it as a positive that your presence means so much to her, in spite of the damage done to her memory, that you trigger this response. You will probably find that as the illness progresses, she will become more settled in the home and less and less aware of her previous home.
Anyway, good luck with it all. It is so hard emotionally to cope with seeing your mum like this. Try not to build up expectations about each visit. Enjoy any good moments.
Blue sea
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Sheila,

If it`s any consolation to you, I found a carrier bag stuffed with underwear and pyjamas that my husband packed yesterday, to `go home`. He woke me at 3 a.m. to ask what time the train was and when we were going.


Registered User
Jul 24, 2007
Hello Sheila

I really feel for you, it must be horrible knowing you can't do as she asks.

Is she happy when you first go in or does it happen when you get ready to leave? If it is the latter, perhaps you could get one of the staff to distract her while you slip out quietly.

Mum used to want to go home when she lived in her own house with Dad, I think "home" is a safe place they are comfortable in rather than a building as such.

Maybe you could visit with one of your brothers to see if it any easier that way.


Registered User
Apr 11, 2006
Beckenham Kent
Thank you to everyone who replied to my post.

Mum starts on about going home the minute she sees me and it continues until I leave.

I have tried saying 'you can go home when you are better' or 'I will speak to the doctor and see what he says'. I have been down the path of saying to her that she is not able to do this or that but she doesn't accept that she cannot even walk, let alone look after herself ! In her mind she can still do everything she used to do and I am the big bad wolf stopping her from going home.

I spoke to one of my brothers this afternoon and he said that she does ask him to take her home but it doesn't go on all the time he is there. He did acknowledge that I seem to bear the brunt of mum's frustrations.

I think I have to accept that visits are going to be difficult for some time and also be grateful that mum can still have a conversation of sorts and still recognises me.
I know from reading other posts that the time will probably come when she doesn't know who I am anymore, that will be a very testing time for me.

Thank you all once again for caring. My thoughts are with you all. Love Sheila

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire

Hi Sheila,

I've just discovered that my mum now has two "homes", the one she lived in for 50 years with my dad, and the hospital ward where she has been for six weeks. She now refers to the hospital ward as "home". She hasn't forgotten her real home, she has just added another home. One patient went to a residential home last week, but came back to the hospital for the weekend, and mum said "Peter came home for the weekend". Odd? I don't know.

She went into a new residential care home yesterday and so far hates it. I am scared to death.



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