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My Mom lives in AL with severe dementia. She is still very pleasant and social most times and has been begging to go home for quite sometime. She was missing her lake house and her friends and family. Her brother and I coordinated a weekend visit and she spent a lot of time with people she loves and enjoyed her time at the lake.
The car ride back to AL was quiet and I knew she was sad, but the plan was to return again in a few weeks as we head into the summer months.


Since returning this week, she has struggled with new cognitive issues that were not an issue before the visit home. She told me she has been waking up in the morning and confused by where she is. She's angry or dislikes a man in her community, but I don't know why and she can't provide enough details. She says he creeps her out and she has asked a friend to teach her how to lock her door. And now her toothbrush is "broken" and she misses her regular one. I don't know what's going on and why all of this is happening this week. I'm so sad to think that I could have triggered it by taking her out of AL for the weekend....

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As long as she's not putting up resistance returning to the ALF then keep taking her out as you are able 

I so miss being able to put mom in the car but she can no longer transfer from her wheelchair and there was no warning - her legs literally lost all strength in a couple of days 

She still asks to go out but I never remind her she can't and even tonight as she was falling asleep I told her to dream about Lake Tahoe - a favorite summer trip for years
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One thing we know for sure: Dementia progresses. It gets worse. Always.

Would your mother's decline happened on exactly the same timeline if she hadn't gone away for the weekend? Who knows? You made your decision with the best of intentions, in love, and based on what you observed and knew at the time. That is all any of us can do.

If you'd decided against the visit and she now had these new issues you might be thinking, "Oh! I wish we'd given her a chance at a lake visit was she was still able to enjoy it!"

There is always room for second-guessing our decisions after the fact. Do your best, and move forward.
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myworld2017, if Mom is waking up and confused where she is, try to re-arrange her bedroom the way she had it at home prior to moving to Assisted Living. I did that with my Dad... had his highboy and nightstand to the left of the bed where it always had been for 40 some years. I wished I could have set the bedroom more like he had, but I couldn't due to where the windows were located. But having those two pieces of furniture where it always had been was enough for him.

Also, I read to keep the same bedspread, do not purchase a new one. Hang pictures and other items in the same location as before.

No guarantee it would help.
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Did the visit to the lake cause her to change? Maybe. Maybe not.
It could very well just be coincidental. One thing is for sure.
You made her very HAPPY by taking her to the lake for the weekend and that is what is important.
Just take one day at a time. 
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Well, you don't *know* that it was the trip that triggered this. Also, she may quickly settle down again - she's only been back at the ALF for a few days, after all. It would be a pity if she couldn't enjoy what seems to have been a successful break again. I agree you are right to be cautious, and to weigh things up carefully, but why not just see how it goes and how she is? You don't have to set the plans in stone, do you?

And, meanwhile, that's a few more memories for your keepsake box :)
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