Bringing mom home.

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My mother had undetected afib and in 2009 had a stroke resulting in vascular dementia. Her short term memory is compromised. Mom will be 93 next month. She did not mind assisted living and did fairly well but her macular degeneration and hearing loss often left her isolated regarding activities. She had a UTI while in assisted living and wandered outside of the building early one morning. She stood by the door until someone saw her. That was immediate memory care transfer. Mom is so unhappy as she just desires to be with family. She lived with my husband and myself for 2 years but at that time we had no idea re options. Now, mom is on Medicaid and also receives VA aid and attendance money. I cry when I see her so lonely and am seriously considering bringing her back to live with us and have a caregiver for her during the day while I am working. Has anyone done this?


You cared for her before, but her needs will be greater now and will continue to increase. There is a strong possibility that a move will not make her much happier but will stress you enormously. I expect your mom is longing for a place that no longer exists, a place where she was queen of her domain, where she was whole and everything made sense.
Linda, if you bring your Mom back to your home, you would need 2 caregivers. Not only for the day time while you work, but also for night. The night caregiver doesn't sleep, her job to help your Mom in case your Mom starts to roam around the house trying to get into thing, or helping her to the bathroom, or making sure Mom doesn't go outside, etc.

Otherwise, you and your husband would be lucky to get 2 or 3 hours of sleep at night, as you would be sleeping with one eye open listening for Mom.

I would think twice about bringing Mom home, especially since so many good programs are available for her to use.
This is such an emotional issue that it's probably difficult to make a decision. Perhaps you can try to separate the emotion from the facts, and start with a financial assessment of whether or not you can afford the necessary care with the assistance of Medicaid and VA A&A.

I'm one of the ones who isn't inclined toward institutional placement - but each of us who posts here has our own opinion on this issue.

One thing that does concern me is that macular degeneration can be an overwhelming isolation factor - her major sensory input is deteriorating, increasing the sense of isolation. And that would likely increase her depression.

Add to that a hearing loss and there are 2 major sensory inputs that are compromised.

This is a hard decision; give yourself time, discuss it with your family to determine if there are reliable sources of support in the event you become burnt out, but in the meantime spend as much time as you can with your mother.

I will say that if it were my mother, I would bring her home.
Thank you all so much for your valued comments. A huge issue is that I have no support system outside of my husband.
I agree with some of the comments above. Often, with dementia patients, you are not able to make them happy. They may not be capable of processing things around them. You could spend your time 24/7 trying to make things great for her, but she may not understand or appreciate it. Often that home or comfort they are longing for is something in the mind that cannot be attained. I think I would discuss her mood with her doctor. Perhaps, an antidepressant would help her feel better. Does she take medication?

Since her decline, have you spent a lot of uninterrupted time with her? (Like 12-14 hours?) Have you considered how as she declines you would need to provide her with constant care and attention and that she may resist or become agitated and not have the personality traits that you remember?

Plus, I'd read a lot about what I might expect to see if I would be able to live as a constant care provider, plus work a job. I can't even imagine such a thing. I would make sure that I could afford lots of help to come into the home to help on weekends, holidays, nights, respite care, etc.

You'll also need a plan to prevent her from getting out of your house. If she is wandering, that would be something you would need to be able to have trusted care takers with her when you are not there.
Thank you!
I agree with FF.. my father was a total full time up all night job at the end.. even with a daytime CG and 3 adults in the house we were overwhelmed at the end. If one of stayed up.. the other 2 still got no sleep because of the comotion. It's not quiet.. and I have a big house! We had to opt for MC or we would have sunk
It's a condition that affects everyone. I'm very thankful for the caregivers Mom has. Mom always says to me, "who would have thought life would turn out like this." So true.
Without the in home care my parents have, I could not do this.

Someone comes in everyday. This gives each parent the attention one on one they need, and gives me a break.

I would not bring her into your home without the in home aides to be there. It is just too much to work full time and try to cover her needs the rest of the time

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