Mum and her memory of the house

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by brookbond, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. brookbond

    brookbond Registered User

    Sep 19, 2012
    16
    Yorkshire
    I have a dilemma and would like the advice of fellow members who may have had the same experience of me.
    My Mum who has Alzheimer's is in a care home and has been for 2 years. The day she went in was the same day my Father went into hospital. Because I could not leave Mum on her own while dealing with Dad I made arrangements for her to go into a home. But I always felt it was done too quickly and Mum was bundled out of the house she lived in for 20+ years.
    Now the house has been sold and I would like her to see it one last time. It seems awful that the last time she was here, it was such a rush to get things sorted for both Mum and Dad. Dad never came out of hospital - he died 2 weeks later, but Mum still thinks he is alive. Mum keeps wanting to go home, but she means the house she grew up in when a girl. Does anyone think that it would be a good idea to bring Mum back to the house for a visit ?
    Ultimately my plan is to have Mum come and live with me when I have settled into my new property
     
  2. elizabet

    elizabet Registered User

    Mar 26, 2013
    224
    Southampton
    Being in a similar position myself I was tempted to show Mum her house for a last time but then decided not to as I thought it would unsettle her .I kept her up to date with how the house was for sale and when it was sold . Whether this was retained in her memory was demonstrated quite clearly when one day several weeks later she decided she liked her care home or hotel as she referred to it and thought it may be an idea to sell her house.
    It was sometimes unclear when she referred to going home whether this was her house or her childhood home as she would mention that her parents had not been to see her or she had not seen her brother for a long time - all deceased many years ago.
    You know your Mum the best.
     
  3. brookbond

    brookbond Registered User

    Sep 19, 2012
    16
    Yorkshire
    What you have described is so similar to my Mum's recall of her house. She never talks about this house and I actually think she probably does not remember it. I wondered if she saw it would it cause her to remember. But at the same time I don't want to unsettle her. I have not told Mum the house has sold, as I don't think she understands or remembers. References to home are the farm when she was young and she is going to see her Mum (deceased many years)
    I think I know Mum best , or do I - this horrible disease changes everything
     
  4. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    My experience and my thoughts

    Mum went into emergency respite. She went walk about on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night on a dangerous road. On the Friday she was in emergency respite.

    As mum left her house on the Friday, her words as she left the house were "I have an awful feeling I will never come back to my wonderful house again"

    I tried to reassure her that she was only going to be away a week whilst her tablets were sorted whilst she was in the hospital.

    Sadly mums thoughts were right. She never went back to her wonderful house again as she moved into permanent care for her own safety.

    She told me she wanted me to sell her wonderful house as she liked where she was staying and she didn't want to go back to the house. So I put the house on the market.

    We have lots of photos of the house which she loved in her memory photo album. When ever she talked about her house, I would bring out the photos of her wonderful house, and she would ask me why I was showing her pictures of this odd house, did I not have photos of her real home..... I showed her photos of the house she grew up in and that is when I realised she had no memory of her own home she lived in for 15 years and worked so hard to make it wonderful.

    I am a strong believer that when "home" is brought up it means the childhood home of safety and where things were easily understood and felt normal. When ever mum feels unsettled she wants to go home. So I could never take mum back to what she sees as her home, as it doesn't exist anymore.

    I ask why do you feel the need to take your mum back to the house she lived in before selling the property?
    Is it for you? Is it for mum?

    If mum didn't have dementia I think it would possibly be a "closure" before it was sold..... But your mum has dementia.... A visit could possibly not work and be very distressful for her..... But You know your mum....

    Just my thoughts....




    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  5. Not so Rosy

    Not so Rosy Registered User

    Nov 30, 2013
    578
    I am in a similar situation now. Dad often talks about his old home with much affection.

    A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the Daily Mail which featured our old family house. It was always a hugely happy and busy home. I thought Dad would enjoy seeing it so took in the iPad to the nursing home to show him. Dad denied ever living there which I found hugely sad, as if all memories of our family life had been wiped.

    His current house is sold (hopefully) and I was going to take him back for a last visit but I have decided against it now. He literally has hundreds of paintings stored in there and I wanted him to choose and keep his favourites. I think it will just cause more confusion than it's worth now.
     
  6. brookbond

    brookbond Registered User

    Sep 19, 2012
    16
    Yorkshire
    2jays again a very similar situation but I don't think Mum thought she would never come back. I could not tell Mum where we were going, as the AD made Mum more stubborn. If she doesn't want to do something she wont.
    Home I think is the place where she felt safe and secure with her own parents, as she probably now feels vulnerable. Showing photo's maybe an idea and then I would know if she remembered. If she doesn't, then there is no point bringing her here.
    As for the why, yes maybe it is for me as well as I have always felt a huge amount of guilt not only about the way we had to pack up and go to a care home, but also that she is there in the first place. The fact that she is not that happy there just adds to the upset.
     
  7. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    Oh gosh the guilt monster playing on the emotions of the quick pack up and move into care not letting mum really know what was happening played with my mind for many many months.....

    Completely unbearable during the wee small hours when I was desperate for sleep but the guilt monster wanted to talk at me and play with my emotions... :(

    The trouble with the guilt monster is that it hasn't had a dementia awareness course.... It talks about mum as if mum didn't have dementia.... Mum wouldn't like that... You shouldn't do such a thing to mum..... You would hate what you are doing to your mum if it was done to you.....

    Took a while to get the better of the guilt monster and ignore its badgering... Just because the guilt monster can't understand mum DOES have dementia and she IS in the best place for her needs as they are now. For my mum it would have been so cruel to listen to the guilt monster and leave her struggling to keep up with her life as it was

    the guilt monster still occasionally does its best to convince me that I should have taken better care of mum..... But I'm stronger now and can see that guilt is unnecessary in my life.... As I know I have done what was right for mum. She still wants to go home after 3 years..... but when I take her out of the care home.... she can wait to get back to her room and her safety

    It's so hard to go through these early stages of care home care..... It does get easier to deal with.... but it's never easy, just different.



    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  8. brookbond

    brookbond Registered User

    Sep 19, 2012
    16
    Yorkshire
    2jays you are right about the guilt monster, and it plays with me regularly. As you say it has not been on a dementia awareness course and still thinks of Mum without dementia, but so do I. Each time I go to see Mum I hope it will have gone away - but no. When she is nice she is lovely and the Mum I used to know, but that dam switch gets flicked and everything changes. And I find that extremely difficult to deal with.
     
  9. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    331
    Ontario canada
    Just like 2 jays...my mom gets taken "home" by dad....and she can't wait to get back to the CH....and frankly...he can't wait to take her back! She has been in the care home for over a year and still thinks she is in the hospital (sometimes). I often think on a lucid day mom knows exactly where she is... But then she says " I've only been in here a couple of days. She still won't let us decorate the room because she is "going home soon" but she is quite comfortable there.
    Carole
     
  10. brookbond

    brookbond Registered User

    Sep 19, 2012
    16
    Yorkshire
    In the end I decided to take Mum for a visit to her "house/home". I had shown her some photographs of the place in the morning but there did not seem to be any recollection of the house. When we got there, she did not recognise the place, not from the point of seeing it externally or internally. Within 5 minutes she was trying to do housework though. She wanted to go home (?) fairly quickly though. Another thing that was a relief was that she did not get agitated or upset and the neighbours all came out to see her.
    Amazing that someone can live in a house for 30 years and the whole memory of it is erased in the space of 2 years.
    Thanks to all for the advice and support.
     
  11. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    I'm glad that the visit wasn't too traumatic for mum. I'm sorry that it seems it was painful for you

    On a positive (sort of) note.....
    At least the guilt monster was shown up to be wrong...

    I have a hug here... Would you like it?

    (((HUG))). Well done. You are doing your absolute best for your mum and doing it well. xxx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     

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