Visits home from residential care

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by MichaelT, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. MichaelT

    MichaelT Registered User

    Mar 12, 2011
    I'm hoping someone might have had experience of the following. My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia and has now been placed in residential care as my father was unable to cope with her wanting to 'go home' and the resulting in aggression. Having tried all possible routes we were advised residential care was the only way forward and mum is now settling in to the home. However dad still wants to bring her home to 'visit' the house and has been given conflicting advice on whether this is a good thing. The local GP says yes whereas the Mental Health consultant says no. Does anyone else have experience of this dilemma?
  2. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Hi Michael and welcome to TP. I cannot advise you, but my gut feeling would be to say no, don't take her home. I think it could stir up emotions that your mother is not able to deal with. Good luck Maureen.
  3. janice1

    janice1 Registered User

    Sep 22, 2009
    up north
    visiting home

    tonight i talked with my sister about this for our mum, we feel it would be distressful, and how would you be able to end the visit in a peaceful way, would it be distressing when it was time to go back to the residential unit. take care
  4. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    My husband has been in care for four years and I regularly brought him home. I can't say whether it was good for him or not as about an hour into every visit home, he still wanted to 'go' - where to I could never find out and stareted his pacing about again. He paced around the care home from morning to night and couldn't stay calm and certainly not to sit down for any length even when he was home. It certainly did me a lot of good and helped me to cope. I felt so happy to bring him back home each time and I think my happiness rubbed off on him and made him happy too for a while.

    Now he is too ill to bring home and I couldn't manage to get him in the car, let alone see to his needs at home on my own.

  5. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    If your Mum wanted to go home when she was at home I believe she would be extremely confused if there is a change of environment, however temporary. This is likely to bring out the aggressive side of her dementia.

    I have never brought my husband back although we have considered it, especially at Christmas time. I would be doing it only for me and would cause him to much confusion.

    Its your Dad's own decision though - will he be able to see these responses to your question?
  6. oldsoulchild

    oldsoulchild Registered User

    Apr 16, 2008
    i have regularly brought mam home and she's stayed the night with me, usually on a weekend when it wont matter that she's had an unsettled night. she sleeps a full night when she's with me, but only a few hours at a time when shes in the care home. i miss bringing her home but in the middle of major decorating etc and dont have a bed for her at the moment but as soon as im on my feet she'll come home again...and if it gets too much or she gets stressed (or i do) i just take her back and tell her theyve made her tea for her.
    only you can make the decision but if you dont try you'll never know. hope you do and it doesnt cause any upset. good luck xx
  7. LEAJO

    LEAJO Registered User

    May 23, 2009
    We have taken my Dad to visit his own house for a few hours and he was fine. We have also taken him out of the home for a few hours to my house and he went to my sister's house for christimas day. He didn't stay overnight at any of these visits, he was fine when we take him back to the home but I think it is like someone else here has said you wont know until you try and everybody is different, some may be okay and others wont be. Hope this helps
  8. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    Apart from how your mum would cope with returning home, how would your Dad? Would it make him feel more guilty taking her back to the care home?
  9. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Hello Michael and welcome from me.
    You will see that there is no right or wrong answer from members who have experience of taking relatives home for visits. It depends so much on your mum and her capacity to understand where she is and where she wants to be. Your dad may have more insight into this, but then on the otherhand he may want to bring her home for his own solace.

    My relative persistently wanted to go home to collect some of his possessions and social services arranged a visit, we thought this would be very unsettling for him and we voiced our opinions and refused to be involved. When he arrived home he knew exactly where he was and created the most unbelievable furore and regressed into the violent state he had been in when he first became so ill. He simply wanted to stay put in his house. After several hours he was 'calmed' and persuaded to go back to the nursing home. Even though I disagreed with the visit at the time it is impossible to say if it did him any mental damage. We think he was reassured that his house was still as he left it and hadn't been sold. Notably, he didn't retrieve any possessions and I'm pretty sure SS will never attempt a home visit again. My relative had been deemed as lacking mental capacity at the time but the professionals felt that he should be allowed his wish and quoted to me the Mental Capacity Act.

    I'm sure my experience is extreme and does not have much, if anything in common with your situation.
  10. Nan2seven

    Nan2seven Registered User

    Apr 11, 2009
    #10 Nan2seven, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
    Hallo, Michael, and welcome to TP from me as well.

    Whether to take your dear mother for a home visit depends very much on how much she remembers of home. Is her idea of home the home she left when she went into care? This may seem a bit of a daft question, but my husband for several months, perhaps almost a year, before going into care last month thought that this house (where we have lived for almost 24 years) was someone else's. I spent a lot of time and energy pointing out all the family photographs everywhere, the work we had done on the house together, etc. etc. to convince and reassure him it was ours, but for a lot of the time he was anxious about leaving before the "real owner" should come home.

    He went into care on 4th February and then there was a virus and I was not allowed to visit for several days. I was missing him and worried about him (he was having falls) so on the 19th Feb. I decided to bring him home for a visit so I could spend some time with him.

    To cut a long story short, it was not a good visit, chiefly because I discovered he could no longer walk, stand or balance - but he did not recognise the house at all. He apologised for having no money on him "to buy the theatre tickets" and seemed to think it was a theatre outing.

    When I took him back he greeted the assistant who came out to help us very cheerfully and seemed quite happy to back into the care home. So you see, every story is different.

    So much depends on how well your mother is with regard to memory, but if you do decide to go ahead, I wish you, her and your father a very happy visit. Do please let us know the outcome.

    Love, Nan XXX
  11. Bastan

    Bastan Registered User

    Feb 10, 2011
    Welcome Michael, as you can see from so many different replies, what works for one does not work for another.

    When I'm not sure what to do, I remind myself there are no right or wrong decisions, just different ones. When I really can't decide, I ask myself what I'd regret most. In this case, never bringing mum home and therefore never knowing the outcome, or bringing her home and it being a disaster.

    On boxing day we decided to bring my husband home to spend some time as a family. He had been in care for 3 months and we were still missing him very much and of course it was our first Christmas without him.

    There was both good and bad aspects to the visit. He had no recognition of his home of the last 20 plus yrs, (we were surprised). It is a big house but compared to the space in CH seemed tiny, he kept bumping into things and fell over a couple of times. He knocked things over and tried grabbing hot pans on the hob. Sounds a nightmare but despite all this we had a good laugh together and he enjoyed the food!!! The family liked to see him in his home environment, however, I was heartbroken (well hidden) which is something I did not anticipate. I think seeing him at home, which was always his 'castle' so disorientated, brought home/reinforced his illness all over again.
    I was then worried about his reaction to going back. After a huge struggle to get him in the car and a nightmare journey back, my daughter informed us, he walked into the home looked around, punched the air and shouted YES!!! Which of course was a hugh relief for us all.

    Do hope all this is info is of some help and not left you even more confused. As one member on here says 'If you've seen one person with dementia, you've seen one person with dementia. How true that is, just on this one thread, so many differences.

    Good luck in your choices, keep in touch.
    best wishes Bastan xx
  12. MichaelT

    MichaelT Registered User

    Mar 12, 2011
    Dear all, many thanks for your advice and insight especially Nan who seems to have gone through a very similar experience to my father). I'm talkng through all the points with my father and the various other parties involved with the overriding factor that we'd always like to do what's best for mum. Many thanks

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