Should I allow a loved one to "say goodbye" to her house?

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My grandmother is currently in a rehab facility following a hospital stay. Until now, she has been living at home. She has dementia, limited mobility and BP issues that cause lightheaded-ness. This combination has led to her having several falls, fortunately so far without major injury. Her dementia and mobility have both recently diminished to the point where we no longer feel we can keep her safe at home. So we are planning to have her transition either into assisted living or a nursing home after the rehab. The core question I'm struggling with is of course how to break it to her that she can't go back home. Should we just make a clean break or should we plan to allow her a temporary farewell stay in her home before her move?

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when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers and Parkinsons and had to be placed in NH I went and took pictures of the home inside and out printed them out and put them inside a Photo book of memories along with other photos and wrote descriptions of how christmas was at home, etc
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From my view point .... NO!!! Here are 2 good reasons why.

1. If you had a hard time actually getting them into residential care, do you REALLY want to relive that drama when it is time to go back and they throw a "mother of all colossal fits" in order to stay home.

2. If the house was not exactly as it was the moment they left, it will become a THING or an obsession.

In my father's case, he has the most nasty, smelly, gross Archie Bunker sofa and chair that needed to go. One of my brothers brought him home after much whining and guilting....and the stuff hit the fan because a family member moved into the house and put their own furniture in part of it.

The loss of the scruffy couch has become a full blown OBSESSION, and I am sure that house will be haunted looking for that couch that now is nowhere to be found. There is a lot of mileage to any visitor to please, please, make sure my kids put my couch back where it belongs.

Clean break advice is the best.
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When we placed Mom in memory care, she kept asking to go back to her house. We kept putting her off because we were advised by the MC director that taking Mom back to the house (which we were emptying and putting up for sale) would inhibit Mom settling in at MC. Well, in a years' time Mom has yet to settle into MC. All the same, I don't think taking Mom back to the house would have helpful. My experience with Mom's memory is like this: every time anything with a negative association is referenced, either by Mom or people she talks to, it's something that sticks in her mind. It's sort of like a child, whom you don't want to remind of something they want but can't have, so as not to "stir them up." Wish it worked the same with positive stuff like something pleasant we did with Mom, a gift, a happy day, etc. She forgets all the good stuff and only remembers the bad. Sheesh.
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I think that I'd let the doctor or the social worker be the one that tells her. Then you can blame it on them. 

Do you have her medical POA? If so, then it is your responsibility to see that she goes to where she is going to get the best care. If you don't have medical POA, then who does?

Also, where are her own adult children like your mom or dad? What are their thoughts and feelings? Why have they left all of this on you? 

This is your and her best chance to get her the 24 hour care she needs by people working in three 8 hour shifts who get to go home.  

Otherwise, you will have to try to do 24/7 care by yourself until she has a medical emergency like a fall and ends up in the hospital at which point her dementia would be worse.

I don't think that a short visit to say good bye would be a good idea for she would keep asking to stay longer.
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With my mom, we made a clean break. I think this is much better. Moved all her furniture and favorite things into the ALF all in one day. She adjusted very quickly and enjoyed it there.
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I think even the other family member's opinions should be weighed -- and also "depends."

My mother was terrorized by my sister and a niece (daughter of my deceased brother), who both claimed to be wanting the best for my mother. My mother and I had a workable plan in place, that insured my mother's happiness to the greatest extent possible. It turned out the other "family members" didn't want to be "stuck" with having to help (they didn't "have to" since my mother had enough money to hire help). Getting people to be forthcoming with their real (and underlying) thinking is NOT easy and usually requires some work.

So, again -- "it depends" is the only honest answer.
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I certainly agree that 'it depends' is almost always going to be the right response. But from the off, this OP has explained the dementia and the falls and stated that the caree's family has already concluded that she can't be looked after any more at home; it sounds as if they've given it their best for some time.

Once dementia is active in the picture, there's also the point about how much longer to wait; and that - if it's a racing certainty that the person will eventually have to be in memory care sometime - then her best chance of settling in well to a facility and forming meaningful relationships with the staff depends on moving in there as a functioning human being, with a personality and interests, rather than as a parcel of needs in a wheelchair.

Really good memory care facilities will respect all their residents as people, that's best practice; but it's so much easier to see them as people if you get to know them before they've completely vanished.
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IMO the answer is "it depends." It depends on how much loss of memory and lucidity there is, how independent she was and is still capable of being, etc.

The word "safe" can be cruel, and even that word depends - safe from what would be the question. Safe from life is cruel IMO. Plus, there is really no such thing as "safe," anyway, since people in nursing homes and "memory care" centers can and do fall and get injured. If they are made to be in a wheel chair (for their safety, of course), they can and do try to get out and fall in that process (I've seen that more than once).

None of the responses here have even mentioned help at the affected person's home. That would have to be in my list of considerations.

But, first and foremost, I would take the "happiness" of the "subject" into consideration. If my grandmother still recognized me and other family members, it would be my opinion that she still had enough of her mental faculties to say what would make her happy - and I believe her "happiness" should be the first consideration - unless her brain function is so far gone that nothing makes her happy any longer, in which case everybody else's responses here would be at least okay.
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IMHO, don't take her back to say "bye, bye" to her house and here's why--
#1 She's never going to want to leave the house.
#2 She's going to be talking about "her house, her house, her house"-there's never going to be an end to it.
#3 To what purpose does it serve to make this elder sad?
#4 Perhaps she's not even lucid enough to know that it's her house.
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Dear Friend,

You are very considerate granddaughter. This is a hard one. When my grandmother was admitted to hospital. My aunts used this opportunity to move her to a nursing home. My grandmother asked to go home, but no one would support her in this decision. She is not even allowed to visit! I guess it depends if your grandmother asks to visit. I normally try to do what others want and given her age, this might be the respectful thing to do.
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