Mom is 86 and has dementia. My brother and I moved her into an ALF against her wishes when she was no longer safe in her own home. The facility is located one hour from me and is six hours away from her home. My brother and I share caregiving duties. He takes care of Mom's legal and financial business plus takes care of her home which is near where he lives. He faithfully visits her every two to three weeks for a weekend. I take care of Moms medical issues and manage her care at the ALF. I visit her every other day and take her to appointments, church, and on outings. My brother and I work very well together, keep each other informed, and are supportive of Mom and each other. We are very close.
When we were preparing to take Mom to the ALF eight months ago I told her that her home would be left as is and maintained, which we have done. It is paid for and costs are minimal. She was very upset to leave home. She kept saying that Dad (deceased 1988) built their home in which they raised their children and where they planned to live for the rest of their lives. Even after eight months in ALF she still doesn't understand why she cannot live in her home near her friends and extended family. This greatly saddens me as well because I understand her desire to be in the home she lived in for 70 years. We tried using round-the-clock caregivers before moving her to the ALF but the cost was prohibitive and she did not like having strangers in her home while she was sleeping.
While preparing to move to the ALF, I told Mom I would take her back to her home for visits after she got settled into the ALF. I imagined going back for a weekend visit every 4-6 weeks. I am still working full time but I don't mind making trips back home. The problem is that it has taken a long time for Mom to transition into the ALF. Even though she gets great care and likes her caregivers she has still not accepted the ALF as her residence. She still wants to go home. The first three months in ALF she would pack up her walker with clothes almost every night and roll it to the foyer where she was expecting me to pick her up to go home. She fell four months after moving and broke her hip. I stayed in the hospital/rehab with her 14 hours/day for a month. When she returned to the ALF she seemed to be more accepting of the situation but still asked to go home. Her dementia has progressed and she is less mobile now, relying more on her wheelchair.
That being said, should I take her home for a visit at Thanksgiving. We can stay in her home and I will arrange for extra help with her while there. She can see that her home is the same and visit with neighbors and family. I talked with her geriatrician and her said it could be good or bad for her. My brother and some close friends think it would undo a lot of progress that has been made in her transition to the ALF. I am left with the final decision. I promised her that I would take her back for visits before she moved and it would break my heart to not follow through. I also made it clear that she would have to return to the ALF afterwards. She said she understood.
Has anyone had experience with this situation?