Mom calls me constantly wanting to go home and packs every day. Will this ever stop?

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Mom is in an excellent care home. I see her every day. Mom is 90 and has dementia. I managed to keep her in her apartment until last year, when she started falling a lot, and stopped doing anything, she just lay in bed all day and I took over all chores, bill paying etc. After she had several stays in hospital and a nursing home I moved her to a lovely care home 10 minutes away from me, I had been travelling 60 miles each way. She has been there 6 months and cannot settle. She stays in her room and only comes out for meals. Everyone tries on a daily basis to get her to join in the activities or at least sit in the conservatory and look at the garden and chat to people. She won't watch the television in her room or try to do crosswords etc. Despite my endless explanations she cannot retain the information so it all goes in a loop. She gets distressed and cries, calls me up to 10 times a day, packs all her clothes daily and waits for me to call a cab and take her back to her home. I understand that she wants her independence and life as it was but things changed so drastically last year that she was no longer safe. It stresses me so much, I have a very sick husband and the constant calls and questions about leaving are killing me. Will she ever settle?

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Thanks for your kind posts, the unkind one really hurt. I will take your advice and cut back a bit on the visits etc. I always want to jump in and fix things, even though I do know that this can't be solved. AmyGrace is right - no memory but still good at manipulation, Mom often tells me that the staff have asked her to leave as someone else has booked the room. Bless you all for your support.
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We are not here to judge, just to share and help. You need to do what is best for you and only you know what that is. Good luck
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Peace, we are here to support one another. I have not been in Tricia's shoes as each situation is different.
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Tricia51, just ignore answers like that. You are a good daughter and have done your best for your mother. Your husband must come first, especially now that your mother is in a good home where you don't need to worry about her. If it makes you feel any better: your description of your mother could have been exactly what I write about mine. My mother still sticks to her room, won't cooperate with the aides and calls us all the time, etc. Mom is 100 and has dementia - like yours, she can't remember instructions or what you said five minutes ago. She also doesn't remember that she has called you ten times a day because each time she calls, it seems like the first time (to her). After a while, my sister and I don't answer the phone. If you don't answer it, she will forget she dialed your number. We visit once a week, bring snacks, have lunch with her. We moved her in 3 months ago and she was like your mom, wanting her own apartment, miserable, writing little obsessive notes all over. The doctor prescribed Zoloft and now, after 4 weeks, I see a difference in her. It isn't a big change, but she seems less unhappy, more accepting of where she is. All I can suggest is call her once a day (although she probably won't remember it, you will feel better) and visit once or twice a week. What we found is that Mom is pretty good with the people there, and acts out with my sister and me. So maybe your mother is not as unhappy as she wants you to believe? Funny thing with Mom's dementia (and I'm betting it is the same with others). They don't remember, they do odd things, etc but they are still capable of manipulating to get their way. Hang in there - you are doing fine!
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Tricia51 - I'm sorry that one of the posters said something that is not appropriate. First of all - you are managing your mother's care - you have found the level of care she NEEDS and that is exactly what a loving daughter would do. Keeping her in your house where she could fall and be injured is not in her best interest. Please feel good that you made the right decision for your mom. You don't have to do all of the hands on yourself in order to take care of your mom. She needs skills and facilities that you cannot provide at home - so you found a great place that does. God bless you!
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How cruel. The answer is that I can manage my husband's care. After my father died I have spent 15 years keeping my mother in her apartment. I have travelled thousands of miles going to and fro 3 or 4 times each week. I took her on vacation, did all her shopping, cleaned, washed etc etc. I would have continued if she had not had a stroke then developed dementia and falls to the point that she was a danger to herself. I got day nurses to come in but she refused to let them help her. She cannot manage stairs so could not move in with me. What exactly have I done wrong? And yes of course I feel guilty about it.
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I am of the mindset that I would not put a parent in a home. Your husband is ill, why do you keep him at home and not put him away in a nursing home to recuperate?
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Thank you so much for your replies. I think I keep trying to get things to stick in her mind because although every discussion is brand new to her and instantly forgotten, she can discuss things almost rationally as we speak, so I feel as though it ought to work eventually! She is bored and wanting the routines that most women have, but constantly refusing to do anything at all isn't helping. The care home staff are fantastic but as they say they can't force her out of the room if she doesn't want to join in. I take her out as often as I can or bring her back to my house, but with a sick and almost immobile husband it isn't easy as it takes forever to get her anywhere so mostly I just visit with her.
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Tricia, since the move have you visited mom every day? You are punishing yourself while making it more difficult for your mom to adjust. Many memory care facilities here ask family to stay away for a minimum of several days, then depending on the adjustment it may become longer. You need to stop answering the phone and visiting daily. Let the pros at the community do their jobs, daily visits from you is not helping them, you or your mother.
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Tricia, I'm so sorry that you're being given such a rough ride. I wish I could think of something consoling to say about the possibility of your mother's settling in to a happy routine. As it is, I'll focus on other positives.

Look. Stop answering your mother's calls. It isn't just to preserve your sanity: the point is that your answering her repetitive cries for help does nothing to help her. There might be some use to speaking to her reassuringly if she were able to retain what you say; but she just can't. So you're beating yourself up ten times a day without achieving any benefit for her. It's futile.

Instead, why don't you call *her* once a day, at a time that the NH staff suggest as being best, just to remind her that you will be visiting. It will set your mind at rest that she is actually okay, and put you in control of the calls. No harm will come to your mother if you don't always pick up the phone. Let the staff know that this is your plan and they will handle it at your mother's end. Trust them.

What sort of dementia is your mother suffering from? Depending on the type, there are various techniques for handling her upsetting behaviours (upsetting for her as well as you, I realise how terribly sad you must feel for her). You can look for ideas on this forum, learn a great deal from the marvellous Teepa Snow (use the Search Site box), and not least lean heavily on the experienced memory care staff at your mother's care home.

I'm afraid that nothing can change the cruelty of this horrible disease, but there is a great deal of support available for those of us who are forced to watch it devastating our parents' quality of life. My best wishes to you, hoping that you find all the help you need and that your husband is able to recover.
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