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Hi, I'm new here and my mom is 84 years old and in a nursing home. She has been there for 4 and a half years, placed there by my dad shortly before he passed away. My mom at that time was on a lot of different medications that made her very drowsy and out of it. Her doctor has weaned her off of quite a few, and she is more active to her abilities.

One of the medications she was on was aricept for memory and this is one of the medications that she is no longer on because it is contraindicated to one of her health conditons of CHF. As a result, her short term memory is very short. She will call me many times during the day to ask me to go home to her house, and in her mind she is able to take care of herself. This is not possible because she can not do alot for herself and is primarily in a wheel chair during the day.

I am glad that she calls me because I am able to ask her questions as to whether or not she is dry, or if she has ate, or if she is comfortable. As weird as it may sound, I worry if she doesn't call me. She will call continuously and leave the same message until I can actually answer her call. When I do get to talk to her, she may call back 5 minutes later as if we hadn't spoken.

I can satisfy her with the answer of that I am at work and that I will stop by on my break or whenever I get done, but have to repeat this all throughout the day. When I visit her, she wants to go home and I have to tell her that I am on my break and have to get back to work in a little while and this answer satisfy her for the moment.

I use distraction questions also to get off topic or I'll have her call one of my siblings, since they all live out of state. I fortunately live 5 minutes a way and see her 1 or 2 times a day. I try and get her ready for bed every night and this seems to ease her.

I encourage her to play Bingo 3 times a week at the nursing home and she enjoys that. Sometimes I am able to bring her to where they play Bingo and sometimes when I can't I'll call to make sure someone is bringing her over there since they sometimes forget.

I feel guilty that my mom wants to go to her home and that I make excuses for not being able to bring her there. I just don't want to upset her and feel that doing it this way is better. I don't see the sense in upsetting her so I basically tell her that I can't right now but will see later when I'm done with work. This satisfies her for the moment, though she won't remember and ask again. It's funny how she won't remember we had a conversation, but she does remember that she wants to go home.

The other day when I came in I found an aide yelling at her because my mom had called the scooter store for a power chair and they needed information so she handed the phone to the aide. The aide was yelling at my mom not to call the scooter store because she wasn't going home. The aide did not realize that I was in the room because a taller aide was blocking her view and when she say me I asked her out of the room and told her not to yell at my mom again and not to tell her anything that would upset her like your not going home. I did not report her because I thought doing so might make things worst for my mom because she would become revengful if she got in trouble.

Well anyway, that's my story. I welcome any input from anyone who might be in a similar situation with their loved one and how they handle it.

Thanks

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The fact that your mom wants to "go home" is very normal for her condition, and you are handling it perfectly. Distraction, redirection and tact are about all you can do. The home she wants to "go to," is likely her childhood home, anyway - not the one she left. So, there would be no way to satisfy her (if you still feel guilty, this information may help).
The scooter store story reminded me of a man who conned an auto business into bringing a demo car out for him to try. They got to the address he gave only to find out it was a nursing home. What a surprised car salesman that was! The gentleman with dementia got away with that three times before the dealership caught on.
That aide should NOT have been yelling at your mom. That's inexcusable. She knows you heard and saw her, so she may shape up. If you see or hear anything else negative, however, report her immediately, and then tell the administrator that you don't want her caring for your mom. She can be assigned to another staff member. If you see something positive, though, try to compliment her. That can help if she just “lost it” once – still very, very wrong so I’m not excusing it, just saying that she should be watched and you just may –may – be able to turn that around.
My mother's phone was an extension of her arm, I swear. She did the same thing your mom does - she called about the same thing over and over. It's tough, I know. What I did, after the first few calls, was let it ring and go to voicemail. Sometimes, then, she'd get off that particular topic because she was no longer “keeping it alive” by talking about it. Later, I'd answer the phone again and she’d have some other topic to discuss.
You do need to take care of your own sanity, too, so please try to get breaks.
Carol
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