My Mom (82) has had to move in with me and is miserably homesick. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom (82) has had to move in with me and is miserably homesick. Any advice?

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She lived in another state. I am her only family with whom she can live, it's impossible for her to live alone, because of a stroke and brittle diabetes, she is unwilling to leave the house. She seems to wallow in self-pity (even though it is understandable) and will not take any suggestions from me.
Good ideas anyone??

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Bring in possessions she treasured in her own home. Even pieces of furniture,
such as her curio cabinet the displays a few pieces of her wedding pattern plates, and nick-knacks like porcelain figurines. Even her own vases you can fill with flowers frequently. Serve her food on plates she ate from at her former home and also a few pieces of flatware. Wall hangings, bedspread. These are some suggestions.
Eventually she will begin to heal from homesickness and get accustomed to living with you as if it were her own home as well.
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I would check into a medication to help her feel better, but there are some good ideas above.

I might also see if you have any friends who have a baby to come visit. Most of the seniors I know, love seeing a baby or toddler. For some reason, they seem to hit it off. My 5 year old niece just loves my mother's best friend. She has advanced dementia and can't talk much, but she loves bringing gifts to my niece and playing with her. They are adorable together. They both seem to enjoy the visits.

What about a visiting pet? If you have a friend with a nice and calm dog, it might lift her spirits.

Also, what about music? Good music can really lift your spirits. Can she enjoy a nice glass of wine? Check with her doctor.

Does she attend church? Sometimes a local church has a senior day where they have lunch at the church and Bible study or prayer meeting. It could offer her much comfort and fellowship. Maybe the pastor could come visit her in your home.
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Elderly day program with transportation to & from.

Journal every day something about her outlook & demeanor. If this goes on consistently for a few weeks, then call the doctor. She may very well need an anti-depressant. This is not in the least bit unusual. Also keep short notes on what she is and is not able to do, so you can detect decline as it creeps up on both of you. Be aware that "I don't want to" is frequently a mask for "I don't know how anymore."

Look into where mom will probably need to be when her current capabilities deteriorate and she needs 24/7 skilled nursing oversight. This is not something a lot of people can realistically take on in their home and there is no shame or guilt in being part of the majority who couldn't magically transform into a skilled nursing unit.
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IF you were disabled or dead, where would she be. Problem with wanting her friends she is missing, how often did she actually see them.
her circle and cycle of life might not have been as rosy as she is making it out to be.
You have been asked how bad her stroke is, and is she a T1 or T2 diabetic, I seem to note that the T2s seem to use that as a big excuse for doing nothing. that its much worse than it really is, as it means a bit of self discipline for some of them for the first time in their lives. Yes for some it can be as 'serious' as T1.
I say this after working in a rest home a few years ago and hearing what they couldn't do.. but their control was good they just had to take a pill a day [plus the other 20 for all the other diseases but it seemed DIABETES was the big one. I am writing this, so that you are not being 'blackmailed by her' so many of the posts here lately are from desperate daughter syndrome type thing..
My house isn't insulated or at all suitable for anyone really elderly to live here, so I was under no pressure to have to choose between me and the rest home. My Ma's dementia also meant secure unit required.
Remember to look after yourself first.
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What damage did the stroke leave her with? Why would it be keeping her at home? Similarly, what about her diabetes keeps her from going out?

Can she walk well? If not, does she have a walker or other device, and/or a wheelchair? I worry about her isolation. I really like GA's suggestions for arranging interactions with others. And I'd try to get her out and about at least a little. Would she like to have a regular hair appointment? Go to the library once a week? Even walk around the neighborhood admiring neighbor's lawns?

I also agree with GA that if the move was recent she may need more time to adjust. I'd still encourage some social interactions on a small scale.

Is there anyone she might take suggestions from more readily than from you? Someone who could call her and ask if she's been to the great local library, for example? Is she respectful of doctor's recommendations?
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1. Get a list of her friends from her former home town and call them periodically when your mother seems to be really down.

2. I doubt if her friends have Skype ability, but perhaps their families do and could help set up some Skype sessions.

3. You could also help her write letters to them, choosing some lovely cards, adding flowery postage stamps and perhaps a few other decorative stamps.

4. Invite some of your friends over, specifically to meet her. Perhaps she'll feel flattered, perhaps not. But at least it would be social interaction, brought directly to her.


How long has she been living with you? If it's just a short time, she's probably still angry for being moved. Give her some space and time to adjust. If she doesn't, well, I really don't have any suggestions, but hopefully someone else will.

Good luck, and I hope she eventually recognizes that the move was for the better even if it's painful in the short run.
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What are the details of your home situation? Do you want to care for mom and are you up to this? This could be quite an undertaking.
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