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"When am I going home?" - how do you respond?

Caroline B

Registered User
Mar 3, 2014
0
0
My sister and I recently made the decision to try our mum in a care home. We had carers coming in twice a day. I don't live near my mum (I'm in SE England and Mum is in Edinburgh) and although I try to get up to see her every couple of weeks the burden of care was largely on my sister who has Parkinson's and she was finding this overwhelming. In her head Mum is still self sufficient and she thinks she does all her own shopping and cooking and regularly goes out to visit friends. In reality she has hardly been out of the house for a year and forgets to eat and drink unless prompted and can't manage day to day tasks on her own. We persuaded Mum to do a trial in the home using the excuse that my sister was going on holiday for a few days. She reluctantly agreed. She looks much better two weeks in and is taking part in all the activities and socialising with other residents, so she is doing far more than she did when she was living at home but she can't remember what she has done from one hour to the next and she says she is bored and asks when she is going home. I know my sister can't cope with her being at home again. I can have a rational conversation with mum from time to time and she will see that the home is a good option but then she forgets and asks when she is going home. Soon we are going to have to sell her flat to pay for the care home. How do I have this conversation with my Mum and break it to her that she is not going home?
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
63,508
0
69
Dundee
Hi Caroline

I think you and your sister have done really well in getting things sorted out for your mum. It can't have been easy, especially when you don't live close to her. I don't have any personal experience which would help but I'm sure there will be others who will be along to advise. I just think you need to persevere with your mum in the home. For her own good and for that of you and your sister.

Take care.
 

zena285

Registered User
Oct 14, 2013
39
0
My sister and I get asked this every time we visit Mum and she forgets our answers within seconds so the question can be on a bit of a loop! We usually think of different 'white lies'. This week's fib is 'we are waiting for the doctor to visit her and if she asks how long we say he's a couple of doors away doing his rounds' and she usually settles for a few minutes and then it starts again! Last week's fib was we were waiting for a man with a van to be able to move her things back. We use the weather as it's raining or to cold to go yet. You can try distraction where you change the subject quickly without answering.
But I'm sure there are lots of people on here who have other ideas that can help too.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,374
0
My sister and I recently made the decision to try our mum in a care home. We had carers coming in twice a day. I don't live near my mum (I'm in SE England and Mum is in Edinburgh) and although I try to get up to see her every couple of weeks the burden of care was largely on my sister who has Parkinson's and she was finding this overwhelming. In her head Mum is still self sufficient and she thinks she does all her own shopping and cooking and regularly goes out to visit friends. In reality she has hardly been out of the house for a year and forgets to eat and drink unless prompted and can't manage day to day tasks on her own. We persuaded Mum to do a trial in the home using the excuse that my sister was going on holiday for a few days. She reluctantly agreed. She looks much better two weeks in and is taking part in all the activities and socialising with other residents, so she is doing far more than she did when she was living at home but she can't remember what she has done from one hour to the next and she says she is bored and asks when she is going home. I know my sister can't cope with her being at home again. I can have a rational conversation with mum from time to time and she will see that the home is a good option but then she forgets and asks when she is going home. Soon we are going to have to sell her flat to pay for the care home. How do I have this conversation with my Mum and break it to her that she is not going home?

Look to the positives, of where she is now.
This phase will pass.
My father took 6 months to settle, now 2 years on, his old home is forgotten.

Bod
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
0
My Mum has recently gone into a NH and asks about going home daily. i usually talk to her about how the doctor and all the nurses feel she has been very ill (unspecified illness) and isn't ready to go home for the moment. I wish I could think of something else. When we come to sell her house, I won't tell her about it, as she needs to feel it is still there, somewhere, even though she isn't in it. I would think very hard before telling her you are selling her home about whether any good can come of her knowing that, or if any harm comes from her not knowing.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,289
0
SW London
This is always so difficult. I told my mother a whole assortment of LWS, the most successful being that she hadn't liked living so far away from any of us (true) so she was staying there for a while, very close to me, and I was looking for a nice little flat for her, just down the road from me. As soon as I found a really nice one, we'd go and have a look together. Since she had always been an inveterate 'mover', this worked best.

Some people say that there is very disruptive plumbing/ decorating going on at home, and this may work for some. Otherwise 'blaming it on the doctor' would often seem the safest.

What to say about selling a house is a tough one, and I agree that it's best to say nothing if possible. Eventually the person will often forget that home anyway, and want to go to a childhood home. I only told my mother once, when she was accusing us of having put her there because we were all after her money. I was so upset and stressed (it wasn't the first time) that I blurted out with, 'Have you any idea how much this place costs? If we just wanted your money we'd have left you at home! We've had to sell your house!' Or words to that effect.
However I am sure I wouldn't have said it if I hadn't known that she would forget almost at once - her short term memory was almost non existent by then.

I must say it was a huge relief when she finally stopped asking, though it did seem to take forever, and sadly it was largely because her AD was worse.
 
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Raford

Registered User
Oct 2, 2013
2
0
Same question in Texas.

My wife was raised on a ranch on the Texas gulf coast and home to her is the ranch. I tell her that we will work the cattle next week. She is very happy for about ten minutes then asks again. She hasn't lived on the ranch in seventy years but for those moments she has happy memories that justify the lie.


This is always so difficult. I told my mother a whole assortment of LWS, the most successful being that she hadn't liked living so far away from any of us (true) so she was staying there for a while, very close to me, and I was looking for a nice little flat for her, just down the road from me. As soon as I found a really nice one, we'd go and have a look together. Since she had always been an inveterate 'mover', this worked best.

Some people say that there is very disruptive plumbing/ decorating going on at home, and this may work for some. Otherwise 'blaming it on the doctor' would often seem the safest.

What to say about selling a house is a tough one, and I agree that it's best to say nothing if possible. Eventually the person will often forget that home anyway, and want to go to a childhood home. I only told my mother once, when she was accusing us of having put her there because we were all after her money. I was so upset and stressed (it wasn't the first time) that I blurted out with, 'Have you any idea how much this place costs? If we just wanted your money we'd have left you at home! We've had to sell your house!' Or words to that effect.
However I am sure I wouldn't have said it if I hadn't known that she would forget almost at once - her short term memory was almost non existent by then.

I must say it was a huge relief when she finally stopped asking, though it did seem to take forever, and sadly it was largely because her AD was worse.
 

at wits end

Registered User
Nov 9, 2012
753
0
East Anglia
I tell my gran that her she has tenants in her house (it is actually sold nearly a year ago). She 'understands the idea of tenants as her dad was a landlord. I say as soon as 'they' say you are good to go I will give notice to the tenants and get them out so you can go home.

she recalls some of this over the last few months now and tells me she needs me to find someone to send a letter to her tenants to get them out.

however since falling last week and breaking her hip I dont think she recalls any of it anymore.

sometimes it is a case of keeping the peace until they deteriorate further and stop asking :(
 

virg

Registered User
Jan 13, 2010
112
0
cheshire
We do it on a day by day basis rather than longer term - i.e. 'you're sleeping here tonight and we'll sort it out tomorrow'.

Oddly, Mum has started asking about going home again after quite a few months of not asking. She seemed quite settled but has reverted to wearing her coat the whole time and being ready to go.