My mother is in AL but insists on visiting her old house. Is it ever a good idea to do this?

Follow
Share

Visiting her old house if for no other reason than to look around. I believe my mother is looking for normalcy after moving into AL. A visit to her house with her a few months ago was a complete disaster... Crying, yelling, and a determination to move herself back. I had to drag her out of the house. My mother was diagnosed with Major Neurocognitive Disorder (Dimentia) possibly due to Alzheimer disease, so her short term memory is not good. I always try redirection, but, she is fixated on getting to the house. (she does not even remember the last visit.) Everyone tells me, it is NOT a good idea to take her to the house for a visit. It will only reinforce her the idea that she can take care of herself. Have you experienced this? (house went through an estate sale w/o her knowledge and up for sale next week.) Can't afford to keep it. Talk about guilt... Is this the norm?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
18

Answers

Show:
I'm an 85 year old woman who recently moved to an independent living facility because I found it difficult to care for my apartment and prepare nutritious meals. I miss my independence, but focus on living in the present. I believe visiting my apartment would have a negative effect on me.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Yep...Quite the norm, and everyone who told you it's a bad idea is right. It would just make a bad situation worse. And....Screw the guilt trip. Do what ya gotta do. She'll be fine.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Take the advice of others, do NOT take Mom back to see her house again. I've never been through that, but from what I have read on the forums here, it can turn into a disaster.

When my Mom was in long-term-care, she wanted to go "home" but for her I realized "home" meant her childhood home in another State. I would say "maybe tomorrow" and that would settle her down, until the next day.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Bringing her back led to obsessing for days. Crying, carrying on with blaming the kids. My SIL took her back when I told her not to, as the house was being cleaned out. Seeing her stuff fly out the door broke mom down.
The second time, mom said she just wanted to drive by. Then she asked sis to stop. Immediately mom exited the car and a verbal battle ensued. More crying, more anxiety, more depression. Don't do it.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? There are meds that can help this level of agitation and obsession.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

No.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

LOL JessieBelle!!! I saw your comment and thought, "What in the world is that gal talking about?"

But on topic, I agree with everyone. Not a good idea to go back to the old house. My dad's house (our childhood home) was on the market and staged and I could not get it into his head that it wasn't his house anymore. I think he figured that if it was empty and still standing it was his. He insisted on moving back in. He thought it was great that it was staged! He wouldn't have to go out and buy more furniture! So I finally get him off of the moving back in thing and he states, "Then I'll just pitch a tent and live in the backyard!"

It was a side of my dad I had never seen before and he didn't even have dementia but he was completely irrational when it came to this house. I hadn't found this website at this point in my dad's life so I didn't know that elderly people could get like this. I just thought he was going crazy.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Maybe you can come up with a therapeutic fib, like the house flooded and they're having to do a lot of work -- something along that line. I hope that soon she'll forget about it and make the best of her life there.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

What a terrible, terrible idea to revisit the old house! What purpose would that serve?? She won't want to leave, she'll make plans to move back in, and her number one topic of conversation from then on will be "when are we going back to my house? I want to see my house again." Tenfold from what she's saying now! Oh, It would be a huge disaster. Re-visiting the house is not going to put the question to rest, but rile her up to levels un-imagined. She needs an anti-anxiety pill, not just an anti-depressant.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It's very important to keep the Alzheimer/dementia sufferer in the present moment and if already in a home, sidestep all requests to take him/her home. Find elusive answers. The day I told my friend that she would never be going home was emotionally upsetting for both of us, and she had already forgotten it the next time I saw her. I kept bringing pictures to put up on the wall and photos of people she had known decades ago, plus some more magazines and makeup, and the questions stopped. Chocolate biscuits also helped!!
So make your person very comfortable in the here and now, and that will distract them from asking questions.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.