How much more time to give her to adjust? My boyfriend's mother moved to independent living continuing care facility 2 months ago. (She is 78 years old.) And about 1-2 times per week, she calls him saying she wants to go back home.

We have been visiting her weekly and she moved with all her furniture. She still says she wants to move back.

She has trouble walking (which is somewhat improved in this facility) and uses only a cane or walker. She was using a wheelchair some at her house. But she was having more issues in the large home she was in. It was not kept clean anymore, rotting food in the refrigerator, she accidentally left the stove on, set fire to food in the microwave, and she was spending all her time just watching tv by herself....unless her son and I visited and took her out.

Also her memory was getting worse. She couldn't remember which pills she took. Luckily it was just vitamins and now one cholesterol pill. She started to miss paying bills and kept asking to buy more and more food, even though she already had 5-10 boxes or cans of what she wanted in the pantry.

On the other hand, she still gets lost in the new facility and it is not very big. She is doing some activities and joining others for dinner. But then she calls and says she wants to go home. She doesn't like the neighbors are "monitoring" her daily activities and she misses her home. She lived at that house for 8 years. It was a 55 plus community.

So we do not know what to do? Just wait and hope she adjusts or move her back? Get her a companion? We are worried that the facility will want to move her to assisted living vs independent living if she keeps complaining and getting lost. We need advice.

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HI1994, should you let your boyfriend's Mom move back home? Re-read what you wrote in your third paragraph.... that enough should be reason NOT to let her move back to her previous home.

If your boyfriend's mother has some form of memory issues, wanting to go *home* could sometimes mean her childhood home, not her previous one.

Give her time to adjust to her new independent living facility, two months isn't all that long.
Helpful Answer (3)

Don't move her back home whatever you do. If you do, you will never be able to pry her away again for any reason. And based on what you wrote about leaving the stove on and rotting food in the fridge she shouldn't be living at home anyway.

Do just what you said: wait and hope she adjusts. If she moves back home she's going to need around-the-clock care. Leave her where she is, where she's safer than she is at home.

It's not uncommon to second guess your decision to place her in a facility. No one wants to go into a facility but give it more time. She may not come to love it but she'll adjust.

If she can afford it hire a companion a few hours a day. Have the companion encourage her to go to activities and sit with her at meal time. The companion can facilitate conversation between her and other residents and try to get her more involved.

I'm sure this is very difficult on your boyfriend. It's never an easy choice to place a parent in a facility but he needs to hang in there and stand by his decision. Many facilities have Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Care all in one place. This is because when someone begins living in Independent Living it's just a matter of time before they need Assisted Living. And once someone goes into Assisted Living it's just a matter of time before they have to move into Skilled Care. That's a lot of moving for an elderly person and is very upsetting to them. Having all 3 levels of care in one place makes it easier.

It will be difficult for your boyfriend as his mom makes her way through the system but he needs to be a rock and remember why he made the decision to begin with, because she wasn't safe at home anymore.

I'm a nurse and I work in home healthcare. Sometimes I have patients who live in facilities and they all tell me that they want to go home. Without exception, I hear this all the time. Maybe you can spruce up her apartment for her with pictures and wall hangings, maybe some plants....things to make it homey. No offense to men but most of them don't know how to go about doing that. Give her apartment a little makeover. Cozy it up. Hang a fall wreath on the door. Put a cute centerpiece on her kitchen table. Put out pictures in frames. Put some loose photos on the fridge with cute refrigerator magnets. Hang some large tassels from a couple of doorknobs. Toss a lovely throw over the back of the couch.

See if that doesn't help.
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She probably does not even remember how many times or how often she is asking to go home...and the wish to go home means a wish to go back to how things were, which is sadly not possible.

My mom wanted to go home but only once she could walk again, which never happened, and would not even let me make her facility rooms as homey as I would have liked because that would have meant it was not as temporary as she hoped. It is hard for them. They are in the process of losing "everything" in terms of health and independence, and most of them do not even realize why that is happening and why it can't be fixed. My mom eventually changed her hope to maybe getting an apartment here in Little Rock instead of going back to Pittsburgh to live alone in her old place, but that was shortly before we went on hospice...
Helpful Answer (1)

Stay your course!!! you got through the toughest part - getting her in.
She will do better - she cannot live alone...end of story.
You are keeping her safe and attended and accompanied - you should pat yourself on the back, not allow the guilt.

Remember the children who cry when they get dropped off at kindergarten? Same concept - they are there for their own good, even if it breaks your heart and eventually they get used to it.

Best of luck
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She cannot live alone. If she can afford 24-hour care at her home, it might be OK for her to move back. Can she afford that? If not, going home is really not an option.

I would love to live in a hotel, with room service, free entertainment, a lovely dining room, a nice pool ... or maybe just go on one cruise after another. Why don't I? Because I can't afford it. Your loved one would like to live at her house (she thinks) but the simple fact is it would be very expensive to arrange that to be safe for her. If she can't afford it, then that is just a fact like I can't afford everlasting cruises.

My husband asked again and again to go home during his first year of dementia. The fact, he lived in his own home throughout his entire ten-year dementia journey. Wanting to go home may be wanting to go back to the way things used to be, when they were "normal." There is absolutely no guarantee that if your loved one went home that she would stop asking to go home. Odd, but very common with dementia.
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Clear answer from 8 clients and 2 parents. DO Not MOVE them back home.

For my mother it took 18 month's. My other has Alzheimer's and now is happy as a clam.

The reason I answered that so early is because I saw the word Dementia. That is hard to be a caregiver for 24/7. I volunteered it for my mother, and did it professionally 24/7 for one year for a 65 year old. They needed to be in a facility.

They resist, of course they do, they are unfortunately declining, what i would do is stop in, and say you can stay for 20 minutes. That allows you to not feel so guilty, and now when I do that, I stay one hour, and my clients and mother are very happy.

My clients, I no longer watch but I am always the supporter for my past clients. I visit them now and then. Disappearing with Alzheimer's and Dementia to be is what I watched with my mother's friends, because of her disease. They do not show up all, and this is not fair to people, they are human, they have disease. Does that mean they are not worthy of being helped out or visited, NO, they are my former loving clients, and I will never abandon my clients, just because their life situation has changed does not mean they have disappeared.

Also, the person above put it well, "where is home" "home is where they are at the moment", it is not fair to them or anyone, "especially the people that put their hours input once in

Blessing and give it time. You will feel better and she ail too.

{I still say firm with allowing your loved one as much}
Helpful Answer (0)

she calls him saying she wants to go back home

Unless you are crazy as a box full of frogs don't bring her home.

Jolene Brackery writes in Creating Moments of Joy: New found Response to "I want to go home"
"When they ask to go home, they might be asking permission to leave this world.

IMCO, It should be OK to go home ..."
"It is more difficult for a person with dementia to "go home"
Is she asking permission to leave this world?
Are you ready and able to grant her permission?
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