Mum wants to go home to "say goodbye to the house"

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SitsThere, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    So sad

    My mum now thinks that her home is where she lived with her parents in London. It seems that all her memories since she was a teenager have disappeared. I took her out of the CH for a trip to the shops last week and mentioned mother's day - she said she must get her mum something and asked me if I'd seen her recently. She's recently started introducing me as her sister although she still calls me by my name - I always knew but hoped she would never get to this stage, it's heartbreaking. I've just managed to find a job again after 2 years caring for her, and she would have been really pleased for me and told me not to work too hard etc, but there was hardly any response from her and I realised there is no one left now who knew me as a child or knows my history. Hindsight is not a wonderful thing, it's hurtful and guilt making, and I wish so many things I could have done differently.
  2. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland
    Dear SitsThere, I read your thread at an earlier stage and didn't have time to reply but my instinct was to suggest going for it, and I'm glad you've decided to do that. It might not be of much long term benefit to your mum, but on the other hand, it just might, and how wonderful that would be: to me it makes perfect sense to take the bet, in particular if the nursing home think the journey will be ok. I was very apprehensive last year about a long journey with mum, moving from one nursing home to another, but in the end, it was much easier than anticipated. I got lots of good advice on here about managing the journey, including planning for regular breaks and distractions in the car (in mum's case, lots of sweet things to eat!). Also, make sure you have plenty of support. I got my daughter to drive, so I could focus exclusively on keeping mum happy and comfortable in the car.
  3. SitsThere

    SitsThere Registered User

    Jan 7, 2013
    Well, we did it and returned from the round trip yesterday. We took LOTS of breaks on the way in both directions and in general mum coped well both with the travel and with the overnight stay at a budget hotel - she treated both as a lovely outing. Her main reaction to actually being in the house seemed to be a mixture of confusion and surprise and since the house was freezing cold, we came up with a brilliant exit strategy involving lunch at the nearby pub, which went well. A few old friends paid her a visit and she enjoyed that a lot. She told all of them how excellent her new residential home is and how wonderful the staff are. Two estate agents came while we were there, both of whom spoke with her, and she seemed to be taking it all on the chin. We packed a few more treasures up to bring away with her but a lot of the stuff we showed her, she no longer remembered having. All in all, we were congratulating ourselves on a successful mission, right up until the final hour in the car with me when she suddenly started saying that she would like to either rent out the house or go back to live there ! I managed to stay non-committal and am now giving her a day or two to get over the excitement before I see her again. Meanwhile, it looks as if we ought to press on with marketing the house. So I don't know yet whether or not this was really a good thing to do, but on balance think it probably was, just for the enjoyment mum got out of the trip. Don't think she really said goodbye to the house at all and she seems to think we'll be doing the trip again and again, which after the night I had sharing a hotel bedrooom with her I can definitely say is NOT going to be the case. I'll post again when the final verdict on the trip is in, sometime next week probably.
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    :D I'm glad it worked well. We did the same thing with my mother and she looked round the place like she'd never seen it before, complained it was cold and wanted to go home (our house). In a way I was glad as it gave me the motivation to put it on the market without any feeling about whether it was the right thing to do or not.
    As you say give it a few days and see it the memory stays with her it might just be the big trip out and seeing old friends she enjoyed rather than the actual house visit.
    Good luck on the sale.

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