Mother thinks she’s coming home, should I tell her she isn't? - AgingCare.com

Mother thinks she’s coming home, should I tell her she isn't?

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She has been in NJ for one year, still thinks she’s coming home. The NH psychiatrist said to not take away her hope and tell her. I’ve been seeing therapist for guilt etc for her being in NH, and she thinks I should tell her. Confused!

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OBnurse,
I, too, had that problem with my mother. At stage 5 Alzheimer's she was no longer capable to live alone. But she said that no one would "ever" put her in a nursing home. I had to trick her to get her in memory care. I didn't visit the first 2 weeks to let her settle in, on their advice. When I visited, she physically attacked me for what I did.

She kept saying she wanted to go home and I found "therapeutic fibs" worked the best. My mother was a proud defiant woman who had lived alone for the previous 30 years. It just made more sense to placate her than to rub her nose in the fact that she was too senile to ever leave supervised care.

I agree with the NH psychiatrist-don't burst her bubble. Her dementia will progress and, at one point, she will forget about this aspect of her life. My mom doesn't ever mention it anymore. Poor thing, she can't think of anything. 😢

You seem to be suffering from guilt due to placing her there. Why should you feel guilty? It would be irresponsible of you to let her continue (in her state of mind) at her own home without supervision.

I suffered from sadness that now I was the "mother" and she was dependent on me. Also, I was nervous. Would I make the right decisions?
I felt helpless regarding her condition and scared to think I've got to watch as Alzheimer's eats my mother's brain and she mentally wastes away.
But no guilt, because I knew I was doing the right thing.

Their disease not only affects them mentally, it affects us mentally too.

Tell your therapist to put herself in your mothers shoes. Would she want to hear she's doomed to spend her last years there when she doesn't want to? It sounds like the therapist wants to relieve YOU of your "guilt" (at any cost) by telling your mother a fact that she can't comprehend nor accept.

Yes, you are lying to your mother-something we were never supposed to do. But we lie because we love them and want them to be as stress-less as possible. Because of this, we pay a high price from "guilt". Come to grips with making her life easier with therapeutic fibbing. Acknowledge your other feelings but I don't think guilt is one of them.
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For the record, for the first few days I was playing the “Just till you get better” game. But mom was ready to go home right NOW....

So I still let her think that someday, maybe, whatever, .......I don’t say THIS IS THE END OF THE LINE

We just have to say whatever it takes to keep elders calm, especially when dementia is involved, which seems to be true in about 95% of cases as folks get to the mid 80s.

And it’s still hard for me emotionally.  I have to fight the instinct to give mom comfort. Maybe someday I can. Right now she needs to adjust and not deal with the evil son who put her in this horrible place.
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Thanks for the support, today was a rough visit. Some days I feel like I’m abandoning her. It helps to hear so many similiar stories.
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Thanks for the support, today was a rough .visit. It helps to hear so many similiar stories.
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My husband and I are thinking his mother will have to go from rehab to a nursing home. We are thinking we will try to persuade her that it's a temporary thing until she gets her strength back. And we don't know for sure that won't be the case. Just because it seems unlikely in the extreme doesn't mean it can't possibly happen. Miracles do happen. Just not very often.

I would let your mother keep on hoping. After all, it isn't impossible, just very very very (many many verys) unlikely. Maybe eventually she will get used to the idea that she lives in a NH now. Maybe not. Either way, I see no reason to take away her hope of leaving.
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Windy, seems there are so many of us! I hope I can get to your stage where I am sleeping a little better. Just when I start, something else seems to go wrong.
Obnurse, My mom is also in NJ and I am out of country!
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Pull back. I had to place both my parents in care about a month ago. I will never convince my mom why she has to be in care. She has early dementia and Dad has advanced dementia.

I talk to staff, get reports, arrange for this or that, but I don’t talk to mom right now. It serves no purpose. They are fine, or as good as it gets anyway.

Mom will never accept her fate until her dementia worsens and maybe not even then. I’m dealing with it. It’s not my fault. I’m starting to sleep better now.
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Obnurse, you are not alone. My mother also gets very nasty about wanting to come home. I have told her many times and tried to explain to her she can't and why she can't. She gets more upset and tells me what a crappy person I am, etc, etc. I'm thinking of trying some of these other tactics as people have mentioned and tell her therapeutic fibs. I will see if it helps. I'm just scared if she remembers I say "maybe tomorrow" she will actually remember and then I feel I am lying to her! It's all very confusing but fighting with her hasn't been pleasant and has left me feeling angry and hurt. Hang in there...we will one day find what works best for them and for us.
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Part of the issue is that every time I visit her,which is two to three times a week, she gets very nasty about coming home, which turns into her saying very nasty things and me leaving upset. This stress is gonna kill me.
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Obnurse62, please note when an elder says they want to go home, the home they are talking about is usually their childhood home, back when life was easier and fun.

I remember my Mom asking to go home. At first I thought it was the home that she and my Dad had shared. After awhile and with some clues i realized it was her childhood home, especially when she asked to see her sisters and her parents. My Mom was 98 years old. I had to use "therapeutic fibs", like saying "maybe tomorrow" as I knew my Mom wouldn't remember the conversation later on. It made her happy in the moment.
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