My mom is having a tough time adjusting to being home again. How do I help her in the adjustment phase?


Over the past 5.5 months my mom was in several hospitals and rehab facilities; she came home on Nov 5 and is having a tough time adjusting to being home again. Medically she is great but she has some bouts of confusion and it really frustrates her. How do I help her in the adjustment phase?

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I know a woman who insisted on going back home and said "It's harder than I thought." She had gotten very comfortable with people around her 24/7 and being alone made her very panicky. Your mom's panic would be alleviated in Assisted Living. Loneliness kills.
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Ahhh, this is very Sad! It sounds like your Mom has gotten used to the schedule of living in the Rehab center, with the regimented comings and goings of the staff, and the constant stimulation and interactions. Is it perhaps, time to put your Mom into Memory care center, if financing of such is available to her? It wouldn't necessarily have to be forever, but for a while to allow her the consistency of support staff,bwhile she continues to gain her strength, and adjusts to any new meds that might help her to feel more comfortable and clear thinking?

Does your Mom live with you? As time goes by, unfortunately her Dementia is going to worsen, and maybe going into Memory Care now, will ease her path into residents care, rather than later, when she is really confuse. My heart goes out to you and your family. It's so hard! Sorry!
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My husband had dementia and each time he was hospitalized I could count on another week or so at home to fully get over what sent him to the hospital in the first place, and then several more weeks to recover from the hospital experience. These hospital stays were only 3 to 5 days! So don't give up on Mom -- she may bounce back from the confusion, but it may take several weeks.

Is her husband still taking care of her in her home?

GA has given good advice about not overwhelming her with new people.

You may already know this from caring for her before her hospitalizations, but it is always best if you can avoid arguing with someone who has dementia, even when they are clearly wrong. If she has trouble finding the bathroom and then says, "Well this isn't where it was before!" answer something like, "Each place you've been has had the bathroom in a different place. It really gets confusing, doesn't it? Here the bathroom is in the green hallway, right across from the lighthouse picture." Help orient her, but try not to make her feel bad for being wrong.
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Does she have home care? If not, ask one of her doctors to script for it. However, emphasize to the agency that too many people could cause confusion, so that visits can't be more than one therapist/medical person per day. Every other day or less is even better.

Your profile states that she's living in a hospital, but your post states otherwise. Is she living alone? Are you and/or other family members close by? If so, are you able to spend time with her on a regular basis to help her when she gets confused, and about what issues generally does she get confused?

Your profile states that she has dementia, and having been out of her home for 5.5 months would be a major adjustment for anyone.

If you or other family members are able, I'd spend as much time as possible with her, going through the ADLswith her in case she needs that assistance, and staying with her when she becomes confused to provide, if nothing more, moral support for her.

Going from places where needs are addressed for someone and control is literally taken out of their hands can be a really disorienting experience for anyone. Can you think of ways to reorient her to her former lifestyle, doing things together?
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