How can I tell may mother with dementia that she is not going home?

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Mom has been in an Assisted Living center for 5 weeks. Just when I think she has accepted being there, she starts begging to go home again. I hate that she wakes up everyday thinking that she is ready to go home. How do I handle this? Some days she is quite lucid and other days not so much. Her doctor has said she cannot live alone, but she says she'll find someone to stay with her (which she won't be able to do). She believes that people will stay with her just because they like her. She has no understanding of other's jobs and lives...only hers.

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When my mother-in-law landed herself in a nursing home for rehab from yet another broken hip, the doctors that evaluated her said she could no longer live alone. We were faced with having to tell her that she couldn't go back to the house she'd lived in for over 50 years. My sister-in-law and I had started looking into asst living as soon as she was out of surgery because we knew it was coming. So we had deposits on 3 places, awaiting the official ok from m-i-l's three sons as to which one they preferred. Everyone was pussy footing around the part about her not being to go back home so much, that I had to finally look her in the eye and TELL her that she was NOT going home, but instead she was going into asst, living. It was awful to say the least. She was madder then a wet hen and most of it was vented to the messenger (me) so I had to have the favorite son call her and talk her off the cliff. Now (4 years later) she and I are best friends, and although she still mentions once in awhile that she wishes she could go back home, does admit that's not going to happen. I'm afraid there is no good way to tell someone they can't go back home again. At that time, we were sure to make it known that it was the doctors who had made the decision for her, but it didn't take the sting out. Just had to take one for the team I figured, apparently no one else was going to at the time.
Thanks, Nancy! Just when I think Mom has settled in, the going home thing pops up again. She just called me and said that the doctor had given her a clean bill of health and that she would be released tomorrow. Of course, she has not seen a doctor today and no one has said anything to her about going home. I keep telling her she is not ready to go home, but she just gets mad at me. This roller coaster ride is really starting to wear on me as I am the only one who is addressing the issues. I talked to the nurse at the assisted living center to let her know that mom thinks she is going home tomorrow. She said that the Nurse Practitioner will be there tomorrow and will tell her she is not ready to go home. The problem is that Mom hears what she wants to hear and I am always the bad guy for not taking her home.
My Mom too asks me every day at hospice when can she come home. It breaks my heart because I know that she is lonely and sad for her own home. I tell her the same thing all the time--that I must speak to the doctor first and get his ok. She forgets every time I say that, so she asks again and again. But at least it appeases her for that time. They treat her like a queen at hospice so I'm not concerned about the physical part. It's the dementia that hurts me cause even though she has it, she is still quite brilliant and clear a lot of times and knows whats going on even if she forgot all about it later in the afternoon. What breaks my heart is that she calls me almost every afternoon and asks why I didn't come and see her when I go every day and stay for hours and she cries on the phone and wants to come home. That is the most difficult for me.
abby33, dementia totally changes the picture on matters like this. My husband kept wanting to go home for a few months. He'd pack his bag and wait in front of the window for someone to come get him and take him home. The twist this story is that he WAS at home! Even if your mom could find someone to live with her somewhere, that is no assurance she wouldn't soon start wanting to go home. That is just common in dementia.

Another consideration in dementia is that in general it is not a good idea to argue with their delusions. The other night when my husband thought he was in a bus station I said, sadly, that the last bus had left for the night. Would he like a nice place to sleep, and catch the early bus in the morning? He did. I wheeled him to his own bed, and he didn't remember anything about a bus in the morning. This is tricky and depends on the type of memory loss and the fluctuations in cognition, but I wonder if it is really necessary to confront your mother with the reality you know. What if she told you she is being released tomorrow and you said, "Oh, isn't that fine. I'm sure the social worker will be around to help you get ready. ... How did you like the sing-along yesterday?" That is, accept her delusion, don't dwell on it, and change the subject. This approach has to be customized for each dementia victim, but it is often less stressful all around than trying to talk them out of a delusion.

Warmest wishes to you. This certainly isn't easy!
lefaucon, hugs to you. I sometimes wonder whether dementia is a greater burden to the people who have it, or the people who love them. Know that you are doing your best and that your mom will be past the anguish soon. Your presence is a comfort to her, even if she cannot remember it.
I have avoided talking to her about her dementia. Her doctor talked to her about it but she has no memory of the discussion. I just spoke with her and told he that she hadn't been released from assisted living. She became angry and said that my brother and I are just worried that she will have to live with us. She said she was going to disown both of us and it would be reflected in her will. I remained calm and just said to her that I was doing the best that I could to keep her safe. This is really hard. She has always been very stubborn and set in her ways, so the dementia has just elevated that.
abby33, you have been given great advice. I do hope that you or your brother have her durable and medical POAs. My mother has been in a nursing home almost 4 years and thinks she's been there only 4 months. She very often asks about going home which I will either divert by saying I will talk with the social worker or reply by saying the doctor has not concluded that she is safe to discharge back home and change the subject to something else. I don't argue.
I do exactly what cmagnum does. I never argue or dispute whatever she says. I tell Mom that I must speak to the doctor before she can come home and that appeases her till the next day. Then the next day she asks the same question and I say the same thing again, etc....
Thank you for your hug jeannegibbs, I really, really needed to feel and hear that this morning. I also know that even though Mom doesn't remember that I spent hours and hours with her and by 5 or 6 pm, forgot all about it, the time that I actually did spend with her, blessed her and made her extremely happy. And those are the precious moments for the both of us even though she forgot by the afternoon. Thank you for your hug Jeaneegibbs. I need hugs right now!!!
While working in a nursing home, one day I walked into this ladys room and she was packing her clothes in black plastic bag. What are you doing "Rose"? I asked, she said
"I'm going home to the farm and waiting for her ride". She had family pictures on the wall and I started asking q's about her family life. It made her think back and I focused on happier times with family.
I walked her to the window and said ""Look!! we're already back to YOUR house, did you have a good time?
She smiled and said "Oh yes honey, it was grand visiting with my family, I want you to meet them some day" and hugged me.
Then I asked her, are you ready to unpack and get rested before supper?, Yes, she said, I'm tired from my trip.
That was one of the best days I had working at the nursing home.

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