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Our grandma has lived in assisted living for about a year. She frequently asks when she can go home, which she can’t as she would be unsafe living in her own home by herself, and there is no one who can be an in-home caregiver because everyone works full-time.


Whenever we go to see her, she will ask when she can go home, every 5-10 minutes or so pretty much any time we visit her. She hadn’t been back to visit her home since my cousins are now living there. We were worried she would be disturbed going to her home and seeing all of my cousin’s belongings in the home and not hers. We haven’t gotten rid of her stuff, it is in storage.


Recently, my cousin had a baby shower at the house and we decided to give it a try and bring Grandma. When she first pulled in to the driveway with my cousin, she started crying. Then the whole time she was at the baby shower, she kept asking where her stuff was and if she was able to come home to live. Like I said earlier, she asks the same questions every 5 or 10 minutes since she forgets she asks them. I felt this was rude of others to put her through this visit as she was clearly nervous about where her stuff went and just sat there with tears in her eyes. Also, I don’t think it was fair to my cousin who we were having the baby shower for because the focus ultimately became on Grandma and how she was doing, instead of celebrating the upcoming birth of the new baby.


My cousin who is closest to my grandma because she was raised near there (but now lives far away) was the one who wanted to have Grandma there and thought it would be ok, I think she wants her there to be like old times and isn’t thinking about whether it’s right for Grandma or not. I kept talking to my mom (daughter of my grandma) about how I didn’t agree with this particular cousin and that we needed to look at it from Grandma’s point of view, not ours. How would it feel to go back to your home and see that your stuff isn’t there, and that you can’t stay there?? Wouldn’t it just be better to go see her later at her assisted living, since she wouldn’t know any different, and would likely be more happy if we visited her there, like we regularly do?? My mom isn’t sure. Everyone has different opinions and I don’t want this to cause a family feud, but I think the ones who want her to visit at her old home, want it more for themselves than for her.


I wanted to get some other opinions from neutral parties because our family has different opinions about what to do. We just don’t know the right thing to do. I think we really need to make this choice based on what is best for Grandma and be careful not to want to bring her because “we” think it is the right thing to do. She would have no idea she is missing out on a celebration and would be very happy with us just bringing her some of the food and visiting her later.


Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!

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Thx for the ? . My son will be living in mom’s home after she moves to a NH. Uneasy about the changes to inside of the house that has to take place over time for her grandson to live there. BTW IMO a party situation was probably the roughest way for your mom to spend time at her old home. No ability to answer her questions or explain a d thing. Someone wasn’t thinking clearly if she wanted to ‘show off’ her design changes to the woman who had to leave her personally established nest to start again. Rough one.
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Going through the same thing with my mom, she ALWAYS asks why she can't be at home. Keep in mind, she has dementia and requires 24 hour care (wheelchair and left side is paralyzed due to a stroke 17 years ago). I always try to reason with her , which I know will not turn out well, and then I turn to my old faithful - "you cannot go home until the doctor releases you". Keep telling yourself that the brain is broken and you can not reason with anyone like that. Yes it is hard & yes it hurts, but that is the reality of the disease. Try to divert the attention to some thing more enjoyable - puzzle, cards, take a walk.... Wish you the best!
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Can you imagine how frightened you would be if you walked into your home tomorrow to find other people living there and all of your cherished possessions gone? She was probably terrified and very, very confused. I agree with Sunnygirl 1 and TN techie that she should not go back, as she will experience the same feelings each time.
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Doglover2 Sep 2018
I agree with you! Thanks for your answer, it will help me with examples to present to my family members who think bringing her there is ok.
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I think you already have your answer, there are just have some family members not ready to accept it.

Does anyone think Grandma enjoyed the trip back to her home where she repeated asked where her stuff was?

What's going to change for the "next" home visit that would create a different outcome? Maybe one of the family that wants a repeat visit should provide Grandma's transportation and companionship during any future visit so they can better witness Grandma's anxiety and confusion.

Have the celebration somewhere other than Grandma's home - maybe your Mom's home or the AL's party room. If that's not workable, then a separate celebration with Grandma at the AL after the main event so you could use some of the food would be a good choice. Or even scheduled the next day if that works better.
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I think you already have your answer, there are just have some family members not ready to accept it.

Does anyone think Grandma enjoyed the trip back to her home where she repeated asked where her stuff was?

What's going to change for the "next" home visit that would create a different outcome?

A separate celebration with Grandma at the AL, maybe after the main event so you could use some of the food would be a good choice. Or even scheduled the next day if that works better.
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There was just one event that upset grandmother and made her confused and unhappy. I don't think that I would repeat it. Once a person with dementia has reached a certain stage, leaving and then returning to the facility can be quite confusing and disorienting. They may not be able to process the transition. I would think that the facility discussed this with your family. And this would be even more true, with her returning to a former home.

Who is the POA and person who is making the decisions for grandmother's best welfare. I would think that they would look more into what is best for her and less as to other people who aren't well informed. Perhaps, you could text them a link for an article that talks about it. With returning to the house for the baby shower already having had a negative impact for grandmother, I'd be curious as to who would still insist on repeating it. Sounds odd to me.
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Doglover2 Sep 2018
Thanks for your response. There are 2 people who are the POA and one of them is the one who insisted on Grandma coming to the shower. I agree, I think it is odd as well. I think she was chosen as one of the POAs because she is very close to her and does great with the financial aspects, but at the same time, I think her closeness is a hinderance when it comes to making the decisions that have emotional consequences. I think that she wants it to be just like it has always been, and because she lives in a different state now, the few times she is able to come back, she doesn’t see the everyday issues like those of us who are close do, and I think she is kind of in denial about it. The other POA is more in the loop.
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