Are care aides saying the right thing to my mom?


My mam has been in a dementia bungalow for nearly 5 months and she seemed to be settling in but has started asking when is she going home to her mam's house. The carers keep saying not today. Is that not giving her hope that one day they will say yes when it really isn't the case?

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When I was 15, I worked, for a while, in a nursing home for people who were then called senile. Apparently it was felt that these people could be MADE to stop being senile. I left after a few months because it was so hard to see the same people crying over and over again because they had asked when mother was coming to visit and were told, "she's dead. try to remember." Now, I go once a week for library outreach. It is so different, 40 year later. No one tried to make anyone remember any things. It's all distraction. "when is mother coming to visit?" "Oh, do you want to sit here with me and wait. What shall we chat about?" You don't even ask them to tell you about their mother in case that would be distressing. It seems so much kinder.
Helpful Answer (15)

It's known as therapeutic fibs and redirection, telling her no won't teach her a thing because she won't remember for very long, and in the meantime she will be angry or disheartened and perhaps harder to deal with. Understand that with dementia her brain is dying, she can't learn something new or understand the concept that she is safer where she is or even remember why she can't live at home any more. To keep telling her, even if she understands and agrees in the short term, will not alleviate her desire to "go home", back to her former life when she was fit and strong and independent.
Helpful Answer (11)

Dear Kath
Your mam won’t remember that they have already given her that answer. She lives in the moment. If that answer satisfies her, it’s a good answer.
Hope is a wonderful thing for all of us to feel.
Hugs to you and your mam.
Helpful Answer (9)

Those carers are getting it exactly right, I think. As a dementia patient, your mom lives "in the moment". Telling her she'll never return home is not going to be productive. She won't retain it, and it will upset her every time she hears it.

Have you heard of Teepa Snow? She produces wonderful YouTube videos on how to best deal with some forms of dementia symptomotology.
Helpful Answer (8)

Thanks for the replies.I feel so much better now.I hadnt heard of Teepa snow but will definitely look her up.I appreciate all of u who have replied and given advice.Thanks again x
Helpful Answer (6)

I tell mom when she asks that she is there for the therapy on her right hand which is basically not functioning - she looks at her hand & promises to continue with her exercises - mom has been there 5 years - asking to go home is normal - sometimes it is hard to even know what home she is taking about ... the last one or the one she grew up in with her parents & brother = warm snuggly & safe
Helpful Answer (5)

Thanks for sharing that, meallen!
Helpful Answer (4)

"Not today" is really a very good answer. Not a lie, just not the whole story.
Helpful Answer (3)

It's likely that your Mam's memory is such that she does not remember "not today" for more than a short time, if at all. At the moment she hears it, she may be somewhat more satisfied with that answer. Telling her that she can't go home may just make her frustrated and sad in the moment. Because of the memory issue, she is not likely to remember that either, so she likely will continue to ask about going home. My husband has been in a care facility for 2 years. When possible, I avoid answers to questions that might make him sad--thinking the sadness might linger even though he cannot remember why.
Helpful Answer (2)

This individual won't remember what was told to her that day, let alone hour.
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