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I had to recently put my mom in dementia long term facility. She keeps calling me to ask when am I going to pick her up. I change the subject but she keeps insisting. She even called up a family friend to say she didn't know where she was and she was in a dump! She is only eating very little and isn't adjusting well. Should I worry? When she was at home, she was wandering, getting violent and ended up in the hospital for a month. Any advice?

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I told my mom I had to have surgery, so she would have to stay in assisted living for a while. So many questions and alternate solutions came back at me. I had to be on my toes with answers, including "I don't know yet", but eventually she stopped asking and has forgotten her house. My mom also lost weight at first, but she adjusted, started eating again, and thinks she is home now, just with a lot of other people around her house all the time. However, her assisted living IS a house, with a front porch and beautiful trees and flowers. Does your mom have nice things to look at that the staff could take her to when she is agitated?
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My mom never really adjusted to assisted living, just sort of a grudging acceptance after a couple months. The food was horrible (She ate like a horse and gained weight) And they were just awful to her! (Made her get up before noon, bathe and get dressed )
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So agreeing with freqflyer.

I cared for Mom IN HER HOME OF 40 YEARS for 13 months until she died. She still insisted she wanted to go home. I gently reminded Mom that this was her home and that she even had it paid off. While she seemed to understand, I think she didn't like that answer.

It's not where your mother is, stormyone, but that she's not at her childhood home. It's tough on you, I know. Freqflyer makes good use of the therapeutic fibs.
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stormyone, one thing to remember, to a person who has dementia, "home" usually means their childhood home.... back when life was fun and care free.

My Mom, when she was in long-term-care, kept asking about going home. I thought she meant the house that she and my Dad had shared. It wasn't until she asked if the cattle were in the field that I realized what home she was talking about, her childhood home. Surely there was no cattle in my parents subdivision house yard :)

I used the "therapeutic fibs" which helped. When my Mom [98] asked to go visit her parents, I told her they were visiting the old county and won't be back until next month. That worked. Next day Mom wanted to visit one of her sisters, so I quickly had to find a fib that would satisfy Mom.
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anonymous945281 Aug 21, 2019
I like "therapeutic fibs". I'll give that a try. She wasn't talking about her home-home but her old apartment. She even gave the nurse part of the address!
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Basically you are saying that,whether in care or in your home, Mom was not doing well. I wouldn't expect that to change. She may always want to come back home, and seeing you, who represent home to her, will trigger her wanting to go home. Second only to complaints about food, asking to go back home is perhaps the most common thing. You can do whatever you think might work the best. You can tell her that this is her new home and you will visit her often here, or you can put it off by saying "The doctor feels you should be here now for more care; we will ask the doctor next time we see him/her". So sorry. Don't expect happiness to come of this. Aging is so much about losses. It is hard to see our loved ones suffer and not want to think we can change it, but so often, we cannot.
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anonymous945281 Aug 21, 2019
I agree. Aging is about losses. I'm going to try the doctor thing to see if it helps. Today marks a week since she's been there.
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You're a long distance caregiver, which makes this extremely difficult for you to influence. Have you talked to the facility's senior staff about how they handle the adjustment? I don't want to sound callous about it, but helping her to settle is their job, really.

Is there a close friend or family member nearby who can be your eyes on the ground?
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anonymous945281 Aug 21, 2019
I do have some friends who are looking to be looking in and one friend is close with her nurse. I keep talking to her on the phone and no arguing. (Learned that lesson quick) I just listen to her vent and tell her I love her.
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This seems pretty typical... there's so many questions on here about how their LO hates their 'new home', when are they going home, etc. No matter how nice the place its, they will call it a dump or a jail!

A lot of people suggest what's called a "therapeutic fib". Little white lie. Like "We can't do anything until the doctor says you can go home." Given that most have dementia, they later forget where they lived just prior. My husband's grandmother had dementia and did not remember she'd lived with her daughter for two years before going to memory care.

You have done the right thing. No one can blame you for being worried. She will adjust and emotions will stabilize-- both hers and yours!
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anonymous945281 Aug 21, 2019
I'm going to try that. Sadly she doesn't remember who the doctor is but I'm going to give it a try.
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