My father in law is 92 and moved in with our family 3 years ago. He broke his hip early in the summer and has moved between rehab and hospitals the last several months. His health is in decline and while nursing home is recommended we have compromised on a nearby assisted living facility. He refuses to accept this and will not stop nagging us to come back to our home. There are so many reasons why this will not work. We have been honest with him and gone to great lengths to make his apartment homey, but he will just not relent. He has my husband so stressed and guilty. Would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and experiences.

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Dear epkman. First of all I'd like to stress to yr husband that he should NOT feel guilty. I understand he feels so, but there is absolutely no need to. It is time that we are honest with ourselves, and when we can no longer take care of our beloved ones at "home", then we have to leave them in the hands of loving, caring and specialized people who will do all they can to make their life as easy and agreeable as possible. My beloved husband passed away 6 years ago, after having suffered Alzheimer's for 13 years. I had taken care of him day and night for about 10 years and I was totally broke, exhausted, at the end of my possibilities. When I went to my doctor and asked him for some more drugs to keep on going, he refused and said : It is imperative that you have to consider whether you want to pass away first, before your husband, or you want to stay alive and stay next to him till the last moment. This was a real clap in the face. I returned home and after several weeks, I returned to my doctor and said that I had decided to look after a good and reliable nursing home for him. Of course I also felt guilty when he left. And I felt guilty every day he was there, and every time I visited him. And as was the case with your father in law, he always wanted to come home. I quickly learned that discussions at length, explaining why it was not possible any longer only aggravated the situation. After having read multiple books concerning those problems, the best way for my husband was to take him out to the street, talking about various things such as the weather, flowers on our path, birds singing, etc.. and then I brought him back. He no longer protested or nagged and the nurse took him over from me and they both walked away, without looking at the door. I was so relieved that this problem was solved. And after about 3 to 4 months, he even did not talk about it any more, and the small walks outside were no longer necessary. So I only can hope that you also find a method to ease him and that within a couple a months this is only a bad memory. With warm regards and a big hug
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Is it "home" he really wants or could it be the move to assisted living has signaled the beginning of the end to him? He is being forced to admit to himself that independence is a thing of the past.He's in denial and understandably so.
Is he capable of indulging hobbies or activities he was accustomed to at "home"?
Are their activities (other than bingo) the complex provides such as sing a longs, art classes, book clubs, outings.Many of them do.
You might be able to arrange that for him.
How about letting him set up his new "home" as he wants it instead of doing it for him?
Maybe his fav chair or whatever makes the new apartment feel like home to him? My mother has a godawful velvet painting that screams HOME to her.I hate it but she it means more to her than I do so we live with it.
Maybe having dinner with him, a house warming party to christen the place?
I think the key here is to stress the fact that in reality he will enjoy more independence in this situation than in your home if he gives it a chance.
Try to get him out into the population of his complex so he can meet people who enjoy their "down-sizing" and services provided.
When you visit always call ahead and refer to the visit as "coming up to your place/apartment".....
Remind your husband that his dad is making an adjustment.It takes time. Rule of thumb is 3-4 months for humans or animals to feel at ease in their new digs..I find this to be true with foster children, new boyfriends, newlyweds, children moving back in with parents etc.
Patience is a virtue.
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If he says he wants to go home, telling him that he is home won't persuade him that it's true. In his mind, it's not home. Sometimes, if something is bothering them - like fear, uneasiness, uncertainty, they will say that they want to go home. Because home is a place of comfort,safety. When I'm stressed from work or just tired of spending time with fave sis (store or her home), all I want to do is go home - to relax, recover. So, home could mean a place of comfort or safety. Check to see how he's doing there with the personnel. Is he making friends, talking to others or withdrawn from everyone?

Tell hubby that it's normal for those who go into the facilities to want to go home. Some learn to accept it as their home. And some never did. Some forget.

I've read that the best thing to do is to distract him. Some people handled this by literally walking with their loved one out the door, walk around the house, and walk back in. That satisfies them. One poster I read, literally got in the car late at night, drove around the block, went back home - and satisfied the poster. Depending on your FIL (father-in-law)'s memory, would this work on him? To take a stroll outside and then come back in? If not, maybe just try distraction.

I've also read that because 'home' is an emotional thing, sometimes just giving them a hug is enough to meet their emotional needs.
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From what I have read here on the forums, when you move a love one into assistant living it is best not to visit that person for two weeks so that they can get adjusted to the facility and to give them time to form new friendships with others who are also living there.

It is very normal to feel guilty, but one has to remember moving him to assistant living was in his best interest. And it is very normal for the person to want to come home. If your father-in-law has any memory issues, for him *home* could mean the house he grew up in, or it could mean the final chapter of his life.

Here's hoping your father-in-law will start adjusting to his new residence and find some new buddies to hang out with.
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