Do you have any experience with a packer and whether or not to talk with your loved one about what is wrong with her? - AgingCare.com

Do you have any experience with a packer and whether or not to talk with your loved one about what is wrong with her?

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Mom has been in assisted living for a little over three weeks and she has packed all of her things five times. Today, we visited and were going to take her out for lunch. When we arrived, everything was packed (including all of her pictures that were wrapped in towels). I have unpacked her four times, but I'm thinking that I might just let things stay packed up for awhile. After we walked into her room, she immediately asked my husband to take her home. When I told her she wasn't ready to go home yet, she began angry and lashed out at me verbally. We did go out to lunch, but the whole time she discussed going home as if it was a fact and was happening today. I realized that she has no idea how far she is from home because she kept saying, you can just run me by home. Home is 75 miles away. How do you handle it when your loved one continues to pack up their things to go home? Also, how do you stop yourself from telling your loved one what is really wrong with them? I have been advised not to tell her she has dementia/alzheimers but sometimes I have to fight the urge to just sit down and talk to her about it.

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This is so sad for all of you, but especially the one thinking their situation is temporary. My MIL is in ICU right now and thinks she has just been waiting for a ride home, ie: my husband and I. We have to explain every visit that we have to wait until we get permission from her Dr. Then we go to cafeteria for meal and come back and do it all over again. I think letting her unpack will make the connection mentally and emotionally for her. SHE will be setting up her room. God Bless all of you.
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Oh, and by the way, my husband used to pack a little bag and wait patiently by the door or window for the train that would take him home ... when he was at home!
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I'm inclined to think leaving everything packed for a while might be useful. Perhaps as she needs things she will unpack them herself.

Three weeks isn't really long enough to settle in to a new environment, so (let us hope!) this problem may lessen in time.

Who advised you not to tell her her diagnosis? That is a real difficult decision and I'm sure that one size does not fit all. Are you sure that the kind of dementia she has in Alzheimer's? What kind of a doctor diagnosed it? What stage is she in? What are her current symptoms? If you did explain to her that she is having problems with memory and with confusion (perhaps without explicitly saying "dementia") would she understand that? Would she remember it?

Some people find comfort in knowing that there is something specific wrong with them ... that there is a reason for the frightening lapses in their memory and judgement and it isn't their fault. They are glad to know that others who know this about them are not appalled, do not blame them, and will stick by them forever. Others resist that idea at all costs, are in angry denial if they are told, and feel betrayed by the person who tells them.

I think this is one you have to play based on your knowledge of your mother. I would never tell my mother she has dementia. I definitely told my husband that he has dementia, and have discussed it with him many times. One size does not fit all. I hope you can put the clues together and come up with an appropriate plan for your mother.
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