visiting getting harder

barbara h

Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
county durham
just been to visit mam in the care home with my sister. She has been there two weeks now having been transfered there from hospital after a rapid decline in her vascular dementia. It gets harder to visit her because when we go she cries and says she wants to go home and that it is horrible there. (We know it is not cos she is getting well looked after). She says it is all our fault cos we promised not to put her somewhere like that and we have. We just keep telling her that it wasn't us it was the doctors and she has to stay there for now.
It is my birthday today and when i told her she said happy birthday and then started rambling about something else which didn't make sense. Hard to make sense of it all really when you think it is an important day in her life as well as mine.
We have a meeting with the doctor on Monday hopefully will get some information on this awful illness and some advice on what to say to her when she does go on about going home etc.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Barbara h, let me firstly wish you a 'Very Happy Birthday'.

I am so sorry that mum cannot now respond to you as once she would. It must be a strange world for her to try to cope with, as the senses try to cope with the illness.

"Wanting to go home, it's horrible here," how most of us here have heard those words at some time, so I can only say you are not alone.

Small comfort though, when it is happening to you. Please let us know how you get on Monday.

Do hope you enjoy the rest of your birthday, and have a nice evening planned.


Registered User
Oct 16, 2007
manchester, uk
Hi Barbara

First off Happy Birthday.

Wanting to go home is a common thing with this condition. The way we got round it with my nanna was to tell her she was having work done on the house and therefore couldn't go back just yet, for about the first month or so she asked if the work had been completed yet after that she stopped asking.

I hope the rest of your birthday has some form of normality for you and that you have a good evening in whatever it is you have planned.

Take Care


Registered User
Apr 11, 2006
Beckenham Kent
Hello Barbara,

Your comments could have come from me. My mum asked me everytime I visited her to take her home and when I said she needed more care than I could give she used to say I didn't love her anymore. Used to break my heart.

The feeling I get is that some people with dementia, especially Alzheimers, are more 'accepting' of where they are. My mum had
Lewy Body dementia and right up to the week before she died (she died 4 weeks ago) would say the same thing at each visit.

I tried everything I could think of to distract her, even lying which I hated doing, but nothing stopped her asking to go home. She wasn't like this with my brothers and we put it down to the fact that I was the only daughter and we were very, very close.

Sorry I can't be more positive. I hope your birthday is as happy as it can be. Love and best wishes Sheila


Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
Ashford, Kent
Firstly, Happy Birthday.

I am not there yet... but, I know I will feel the same.

I felt guilty last week just dropping Dad at Day Care. He said it's horrible, boring and full of old people (which, it is).

This breaks my heart already, God know's how I will be when I come to the point he needs to go into a home. I guess I'll feel sad, guilty, useless etc. A nursing home at the end is the thing I fear the most because I know my conscience will struggle with it all.

My heart goes out to you.

Beverley x


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
Hello Barbara:
When things are sad it is hard to wish a Happy Birthday. But all the same my heartfelt best wishes go out to you. I hope the year ahead is good and that your Mum's year is not too bad :confused:

Best wishes to you. Love Jan


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007

Happy Birthday. I know that it is not easy.

We used to blame the medics too when Mum moved into the NH. After a while she did stop but as the dementia progressed she started to ask about "home" again.

By then I am sure that she was looking for the home of her childhood as she was always looking for her Mum. It was security that she was craving, which we tried to provide by being there for her.




Registered User
Sep 1, 2005
Happy Birthday Barbara.
I Know it's no easy to accept this situation but I want to try to explain what happen with Antonietta (my grandmother).
First months she was in the nursing home, she said to us "I want to go home" every time we visited her.
After some months, she was moved to a new room.
One day, while we was visiting her. She started crying saying "Let's go home... I need to go home...". We decided to go for a short walk around corridor in the nursing home, trying to distract her. She went to her "old" room.
So we understood that her "home" was the old room.

Discussing about that with my Mum, we though she use "home" to indicate a place where she feels confortable and where she has her personal effects (her clothes, pictures, etc.).


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
Dear Barbara,

I experience the same with my mum and I know how heartbreaking this is, sorry about her response to your birthday hopefully she will settle soon as it is only early days.

Many Happy Returns!

Love Taffy.



Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
this is very difficult and one of the main reasons I no longer visit my mother as often..because the conversation is always the same and ends up upsetting both of us.
she seems to know now she doesnt have her bungalow any more but instead of asking to go home just asks when Im going to do something about finding her somewhere to live, or her other variation why cant she live with me?
Ive tried many responses and to be honest it doesnt really matter what I say as she never retains the information anyway.
Nowadays I try and go with a "prepared distraction" like a photo or a bag of sweets for her and I produce that and try to change the subject. This tactic actually does seem to work quite well for me and once the subject is firmly changed I exit before it gets changed back again!
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Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
Hi Barbara

My mum has been in a home for nearly 3 years now and still goes on about going home every week.

I got some advice on TP which I use every single visit- "Well your room's paid for until the end of the week, so you might as well stay" And everytime it still works, especially when she thinks that I've paid for it:)

It's still hard though - I thought after about a year she would feel more at home there, but even though she can't remember her bungalow, she thinks she should be going home to her Mum and Dad.

The guilt monster rears it's ugly head with me every now and again - even though I know she couldn't be on her own and she's safer where she is.

Happy belated birthday for yesterday:)

Take care



Registered User
Mar 3, 2007
Hi, you have my every sympathy about hard visits, my sister and i are finding it harder and harder, we never know what we're going to find with dad! I still try and find positives even in the worst visits, the odd word or smile. He no longer aske to go 'home'. When he did we too tried distraction tactics, sometimes it worked!! As far as the guilt goes, I KNOW that i can't care for dad like he receives in the nursing home and i know he is safe there and that's how i cope with it. x