She has been in AL for almost 8 months and still not adjusting. She's always been a depressed/difficult person. I have taken all of your advice to keep my visits down to once a week and to excuse myself when the conversation starts going sideways.

Lately the conversation is sideways as soon as I sit down to visit. Recently my brother and I decided to see her attorney to find out where we stand legally to sell the contents of her side of a double then fix the double up and rent it to help with payments for her AL. Initially she agreed to this but with her dementia, she forgets, that's why we checked w/ attorney.

Anyway She wants to go over and get some things (nothing is there and it will soon be rented). She wants us to take her places. I don't have a problem doing that but am scared she will want me to take her to her home and then I'll never get her out. In the past when we brought her to our home, she is very bitter, angry and makes a big scene My husband is not comfortable around her. We have been married 44 years, and he has never cared for her or how she has treated our sons or me.

So question is, when she wants me to take her to her place, after a country drive or ice cream stop, what do I do? This is every week and I always use the excuse I have to get home for such and such, it's no longer effective. I am tired of arguing every single time I go to visit her. I know she needs to be there, but I feel terrible. I know I should not, but aghhhhh! I DREAD going to see her anymore and have to pray just to even get the gumption to go over there. That's horrible on my part! HELP!

Your mother now has dementia.
You cannot possibly cater to the needs, wants and whims of someone with dementia; no one has that kind of inexhaustible strength.

I would remove the home from being a "reality" that exists, into the realm of a memory of the time that was by bring with you when you visit a beautiful scrapbook, pictures and a pot of paste. Perhaps even some pictures to cut out and use for collage if that isn't too difficult. Talk about the wonderful memories.

As to leaving, I wouldn't leave her center a whole lot. She is seeing you as her rescuer, the one she can convince to do this or that. Now to go see the home, then to GO home. So I would say no to outside touring. Spend your time with her in her new home. Perhaps later consider lunch out. But no touring. You can make up any excuse you like or simply say "No". You can say it makes you a bit sad and teary to see the old home so you aren't going to be driving by it. You can say anything you want.

The real point her for you to grasp is that this is one of the most common things that any elder in care says to their loved ones. And it needs to be finally understood that this simply isn't going to happen.

You mother has lived a long life. And that life is now drawing to a close. There are many losses involved and all are hard. I can attest to that at 81. She has in her lifetime many times been unhappy, missed a happier time or memory, lost something or someONE, and had to adjust. Don't feel responsible for her happiness. This is not a happy time. That isn't your fault. And there's nothing you can do about that. If you remain confused and worried about all this she WILL pick up on it much as a child or a pet does; it WILL cause more disturbance.

So first get this all set in YOUR mind. And then stick to it. This is something to grieve. It is WORTH grieving, as are all the losses of aging.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Mary1159 Jun 15, 2024
Alva, your advise is spot on, like many others here. I needed to hear this, so thank you.
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Is mother medicated for anxiety and depression? If not, now is the time to speak to her doctor about it. My mother was on max dose of Wellbutrin as her dementia advanced, and ,50 mgs Ativan as needed. And she still acted miserable with me the vast majority of the time.

When she started carrying on, I'd tell my mother I was leaving because there was nothing I could do for her and it wasn't my fault she was in the condition she was in. I suggest you do the same. And stop catering to her every whim, too. Stop with the drives and this and that. Bring her an ice cream and leave it at that. Do NOT take her home, period.

When the DOCTOR says you can go home, then we'll talk about it mom. Until then, there's nothing I can do for you,

Some people w/o experience in these situations will come along and try to guilt you into taking her home. Don't do it. Get her appropriately medicated and calmed down, and then plan your visits for right before a you can get her settled in and then amscray.

My mother saved all her angst for me. When I wasn't around, she was doing fine, participating in activities and schmoozing it up with the others. As soon as she saw me, her face drooped and the complaining began. To hear her tell it, she was being starved and 190 lbs and looking clean and fresh. It's an act and the goal is to make you feel terrible, make no mistake. Call the staff to see how she's REALLY doing.

Take care of YOURSELF too. Mom is safe and properly cared for now. Dementia is a no win situation for all concerned, in reality. Don't beat yourself up for something you have no control over.

I feel your pain, I went thru it for almost 3 yrs with my mother until God mercifully took her at 95. That's when I finally felt relieved, tbh.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to lealonnie1
Mary1159 Jun 15, 2024
Could we be sisters? lol....I think the same thing. Only my Moms weight is barley 80 lbs, but her weights been going down the past 2 years. She eats candy, loves sweets, so we don't deny her that. she is on meds for depression/anxiety, maybe needs adjusted.

I like your advise, call the staff. great idea!...Mom says no one socializes with her and she has no friends. truth be told, she has always been a difficult/critical person. She's only nice to me when she wants something.

Everyone made many good points today. I think ill print them out for instant encouragement as needed :)
With her dementia, I wouldn't take her anywhere. She could forget where she's living now, and refuse to go back in.

I'd visit her there.

Every time that she gets into a loop asking and asking to take her out, you can just tell her that you will be back when she stops asking.

Just like a toddler, just because they want something, doesn't mean that it is safe to let them do it.

Unfortunately, because of our LO's dementia, we are forced to play the part of The Toddler's Parent.

I'm sorry this is happening to you.

And to me.

And to so many of us, here.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to cxmoody
Mary1159 Jun 15, 2024
Im sorry this is happening to you as well. It's so hard and we alll have different 'things' that can make this even harder.

I am just tired of every single time, going home questions. I have a big SUV, she can't even get in, so she says for me to take her car. I don't want to. UGhhhhhhhhhhhhh Yes, I think you are right about toddler. Praying for us both
Before my mom was in a Memory Care Community, she lived in the same home for 52 years. The last year she became anxious and nervous and when she had visitors (whether me or my son and his family or church friends) she would always say, "you need to take me home". At first, we tried "convincing" her this was her home, showed her photos, the old piano, her room, her stuff. She was still convinced it was someone else's home. She has been in memory care (where she is safe 24/7 and I have reclaimed my sanity and life) for about six months, and when I go see her, usually the first thing she says is, "are you here to take me home?" I truly believe "home" is not a physical place, they way we think of "going home", but more a place of nostalgia, safety and long ago memories of the past with "momma and daddy".
I have limited my visits with her because when it is time for me to go, she gets upset, so I've had to be quite creative (I have to get back to work, I have an appointment to get to, etc.) and I have relied extensively on "therapeutic fibs". At first, I felt horrible not being truthful, but truth is relative. The real truth versus her imagined truth. So we do and say whatever we need to make her feel comfortable and less anxious. I do take her to the dentist and certain doctor appointments that cannot be addressed in the community (they don't like the word 'facility') and upon returning, she wants to know where we are, what is this place, etc. I tell her she is having dinner with her friend Sandy (another resident who is not as progressed in her memory issues as mom). When she asks if I'm staying for dinner, I say, "no" BUT... I'll be back later to pick you up and take you home. Five minutes (or less) after I leave, she has forgotten that I was even there.
I beat myself up for awhile before making the decision for memory care, but I had to put her safety and security ahead of my emotional turmoil. Now that she is there, I am feeling myself again, my husband and I can do things together without having to worry about falls, wandering, telephone calls every five minutes, and so on.
I now ask myself, "Why didn't we do this sooner?" The signs were there, but I felt I was not doing my "job" as her daughter if I wasn't able to keep her home and allow her to "age in home"... but it became more of a risk for her and a mental and emotional nightmare for me. She did live on her own, but I had companions come during the day and a couple of evenings a week (on the nights we didn't go over to have dinner with her and visit). I had handrails installed in the hallways, cameras throughout the home and outside, the bathroom remodeled with safety grab bars and the tub converted to a low curb, step in shower. But in the end, it all boiled down to her safety. When it was obvious that all that had been done to make her home safe, but it still wasn't enough, we had to make that difficult decision. So my takeaway is this... You HAVE to consider your life as well, You have to put safety over emotional martyrdom, It's ok to tell them what they "need" to hear to remain calm and happy (or at least not anxious). Just hold her hand even for a brief moment, don't forget to say, "I love you, mom (or dad)". Dementia has taken the person you once knew as a vibrant, intelligent, thriving person away. They can't help it. They hallucinate, hear things, believe things and mash together things from the past and things that may have happened recently. It is the progression of the disease. Sorry for the long post, but it has also been therapeutic for me and I hope that some of my insights may help someone.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to CarolW61
Dormasgirl Jun 20, 2024
Thank you for this post. It was very helpful for me. I live out of state from my mom who has advanced dementia (86 years old). She is currently living with her partner/boyfriend (74) and he is amazing, but I know getting tired. I travel back and forth frequently, talk to her everyday. She knows me usually. However she continues to say she either wants to go home (we are selling the family home for her care) or that she doesn't have a place to eat or sleep or that she is being tossed around. It is very upsetting. She has a wonderful place that be right now, but memory care seems to be coming soon. I just don't know how to transition her to that. We are keeping her close to where she is so he will be able to visit. I am able to make the trips easier...this whole process is so hard. My husband has been/is so supportive. But this is my mom. And we were so very close. I miss her......
My situation is in at least some ways similar to what you are describing.

Well, I made the mistake and fell for it and did take him back to his house. We still have his house, with things in it, have not got around to start to clear things out.

FOr those following my posts, they already know that my dad had been incessantly bugging me about moving back home. However finally in the past 2 months or so, he is realizing /getting resigned to the fact that he will be living in a facility from now on. HOwever, he was bugging me to "take him back one time to get some clothes and things he wants to bring to the AL". The aunts and uncles were then calling me and saying "just take him one time", since he was bugging them and telling them I wont take him. It seemed that getting clothes, a few things and photos seemed reasonable. My dad said it would "just take an hour". Well, we were there for 4 hours and it was hard to get him back out! He went through clothes, shelves, old things, started to go through old photo albums (I said, "why not bring some back with you and go through them at your leisure?" He replied " no they belong here and I want to come here once in a while to look at them"). Then he asked " Do you ever think I'll be able to move back here?"> I answered "no". Then later he said "I will one day figure out a way to move back here".

In hindsight it was a mistake and it set him back for a couple of weeks from the progress. He wanted to go again and look through more stuff within "1-2 weeks" but I have not done that and he has dropped it for now. I wont take him back any time soon. So that's the cautionary tale.

So, as others have advised, you can take her out for lunch etc if you want, but don't go anywhere near the house, or she will recognize that you are close and want to go. Perhaps just go places in the opposite direction!
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to strugglinson
BurntCaregiver Jun 21, 2024

It always causes setbacks when a person is taken out of AL to go back to the home they left.
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I wouldn't take her out anywhere, period.

Get a mini cake, pie, special dessert or similar treat and bring it with you when you visit. When she starts the want to go over routine ("to get some things"), tell her you will bring them next visit and promptly leave.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Dawn88

You need to change the subject. Example: So mom how was your ice cream good huh? Made me feel better, I loved my ice cream, oh you know the best ice cream shop I have ever been too is... do you remember when I was a kid and we went for ice cream and ABC and then we did XYZ. XYZ was my favorite place I played this game and then I lost but then I won this...
My favorite game is ...
And just continue to change the subject.
Never, never, never take her to the house she will cry, throw a fit whatever and then you will feel bad.
When you visit her take a photo album of her relatives, reminisce about the good ol' days. Let her tell you stories of those days. Eventually you will not be able to take her for a ride or ice cream however enjoy while you can and let me repeat DO NOT TAKE HER CLOSE TO THE OLD HOUSE.
Prayers for you and yours!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Ohwow323

It's almost like you wrote my identical story and scenario! I can only provide sympathy, since I'm newly into having put my narcissist mom in memory care. But already, with the helpful advice of many in this forum, I've decided that it's ok to stay away more (for our mental health) and not even go see Mom. The trained staff at the facility will take good care of her needs. They weren't emotionally abused by her and are impervious to her attempts to manipulate. Your actual loyalty is to your hubby and marriage. Not to Mom. And yes, I'd highly recommend getting the advice of a good counselor, to help dispel any guilt on your part. Sympathy and good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Ninecats
strugglinson Jun 22, 2024
well said
Thank you so much for posting this, Mary1159! This is my first time on the site and I'm so glad I found it!

I am experiencing the same as you and others, with my 95yo mom. She's been living alone since her husband passed in 2016, in a much too large house and few friends, no relatives to help her. I live out of state and desperately tried to get her to move closer to me or at least into a smaller facility/preferably a type of assisted living facility, but she dug her heels in and wouldn't budge.

Fast forward to last November when she fell in her home (found out this was the 4th or 5th fall of the year) and she ended up in the hospital with 8 broken ribs and a punctured lung. Fortunately, I was visiting and called 911. She fell in her bedroom after losing her balance and I woke up to her screaming. In the hospital she was delirious from the pain/pain meds and experienced horrible hospital delirium. Said horrible things to me (only child), wild stories, etc. Her doctor referred her to a rehab center a month later. She was in rehab until March this year, didn't get a lot accomplished. Hasn't walked on her own since she fell. She's now in the Long-Term section of the facility and has turned into a real bear.

Dementia has set in hard, most likely due to the fall. She also hit her head. She is telling tall tales and insisting I take her home or she will "disown me, make me regret it, you'll be sorry, as soon as I have pen to paper, you're out of the will, I'm revoking the POA", etc. She has no other family to help her. Her half-sister won't come visit or help in any way. I've asked. She lives out of state, as well.

I've been out to visit a lot since her fall. I missed all the holidays, husband's birthday, staying out here with her 4 of last 6 months. I've finally decided I too, need to stop feeling guilty and start taking better care of myself and MY life. My mother harasses me about her going home every visit. She's verbally abusive. We've butted heads a lot. Two strong personalities. She never forgave me for moving away, although I left home at 18 and never lived in the same place as her again. She worked and moved around but felt I always should've lived closer to her. Yet, she wouldn't sell this house and move closer to me. Refused every suggestion I gave her. Meals on Wheels, Life Alert, Assisted Living, etc.

Anyway, apologies for the long post. I guess writing all of this down is cathartic. I hope you and everyone else here with this problem have more better days than not, with your loved ones. I sincerely empathize with you all. This is a horrible disease and so difficult to watch a once vibrant, intelligent person turn into someone you don't recognize. As much as my mom and I butted heads over the years, I sure do miss her. Best of luck to us all!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to TamaleV
BurntCaregiver Jun 21, 2024

If your mother is permanently in long term care, her house has to be sold.

You have your POA and she has dementia. So you can sell her house or any other property to pay for her care.

There's nothing she can do other than rant and rave and carry on. So limit the visits and cut the phone calls short.

You're not doing anything wrong here.
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For starters, you have to get your mind around the fact that your mother does not have a 'home' (as in her own house anymore). Her home is the AL facility she lives in now. A lot of times it's hard for adult kids or spouses to deal with the fact that their childhood homes or the homes they shared with their spouse no longer exists.

You say that after 8 months she's still not adjusting to AL. How do you know this? Have you talked to the staff? Or sent someone she doesn't know in to observe her?

I was a supervisor in a high-end AL facility. I saw with my own eyes residents who did very well and actually enjoyed life in the AL. There was always some activity or another going on.

The second one of their family members called or showed up, the change in them was like flipping a switch. They'd go from being content and having a good day right to the demanding and begging to go home. Then the crying, the misery, the negativity, and the orneriness would follow. The minute their family member was out the door or the phone was hung up, they went right back to their content, good day.

You maybe should give yourself a few weeks off from visiting. Call once or twice a week instead.

Would it be possible to hire a companion for your mother a few hours a week? Someone who can take her out and spend some time with her? She might like it.

Whenever she brings up the going home, ignore it. Refuse to engage in any conversation about taking her back home. She is home. The AL is her home.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

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