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Hi,
I have only posted here once before, but I literally go on here every day because I find it such a comfort. My parents both fell ill at the same time and they were unable to move back to their house. I had asked and then begged them to move closer to me or sell their house and move to somewhere in their area more friendly to seniors, but my Dad refused to move.


After they fell ill it was suggested I move them into a nursing home from rehab, but I found them a place in assisted living (the place they are in can take people who should be in a nursing home). My mom ended up dying about 16 months ago. My Dad moved into another room in assisted living about a year ago to get a fresh start (he picked the room and made the decisions). Now lately he has been very insistent he wants to move back to the house. He is in a wheelchair and paralyzed on his left side and cannot walk anymore. He is incontinent and has a history of severe urinary tract infections. When he gets a cold or gets ill he gets very, very sick and more and more his throat gets impacted and he has to go on a special diet with ground up food (they do that for him there). They take great care of him and they really like him. He hasn't had a bad UTI in a long, long time and he was getting them constantly when he lived at home with my mom.


I feel for safety reasons he shouldn't move back home. I am worried about trying to juggle care takers and figure out medication and food and feel something catastrophic would happen. I come back and visit a lot, but even if I lived in the house with him I wouldn't be able to help much because he is like dead weight and he needs trained professionals because of all of his special health concerns.


He seems unable to process how precarious his health is and believes he is in better health than he is. He doesn't think he needs 24/7 health care.


Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for me? He's upset he isn't getting PT, but he was cut off from medicare PT because they say he is at his baseline. I then was able to get him PT to help him transfer from the bed to the wheelchair, but he reached his baseline on that as well.

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My MIL is in a nursing home and she hates it there. She wants to come home. That's all we ever hear. The food is horrible (she's gained 20 lbs this year so it can't be too bad), they abuse her by making her wear shoes when transferring to the bathroom ... she has a long list of reasons. She has begged and begged to come back home. So - we worked with the nursing home to help her do this. First, she MUST start walking. No more wheelchair to the bathroom, no more wheelchair to meals. She MUST graduate to Assisted Living and be there for 6 months with no falls. Since the plan has been presented to her, she has stopped demanding to come home. She refuses to even try to walk to the bathroom. If she were to bring it up again, we would tell her that she has a plan and as soon as she starts working on it, we'll try to help her come home.
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jjmummert Oct 14, 2019
Sounds like a very effective approach.
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There's lots of things we ALL want and can't get, unfortunately, isn't that the truth? The mere thought of your dad moving back into his house gives me heartburn! It's 100% out of the question, naturally, given his health situation, so now it's up to you to be The Bad Guy. The Bad Guy tells dad that under NO circumstances is it safe for him to live anywhere but where he's living, period. You cannot and will not even entertain the thought of him moving, nor will you help him do so, under ANY circumstances. His doctor is in agreement fully. Every time he brings up the subject, shut it down right away. It's simply not an option dad, unfortunately.

He knows, deep down inside, that it really ISN'T an option, unless he has advanced dementia, but is still exercising his right to fantasize, I guess. Hopefully you have POA so that you get to make the final decision.

Best of luck!!
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sallyb13 Oct 10, 2019
Thanks so much! I will take your advice.
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The honest truth is that I think everyone wants to move back home. I do see some lovely content souls listed on the forum, but they are few and far between. Everyone wants to come home and the hard truth is that they need to be told that "I am sorry, but that isn't possible". They may rage or cry, and indeed it is WORTH raging and crying over. Not all of life is happy. An elder has had many time when "what they wanted" didn't work out. Now it is facing down loss after loss after loss and no upside, no "getting better " ahead. Families take on the "fix it mentality". Trust me. You cannot fix it all. And not everything can be fixed. Mourn that together, and then there may be some acceptance, but while there is any hope that they can still make the decisions that honestly they can no longer make, they don't give up easily. Why would they? You will have to learn to be somewhat comfortable with all the discomfort.
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sallyb13 Oct 10, 2019
Thank you! Yes I agree about the "no getting better" ahead. It is really hard. I like your advice about getting comfortable with all the discomfort. That is exactly it.
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The therapeutic fib is best here: Keep working on getting stronger and maybe the doctor will release you to home. It gives hope & dignity and keeps you from being the bad guy.
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My Dad is 93 and in denial how bad things are. The going home bit comes up every few months and is like an obsession. He has vascular dementia. Needs help with washing and dressing. Is often incontinent at night and has spells when in bed for days. He says I’ve let him down by not letting him home. Tries the pleading “ please don’t leave me here” and the aggressive one “ I am going home”He also does this to staff.
its taken me a long time to come to terms with all this and accept.
i now say it’s out of my hands to him and Doctor will never allow. He argues doc is hopeless but I say you will still need to convince him and probably a second opinion. If he gets aggressive I leave.
If he says he’s well enough I go down the doctor route and say full picture will be looked at and not snapshot of today a good day.
I visit once a week now as too draining and have hardened up. Takes practice so I empathise.
This is also about you and you need to care for yourself. They become selfish and don’t care how you are affected .
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Babs75 Oct 14, 2019
Well, this seems to be a common theme here. I usually visit every Saturday but my visits are becoming less and less enjoyable, even before the move to AL. A lot of the time before was to do filing of financial stuff at his house. He still pays some of the utilities (has his own checking account) with our help to write the checks. He is particularly upset with me now that I have forwarded the mail to my house. Makes my job as conservator easier now but I am still not 'allowed' to cash his pension check. That would create WWIII. I take him to the bank for that one.
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They all want to go back home, they are no longer able to make good, sound decisions, that is where you come in. If you do not have his durable POA, then I would suggest that you get this in place.

Men especially are use to getting their own way, to be in control, the little woman just did what they said.

Think with your head, not your heart, do what is best for him. Good Luck!
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sallyb13 Oct 10, 2019
Thank you! Yes I do have POA. I will be reading your replies over and over to give me strength!
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The hardest word is "No". You could just tell him that he’s too disabled to move home. That you wished it weren’t so but that he and you must face facts and reality. I wouldn’t even put the idea of hiring caregivers out there. You can also make his doctor the heavy. Tell him you need to know he’s safe and cared for. I’m not sure why the house wasn’t sold ages ago. It can’t be in good shape not being lived in for so long. When he brings it up just have a pat saying like "the doctor says it would be dangerous " or something and then redirect. It’s tough when you have to tell them no.
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Babs75 Oct 14, 2019
Yes, I use the doctor thing all the time.......The house was his wife's before their marriage in 1985. I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to move from it since he's been there 34 years. She passed away in 2015. Her hospital bed is still in the living room, her clothes in the closet. He has never allowed me to get rid of them and I haven't pushed. He finally admitted to my sister recently that the move to AL makes him feel like he's leaving her all over again (I knew in my mind that was part of the problem.) I am going to contact his geriatric psych about having this conversation again at his visit next month. It will be the first one since he's moved out.
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I’m going through same thing with my mother who has dementia, currently living in assisted living facility. Every time I visit she stresses it’s imperative that she get out of there and let her go back home. In her case she’s very clear she means her previous apartment.

At my last visit, I explained to her returning to live on her own was not possible, she then became verbally abusive to me, it was hard to grasp this was my mother. I’m hurt that mom thinks I’m in a conspiracy with doctors and caregivers to keep her in assisted living, but I know in my heart I’m doing the right thing for her. I’m at peace that mom may never understand why these choices were made, She has be diagnosed by medical doctors as no longer having the cognitive ability to manage her affairs and live safely on her own.
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disgustedtoo Oct 14, 2019
Try not to let things she says get to you. It is hard not to, but you know it is the dementia talking, not really your mom.

Since she has dementia, can you try different tactics? Don't TELL her she can't move back, try to change the subject, make some excuse or lay the blame on her doctor. You can't really argue with or explain to someone with dementia.

Sometimes leaving an "opening" for them is enough. Later, after you get a little better, when the work needed on the place is done, when the doctor says it is okay. whatever "excuse" might work - just don't put a hard date on that! I've done this with mom, leaving the "door" open for "later" and she might be a little sad, but says okay.
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We are dealing with this with my dad. He is 93 and after a hospitalization, the doctors told him he couldn't go home. He is in a beautiful AL but all he wants is to go home. No can do. But I have hired caregivers for him 3 days a week, in addition to the assisted living. They take him to his house for visits. He has only been there 3 weeks but I am beginning to gradually move some of his things to the AL, a few more every week. He is insistent he is not staying and does not even want pictures brought there. Guess that would make it too permanent. I have guardianship and he's pretty much hating me right now - the bad daughter! But this has been needed for a very long time.
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sallyb13 Oct 11, 2019
Hi,
You are exactly in the same boat! :( It's really hard.
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Well, today was a bit of a disaster. Dad (age 93) has been in assisted living for 3 weeks now and the only thing he talks about is going home. I visit with him every Saturday as I have done the last 4-1/2 years (with the exception of about 6 times per year for camping trips), but I think I'm going to start cutting back on my visits after today. He is in a beautiful place with lots to do. The food is excellent. He is getting plenty of beverages (he ended up there because he became dehydrated at his house and was in the hospital for a week.) He is enjoying the exercise classes. When he was at his house, he used to complain continually about how bad he hated it there and would also want to be away. Now that he is away, all he can talk about his going home. We tried to reason with him (yeah, I know - can't reason with someone who has dementia) but he wasn't having any of it. He doesn't understand why he needs 24 hour care. Doctors say so. Wants to go back to 6 hours per day. At the assisted living, we bring in 6 hours a day 3 times a week. I tried to tell him that most the people there don't get that option. It was like talking to a brick wall. I finally left after 1-1/2 hours. I'm so done right now.
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againx100 Oct 13, 2019
Geez that's frustrating. But, what can you do? They get stuck on ideas and just make conversation so difficult.

Maybe make your answers more vague instead of telling him no? "Oh, you want to move back home? I'm not sure if that would work out. Let me check into it."

Might be best to not expect him to understand your explanations. Try to change the topic (have one in mind!) and maybe get him to go for a walk or do an activity of some sort (also, one you have planned already just for this type of situation).
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