reikibev Asked December 2009

I have just placed my 90-year-old mother with dementia in a nursing home. Now she is confused about where home is. How can I console her?

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I have just placed my 93 year old mother in a nursing home, where they have specific care for dementia. I have been caring for her myself, but she tried to run away. Now she is in the home, and wants to go "home", but thinks home is where she lived as a child. I'm unable to console or soothe her, and it is breaking my heart. Any ideas?

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195Austin Apr 2010
It does take awhile for elders to get use to the nursing home.
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Jro Apr 2010
Thanks so much for sharing your story with me.You are a good daughter and your mother is lucky to have you looking out for her.

I am taking care of my mom by myself. My brother lives an hour away and helps when he can but I live with my mom and I'm the primary caregiver. My next door neighbor can babysit her when I have to work late. Mom goes to adult day care when I'm at work and to respite care when I have business trips.

But I can tell that she is changing. She has breast cancer and her lungs are filling with fluid which makes her short of breath when she walks a short distance. I'm beginning to wonder if she shouldn't live at home anymore. I know she wants to live at home and it will probably break her heart not living with me because she relies on me so much and I'm her security blanket Mom is very attached to me and can get pretty upset when I'm not around. But I want what's best for her.

My mom also would confuse where we live with the place she grew up and sometimes she asks me to give her mother a ride or mention a departed relative as if they are still alive. It's a very hard decision.

Fortunately, the day care center also has a nursing home I picked it just in case mom couldn't live at home and the move wouldn't be too unfamiliar to her.
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reikibev Apr 2010
Hi Jro. I placed my mom in a dementia ward in January. It was heartbreaking. She had been living alone with help from me and from some agencies. But she began trying to run away, wanting to go back to the place where she grew up. She also no longer believed that her home was her home. She did not want to come to live with me, so I had no choice.

Now it's a couple of months later. She thinks her home is with her parents, long deceased. She fought the dementia unit for a while, then seemed to adapt. She has gotten together with a man named Peter, and the two of them sit by the hour and plot their escape. It is actually kind of sweet. Mom was very religious, and they don't have church services, so I have begun going down on Sunday mornings and just playing some religious music and hymns for the whole unit. She is much safer and happier where she is. She turned 94 in the unit. If I could have kept her with me, I would have, but this is actually beginning to work out well.

I hope you are having some help and not taking care of your mom entirely by yourself. It is exhausting. I got shingles twice last year, and am still having after-effects from that. So take care of yourself, and be sure to do things that you love to do.

reikibev
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Jro Apr 2010
My mom still lives with me and turns 94 next month. She has Alzheimer's and cancer. One night she woke me up and asked me when we could leave this hotel and go home. All night long I tried to convince her she was already home but she kept asking the same question. She was fine the next morning and didn't remember any of this. But it was a long sleepless night for me. The next night she asked me when will we go home, the thought of going through that whole experience again flashed before me. Then I decided to take out some photo albums, we looked at old photos of family and friends and she really enjoyed it. We went to bed and everything was fine.
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janinejames Feb 2010
I have never geard of Sundowners!
Need to check it out.
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reikibev Feb 2010
My mom had sundowners when she went into the nursing home. After a few weeks she got pneumonia and had to go into the hospital. She had had COPD and smoking related lung damage. They put her on oxygen, and she is still on it. The side benefit, is that the sundowners disappeared. She had been on dementia drugs to quiet her down, but they have been able to discontinue them. I know everybody is different.

Reikibev
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jbtrfly Feb 2010
Now, about your Mom being confused about going to a nursing home. My dad was like that, he actually had a "melt down" wanting to die and crying uncontrolably, actually so were we! what a mess!
One of the residents started to sing a church song. The nurses made us leave, and told us not to return for 2 weeks.
I have to say this about that, the nursing home is a wonderful facility, the nurses,therapists, and all the employees treated
dad as if he was their Dad. No controlling meds.
They just made him feel " at home". Can't do that with us there, putting his name on his door,keeping him very busy, sitting and talking to him,etc.
We know because we asked to ck on him and they said "yes" as long as he didn't see us. He was having a ball!! jeeze!
The secret to helping Dad is distraction, distraction, distraction.
Even,now when he asks to go with us or wants to go home with Mom, we put a movie on in his room, for dad its a hunting dvd,
or animal planet on the TV. Works great.We sit with him for a while and watch with him.
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jbtrfly Feb 2010
Tennessee,
My dad had sundowners synd. Along with dementia, he would get very, very confused , would get agitated. That happened several times, first time we thought he had another stroke. scared us.
We called his Dr. and they told us it was sundowner syndr.
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tennessee, I just posted a reply to your separate sundowning post/question. Hope it helps.
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janinejames Feb 2010
I feel for you so much,My Mum went into a care home 2 days before Xmas,90% of the time she is not to bad,but the other 10% she asks when she can go home.She has vascular and alzheimers dementia,and also broke her hip,there is no way she can go home,it is so hard.I agree about Distraction,but you have to do what is right for you and your family.I totally neglected my husband children and grandchildren for years!
I now have a life.It is so easy to get caught up with one person.
Just be there for her when you are there.Dementia is a terrible thing.

I wish you well.
I may be the other side of the pond,but the problems are the same xx
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