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She keeps saying she wants to go home. I had to move my mother from assisted living to a memory care unit because she was wandering and unable to dress herself. Now every time I call her she immediately says she needs to go home or she wants "to go back." The memory care unit director says she is doing well and participating in activities but I don't know if I can believe it since my mother starts every conversation with me with a request to go home. I am afraid to visit since I think that will just make things worse. when she was in assisted living I used to take her out shopping but the memory care director recommends I not do that until she's been in memory care for at least a month.

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My mom asks often - I find that saying she is on list to a nice place near me [true] stalls the asking to move on - when she asks why she's there, I tell her until her walking is better or her hand is more functional so that I'm implying that it is mainly rehabilitation as to why she lives in a NH

When I visit I always bring something with me - a special coffee, a plant, a pix of family, bakery cookie, nail kit to do her nails pretty, etc - after a while she associated me with pleasure so she greets me with a smile as soon as she recognizes me - this is much like Pavlov's dog in that she sees me & that equals something good for her - this makes it so much better for both of us

When she asks about money I always use the same figures - but what she is really asking is can she afford to be there - I tell her there is enough money until she is 119 years old - she laughs & seems to remember deep down that there is no worry there because it is now every 4 to 5 months she asks about this now -

Get some pat answers ready & I use odd figures because they seem more accurate [like 119 not 120] which puts the answer on a more solid base - this shows you are on top of things for her - whenever something is good that I built on but she started [like investing in stocks etc] then I say that all her work she did years ago is paying off well for her now - it never hurts to boost the ego in anyone if you can legitimately do so

With a new place for your mom, now you start learning staff names - this effort pays off for everyone - you connect better with someone when you know their name, staff feel they are appreciated, if there is a problem you know who to talk to - don't try to do all those names at once but 1 name every 2 weeks is manageable - start with those working daily with her not the front office
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Wanting to "go home" is common. My mother-in-law with Parkinson's dementia wants to go home. What she means is actually a time at her home when she was not bed bound, had active social life, and was not demented. The going home lament in her case could never happen anyway. But she still keeps insisting.
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Have the director take pictures, or videos, for you...it helps.

One way with you, another when you're not there. It's simple manipulation. Acting like it's all "bad". It's unintentional on their part, sort of. No one wants to move out of their home, they're extremely attached to their idea of it. And returning to a child-like nature, feeling vulnerable and alone. It's understandable...

I explained to my parents each time they asked, and I told them the truth, 'it's not possible, and i'm so sorry. Your conditions warrant more help than i can give alone at home'. They understood, even in their dementia...
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my mom was just moved to memory care about 10 weeks ago. She is reported doing great and the staff love her. She hasn't mentioned anything about home, car, money, bank, etc and that alone is astonishing since those are the things she lived for and fiercly protected.

Like you, the transistion team asked that we not visit until she settled in. Based on her history (yelling, screaming demanding rights at home) we agreed for the skilled team to determine that timing. They report to me weekly (more often if i wanted) and send me pictures. Mom looks content and happy so I'm leaving well enough alone for now. If she asks for me I will go ; but like you dont want to upset the apple cart and bring back memories of her house, car, etc. which she will accuse me of stealing, etc.

I'm fine with it and actually consider it a "break" from the worry and stress of caring for mom long distance. Now she's in a safe and healthy space and thriving.

It is so hard. I knew it would be but now am grateful she is in memory care and I didn't have to move her to AL and then again where she would be traumatized twice.

Take this time as a mini blessing and let the experts support and care for mom in the interim. It will be good for mom to adjust and good for you to just care for yourself, re-engage with family and friends and concentrate on getting her affairs in order if you haven't done so already with regard to banking, assets, etc.
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PJmoma, my mother with Alzheimer's has mentioned "going home" at least once daily to me for several years now, both during the time she lived with me and now that she's in a nursing home. She also mentions my name constantly whether I'm actually sitting and talking with her in person or when I'm not there (they always tell me that at the NH), so she really doesn't recognize me. She does both whether she appears to be having a good time or not or no matter how many people she has around her. You really can't win, and it can make you feel sad. Fortunately, mom is easy to console and/or distract most of the time.

I actually just took her out of a large more crowded corporate memory care place and moved her to a much smaller nonprofit skilled nursing long term care and rehab facility 5 minutes away from me, since she is now not walking or wandering and is basically wheelchair confined. Best thing I could have done, I believe. This new place is so much nicer; she gets more one-on-one care, the place is homier, cleaner, brighter and more open, food is better, many staff members have been there for years and consider it family. Only a few of the residents have Alzheimer's as a primary diagnosis, but staff includes my mom in a lot of their gatherings. But guess what? She still wants "home."
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The request to "come home" is normal. This is most likely what you will always hear.

I have friends with parents in Memory Homes and they visit daily. They bring nutritional shakes.

Please, do not be afraid to visit - I'm sure she needs to see your face and feel your hugs.
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Pjmoma,
It may be difficult, but, I would try to learn to accept that she might say this over and over. It's hard to do, but, it's something that you learn to put in a certain place in your mind.  You do that because you know she's now safe.  You know she's where she needs to be, but, she is not able to process that mentally. She may continue to say it or she may progress to another stage, where she doesn't say it that much. That's what happened with my LO. It might take time....weeks, months or years.

Also, keep in mind that with many patients who have dementia, they repeatedly ask to go home, EVEN when they are already in their home. So, taking a person with dementia to a certain geographical location, does not always satisfy their requests. People with dementia often are agitated, confused and challenging to be around. It sounds like your mom is doing well at the MC facility. I'd try to visit her, when you are ready and have a plan of what you are going to say in advance. Stick with the plan and limit the time you stay, so you don't get overwhelmed. Eventually, the visits may become enjoyable. That has been my experience.

Oh, I'd learn to accept that you will not likely be able to convince her to stop asking to go home.  Once you accept that no talk will work, it might help the stress level.  Even if you do convince someone, they will likely forget it, so, you'd have to do over and over throughout the day.
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If you have met relatives of other residents, inquire how your mother appears to be doing when you are not there. It might ease your pain and guilt. She associates you with home - a pleasant place to be - so asks to go there.

An answer that might help your mother is one I was taught, "I'll take you home as soon as the doctor says it is ok. While we are waiting for his ok, let do this today"
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My Mom lives with me at this time but she'll be moving into a Memory Care facility in July. She will often say I need to go home or I bet you wish I would go home. I always just smile and say something like you silly old woman and she always laughs. I pray she does well in the MC. She needs more stimuli than I can give. My mom is a sweetheart and makes friends easily. This weighs on my heart but I've not had any help from my 2 brothers and I'm tired.
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Hi. My mom's in assisted living now and I dread the day that she will have to move to memory care. Every change is huge for them isn't it. I'm afraid I don't have any wisdom but offer you my support. Hugs!!
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