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Mom is doing well in assisted living, but like many others is always making plans to go home. Now she has decided that she will find someone to stay with her at night, and she'll go home. So everyone who visits her "volunteers" to stay with her when she goes home (this is only in Mom's mind). She calls and says her prayers have been answered and proceeds to tell me who has volunteered to stay with her. It is difficult because she really gets her hopes up that she is going home. I have learned to say "we'll look into to that" or 'let's see what happens". Mom really believes that there is nothing wrong with her. I took her out shopping and to lunch today and she called me tonight to ask what day it was. Because she doesn't have any real physical issues, she thinks she's fine. She will not accept that she has dementia, even though I have talked to her about it. I know many others experience these same problems. How do you deal with it?

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abby33, I am going through the same thing right now with my 95 yo mother. About a month ago, she decided she was going home. Interviewed staff and declared to me and my husband that they would only charge $10 an hour. This went on for two weeks. Then she called my husband and told him that she wanted her good jewelry to wear. He told her that I would not let that happen.

So, the next visit, I arrived with some new costume jewelry. Then I took her hands and held them, looked into her eyes, and told her that she could not come home because of me. I am facing back surgery and could not lift her or take care of her daily needs physically. In addition, I told her that I could not take care of her mentally, because I am already on Lexapro. I told her it was not her fault, it was all my fault. She was mad and hurt, but she did not bring up the subject again. Victory!!!!

Then last night, she had to argue with me about why did I give away her fur coat. I told her that we talked about it at length and made the decision. She looked at me and told me she did not. I just let the matter drop.

This morning I called the house director and asked if mother was having problems. She said yes. She was not allowed to tell me, it had to come from me. So, all the puzzle pieces now fit. Now I have to educate myself on this ailment. Thank goodness for this website. It helped me already.
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Abby, I really liked your plan for just telling mom i am not taking you home because I think you are in the right place. I just got off the phone with my mother who is in an ALF because she is suffering from dementia and we went round and round as to why she couldn't go home (after all she owns the house and she can take care of herself, her words) I am going to use your statement and let her be angry at me and hang up on me. Thanks for the superb plan.
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I just read a good article that explains "I want to go home" doesn't necessarily mean to a specific house, but to a place where they feel safe and familiar,
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She does still have a home. She always wanted to go home, even when she was at home. Her memories of home and the reality is not the same. She envisions people visiting with her everyday and volunteering to stay with her. That's not the way it was. People stopped visiting and she called people at all times of the night because she wanted to go home. I hate that I have to be blunt with her, but the "changing the subject' stuff just wasn't working. She just called me again and did not mention going home. I really believe that she has just enough memory left that I have to just say it like it is. My brother and sister-in-law are often responding to her with they will have to talk to me...this makes me even more of the bad guy. Hopefully I can get everyone on board deal with this before I have to go into a mental institution :)
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Abby, does she actually have a 'home' to go back to? I mean does she have a house she used to live in still available to her? If that is the case, maybe it's time to sell it? Also, when my mother-in-law was in the nursing home for rehab after she broke her OTHER hip, the doctors that evaluated her told us that she could never live alone again. At one point I had to look her straight in the eyes and tell her 'you can NEVER go home again'. It was awful to be honest, but it had to be done. No more pussy footing around the subject, but I was the one that had to tell her. I did lay it on the doctors who told us that, but what do they care? Although she still owns her home and knows that her grandson and his wife are renting it (my son) she is okay with that. The market is awful to sell right now, and it's money in the bank when/if she does need it. For us, her still owning her own home is tolerable because while she talks about 'going home' again, she means it in the sense that she just doesn't want to live in asst. living is all.
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Well..after at least 10 phone calls (and I'm at work), I told her that I wouldn't be taking her home because she is in a good place and needs to stay there. Boy is she mad...but that's okay. From now on whenever she talks about going home, I will say..."I'm not taking you home because I think you are at the right place". I've told my brother, husband and sister-in-law to say the same thing. At least I have a plan :) The diversion thing just wasn't working any longer. Now I guess she'll just plan a "break-out". Thanks for continuing to allow me to vent. I'm just having a hard time right now.
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Today, Mom saw the Nurse Practitioner and called to tell me that she had been released to go home. This is driving me insane. It's like groundhog day over and over again. Is it time for me to say "I'm not taking you home"? She keeps saying that staff says she doesn't need to be there and that her family is the only reason she is there. Whatever anyone says to her, she only hears what she wants to hear. I really feel like the staff should handle this, but I'm thinking that she is fine with them. I'm on the ledge...trying to climb back up.
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Lisbeth...THANK YOU! I needed to read your comments.
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Vent away, we are right where you are. Mil alternates between begging, crying, whining and demanding to go home. She even 'interviews' the staff, and tells us which one 'agreed' to come stay with her! Like you, I wish she'd just forget about the going home thing, but I know it's not likely to happen anytime soon. Until then, we take the heat and a LOT of it! She smiles and makes nice to everyone 'til we get there and then starts in on how much we hate her, how much fun we're having spending all her money (I can't even get out and spend MY OWN money, too busy taking care of her!) and how we're taking over...well, everything! There are days I wish she'd get to the next phase as well, don't feel bad, please!
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I know this is a horrible thing to say, but sometimes I just wish she would forget about home all together. The ALF told me that she will probably not stop wanting to go home until she no longer remembers home. Today, she called and said she was very sick and that if we didn't take her home she was going to die. She says she has no one...but I spend time with her almost everyday. She has always been manipulative, but now I can't tell whether or not this is just a part of the disease. I just want the going home demands to stop. She can't go home and it is really beginning to wear on my nerves. I know I sound very selfish, but I'm doing the best I can and it seems to be met with resistance at every turn. Thanks for allowing me to vent.
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I think your responses are great.

The fact that your mother is doing so well is due in part to the supports she has in AL. She doesn't realize that if she were to be on her own, even just in the daytime, she would not do so well. And she probably can't be convinced of that. But you know. Unfortunately I can't think of a way to make her plan to leave go away. I think you are going to have to continue to deal with this day after day. You are doing a great job. I'm sorry it is so hard.
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It sounds like your mother wants to go from one form of assisted living to another form. Does she plan to pay the "volunteers"? If not, she would be introducing a lot of responsibility into the lives of other busy people. If AL is working for her and she can afford it, it seems like a good thing. She might do fine at home, but it would be at the expense of someone else devoting a large segment, perhaps all, of his/her life to her. I think you are handling it well.
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