My mother has been in assisted living for nearly two months now and says she'll never forgive me for taking her out of her home. She is in mid stage and her short term memory is gone. When I visit her, all she says is she wants to go home over and over. She has no idea why she's there. Any attempts at redirecting her are futile. She is totallly self absorbed, won't ask about the family, she just repeats that she wants tto go home. I don't even want to visit her because they aren't visits at all, there is no conversation. Is this normal and how do i handle this? After 5 minutes I'm ready to leave and usually do. She also does this with other visitors and the staff.

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Linda, this is very frustrating. I suspect that your mother is either more advanced than mid-stage in her dementia or she hopes that saying the same thing repeatedly will make you do it. It sounds like you are really doing all you can do. She would probably not be happy at home, either. Often home is a symbol of the more happy times before dementia. After dementia comes, those happier times don't exist anymore. I wish it were easier. Dementia is very hard on the person that has it and on their family.

Would she respond if you asked her to tell you about her home? Would it help if you told her that she can go home when she gets better? We know she won't get better, so it's not actually lying. She might find some comfort in the hope of getting better and going home. It sounds a bit cruel, but everything about Alzheimer's seems cruel.

I know you feel guilty leaving, but I know we can only handle so much frustration. I hope it is just a phase and the idea of going home will pass soon.
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Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? Sounds like antidepressant or antianxiety meds might be in order.
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