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My 90-year-old mother has Alzheimer's, but has lived on her own. I am the only child and I live 5 minutes away. I spend a lot of time taking care of things for her and making sure she is safe, but occasionally when I have to go out of town, she stays at a very nice assisted living facility with some nursing care. She has been there about 4 times and has made some friends.
During this recent stay, she began wandering. They placed her on 30 minute watch and an ankle monitor. She took the monitor off twice.
My mom has been going downhill for last year. She struggles with her memory, but does a good job covering it up. I have met with her doctor about this issue and he wasn't very helpful. The nursing staff said that it wasn't safe for her to return home. I have spoken to close professional friends of hers and people at our local Alzheimer's Society and have agonized over this decision. But, I have made the decision it is not stay for her to return home.
The issue is my mom is expecting to return home. When I call, she asks continuously when will I return home from my trip, though I have been back for over a week. She associates me with her retuning home. I know she will be furious that she won't be going home, but I don't know how to break the news without upsetting her a great deal. I also don't know how I can visit her without causing her to become very angry.


Any suggestion to deal with this situation?

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I'm not sure how a non medical facility which an ALF is could make a decision about your mom returning home - especially if they now want 1;1 care hired

Where do you want mom to live ?

Does she have behavior issues other than wandering ?

I placed my mom in a memory care over a year ago directly from the hospital following a fall - she hates it and at nearly 94 still expects to come home - she told me her address the other night

In my experience there is no memory care - they largely ignore them and let them wander where they want - some folks sleep in their clothes and this is a private pay highly regarded expensive place

As for meds, it is better for me to make the decision than to let them take her out on a psych hold - I've seen it happen with others and it is not pretty - seroquel didn't work well and so we switched to another 

I have private aides with her 12 hours a day and it nearly doubles the cost and we will soon run through her savings and mine

There are no easy solutions and everyone's experience is different - since your mom is not in a crises then evaluate your options - having to make decisions when the clock is ticking does not always lead to good outcomes
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This is a tough conversation to have with Mom, and there are a couple of different ways that you can do it. However you need to see if you can find another Community if you cannot afford to pay for Care at home. There are some really good ones out there because wondering is actually a good thing it just needs to be controlled and if they are trying to kick her out because of her wandering they do not know how to manage someone with dementia. If she is staying in a community and you're not able to afford Care at home then the best thing to do is start having conversations with her on a very small scale ancelet's is ok. It could take up to several weeks for her to acclimate to the community or she may not actually made at all until her disease progresses and she no longer knows where she is at all.
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Maybe for the short term you could try...a pipe broke in the house, you need to stay here until the cleanup and repair....
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Jeannegibbs Thank you for your comments.

My mother is as healthy as a horse. Growing up I can't recall her every being sick. Not even a cold. It is why this disease is very difficult to accept. Also she is retired physician so it is difficult outsmarting her on the medical front.

However, I have been thinking about issue a lot over the last couple of days. Frankly, it is the facility/ nursing team where she is staying who have come up with this decision. They are the experts and they are getting paid a pretty penny for her staying there. I am going to push them to devise an acceptable approach in dealing with her. ( other than plying her with a bunch of drugs) I know she will be angry.
Regarding your last question, they are not able to handle her wandering so they have requested that we hire 1 to 1 care until something comes available in their memory unit.
It is tough balancing autonomy vs safety.
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Oh you poor thing! Isn't dementia the pits, for those who have it and those who love them?

It is good (I hope) that this is a familiar place that she has accepted for short stays.

Can you put off her returning home to the indefinite future? Does she have any infirmities that could be blamed? "Doctor said you can go home as soon as xxx improves." Or can you blame your job? "Mom, I got a promotion and I am so happy! But I'll be going out of town now very frequently, and sometimes on short notice. I can't have you staying at my house any more, because you would be alone too much."

Can the place she is at handle her wandering? Do they have a secure unit?
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