Mom was just moved to a skilled nursing facility a week ago. This is new for her, and she’s not happy. She just wants to go home. With a diagnosis of moderate dementia, she cannot live alone anymore, and she refused to allow me to hire help to come in. She does not believe she needs help, maintains that she can take care of the apartment herself, etc. (It’s been me doing everything, driving an hour to her apartment, grocery shopping, preparing meals, changing sheets, doing laundry, emptying the commode, cleaning the bathroom, helping her shower & shampoo, etc. She has a house cleaner who comes in once a month, and that is the only thing she has been willing to allow.) She couldn’t manage taking her pills anymore, either, and she won’t allow us to have someone come in just to give her the pills twice a day. So, the SNF is what we’ve come to. ANYWAY, visits have been mostly fine, but it’s always hard when it’s time for us to leave. We have learned that if we say, “I’m going to head home now,” that sets her off asking, “Who’s going to take me home? How will I get there? What do you MEAN I have to stay here?! WHY?! I WANT TO GO HOME!!”

So, I’m curious how you make your exit without setting up a scene? I can’t just disappear. I walked out of her room the other day to find her a newspaper and she really lost it, because she didn’t know where I went and started screaming my name.


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I hear you loud and clear, Poetry. Sounds like my situation. So sad.
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Reply to Quint41

I have the same horrible problem, when I am visiting, and I am almost every day there for one two hours, even, if the day is good day for her and she chat a little bit with my son or daughter, but then, when we are leaving, she immediately saying:" I am going with you." We never pronounce word Home, we always saying we are going to work, even if its sunday (she does not know usually the day of the week), but then she is asking when you ll be back? My first answers were tomorrow, but that led her to huge agitation, therefore now I am answering that I come as soon as possible after work, or after dinner....Then I am leaving and crying on the parking lot...I have similar situation, she can't stay home alone and the aid I can have only for 6 hours and its not enough for her now's situation, and even worse, she was never previously listen to any of coming home aids.... But she was living with me for 15 years, so its hard not only for her, but for me too. But I never pronounce the word home. She (being in mild dementia) think sometimes that we also living in the same facility, just in different rooms...
And yes, we try never sit in her room, only in commons area, otherwise its even more tough to leave
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Reply to poetry21

Thanks for all your responses. My mom is a tough nut, I’ll tell you! She doesn’t enjoy reading anything anymore, does not do puzzles, activities, etc., so there is no “engaging” her in something before I leave. She wants to visit in her room because it’s quieter, so no bringing her to a table of other residents before I go! I tried leaving once when she fell asleep, and she woke up screaming my name because she knew I disappeared! I retired last year ... maybe I need to tell her I got a new job? LOL. Who doesn’t love Teepa? I have not read “Being Mortal,” just downloaded it to my Kindle. Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming.

Yesterday we told her that we had not eaten lunch yet and had to go get lunch ... it was 2:30. She accepted that. Maybe I should come up with a bunch of excuses like this, write them on slips of paper and pull a different one each day to change it up ... lunch, doctor, dentist, haircut ... 😝😝
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Reply to Quint41

I say "see you later" and ask what kind of treat he wants me to bring on my next visit. If he asks me where I'm gong I always tell him to work.
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Reply to TNtechie

I can’t imagine how awful that must feel.
Watch some Teepa Snow videos on YouTube to learn some techniques for loved ones with dementia. Read the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.
Know that this stage will pass.
Hugs for you and your mom.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

My Mom is in a Memory Care Unit with Dementia and Major Depression.  I time my visits so that they are before Mom is going to have lunch (9:30 AM-11:15 AM) or supper (4:00 PM to 5:15 PM) or 7 PM - 8:30 PM.  I stay for 1-2 hours maximum unless it is a special occasion.  When my brother and his wife come from out-of-state, they eat lunch or supper with Mom at least once during their visit and then plan the rest of their visits like I do.  I used to eat a meal with Mom, but it is too painful emotionally to watch her eat--now that she has to use a divided dish, a two-handle Sippy cup, and has to have her food ground up. 

I used to visit after lunch from 1:00 PM to 2:30 or 3:00 PM, but Mom would get upset when I told that I needed to go home and/ needed to run some errands; and suggested she (Mom) might want to take a nap.  She would fight the nursing staff when they tried to take her to the toilet or lay her down for a nap right after I left.
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Reply to DeeAnna

Mom...I am going out for a bit, I will be back later, do you want me to bring you anything when I come back?

Mom...I have a Doctor's appointment I will be back later...

Before you leave maybe bring Mom to a table of other residents and give her a magazine or get her engaged in a project then you can quietly leave.
If she takes a nap maybe you can help get her into bed then leave...

My Husband was at home (I had caregivers that would come in) and when I left I always told him I was going to work, I will be back alter then I would give him a kiss and be off. (he would give me a kiss back!) As soon as I got back I would go over and tell him I was home and give him a kiss.
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Reply to Grandma1954

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