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Old 12-30-2008, 04:47 PM   #1
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my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

help. my mother is crying all the time and says she cant take living in the nursing home anymore. she has dementia, but all the patients have altzheimers. sorry about the spelling. i did go on my trip with my family and it was wonderful. i called my dad several times and he said everything was ok. came home last nite and went to see my mom today. she begged me to take her home because she cant sleep there due to the other patients screaming all the time which is true. i dont know what to do and i dont know what to tell my father. they would have 24 hour care ,but my father i dont think could take all that commotion. i hate this so much. thanks, debbie

 
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:50 PM   #2
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

Sorry you are having this problem. I don't know how old your dad is and how physically and mentally strong. It takes a young, healthy superman type to deal full time with a Dementia patient.

Alzheimer's Disease is just one of the many forms of Dementia. It does not make anyone scream all night and I wonder what kind of care those patients are getting which allows this to happen. Have you seen it and heard it yourself or is it your Mom saying so? Maybe she has heard a scream or two and thinks it went on all night? Many Dementia patients are given enough sleeping pills to allow for a comfortable night for everyone.

You should speak to the person in charge at your Mom's unit. Ask if there are really ear shattering screams all night. It's useless to ask other patients because unfortnately their word cannot be trusted - they don't know what they heard last night.

Perhaps your Mom could get a little sleeping pill before bed and sleep right through the noise if there is any?

I visited my Mom often, and never heard any screaming at all in the NH where she was, but I admit I was never there late at night.

I would consult her doctor and other staff members, express your fears, and ask for their help and advice ... and be very skeptical of what a Dementia patient tells you.

Good luck!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 12-30-2008 at 05:53 PM. Reason: typos

 
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

My Mom has ALZ and my Dad has vascular dementia. They are both in AL. There is a constant struggle with Mom who is convinced that Dad wants to go home and she is determined to take him there. Every time I call I hold my breath until I determine if that is a "I want to go home" call or not. Dad is relatively happy. Mom is the one that wants to go home. Dad just wants mom happy. So when Mom starts wanting to go home and gets weepy he wants to take her where she will be happy. See the round robin they are on?

In our reality Mom does not want to go "home" but wants to go back to a time and place when she didn't have that fot in her head. When she was home she was not happy and it was somebody elses fault. To start with it was all Dad's fault because she had to care for him and he did nothing helpful. So we hired inhome health. Then it was "that woman" in the house all the time that was disrupting her life. Now that they are in AL, it is "that place" that is causing her problems. In reality Dad is relatively easy to care for and normally in a good mood happy wherever he is. "That Lady" was an absolute angel that would do anything possible for my parents. Dad loved her being there. They are now in a good facility and Mom is still unhappy. It took me a while to understand but it's not the place or the people around Mom that makes her unhappy. It is the fog that she carries around in her head that makes her unhappy and nothing can make that go away.

Mom has told me that "those people" at the facility don't listen to her and don't do anything. They do but Mom doesn't remember it. She tells me of people that wonder in and out of her apartment. It is just one individual and he is a life long friend of Dad's that ended up at the same facility. He loves to visit with Dad and Dad enjoys him being there. On and on it goes... Mom complaining and wanting to go home only to find out that her version of the story is not exactly true.

So if you did let Mom go home with Dad.... Mom would probably not be happy. The unhappy is a function of the disease and not the place she resides. Some like my Dad are happy and some like my Mom are unhappy. We get respits with Mom's desire to be somewhere else on in the antidepressants, antianxiety, and sleeping meds.

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

My Mom used to complain that Dad was too cheap to buy a few bucks worth of gas so she could go home to tell the family about one thing or another. Home in this case was 350 miles "up north" in northern Minnesota up by Grand Forkes. Not the home that she and Dad had lived in for 40 years but the home where she had grown up with her sisters and family.

I wouldn't lay much claim to what your Mom tells you. My Mom told me that she hadn't been able to have clean clothes for two weeks. My mother was a lady that changed her clothes before Dad came home from work every day. WEll, I was incesed about it. Headed straight to the head nurse. Mom was in a snit because her favorite top was in the wash and hadn't come back from the laundry yet. It had been gone a WHOLE DAY! So you really need to take what your mom is telling you with a pound of salt. Her reality is altered and so is her perception. And if she isn't happy at the home, she probably won't be happy back with your father either..and then he won't be happy either..then you will have a whole family of unhappies!

What you should do is to go and obserb your mom at the home without her seeing you. Watch to see if she is as unhappy as she thinks she is. My guess is that she only thinks she is sad. In reality she does just fine when you aren't around. She has found out what button to push to elicite the response that she wants from your dad. It's a special skill that they seem to develop...

Good luck, and don't take it too hard. You are doing what is best for your Mom. She doesn't really suffer there, nor is she miserable. Her brain just wants a time and place that doesn't exist any more any where...

 
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:18 PM   #5
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

thank you for such intelligent insight. the nurses do tell me she cries looking for her family. there are patients that do scream because that is the only way they can communicate. my dad is 81 and having my mom at home with 24 hour care wouldnt be the answer. i know that in my heart and this is just so frustrating. she does want to be in another place and another time in her past. she doesnt even remember where she lives. i really dont quite understand the screaming, but it could be the people are scared. almost all the patients are in wheelchairs and my mom is not. they find her wandering all the time. its a wonderful facility. i just dont know how to deal with mom.

 
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

If you figure it out let me know debbie. Mom does well for a while and then goes into melt down. As IBake said she has learned how to push the daughter buttons, especially how to complain to one of us about the other one. She wanted to go back home to see her friends. I took her home for the day. She had a lovely lunch with 25 of her friends and seemed to have a delightful time. She was quiet going back to the facility and was in total melt down 36 hours later saying nobody ever came to see her. It's a crap shoot what mood you will find her in at any moment. And the tales we have heard about the facility When you get the real facts you realize that not only is the story scewed by her inability to remember and lack of time frame... but it changes every time she tells it. Dad fell, was it going in the bathroom, while he was in there, coming out, or did he fall into the bathroom. She has told it all four ways. One time she tells it she did see it happen and the next time she didn't. It happened and nobody showed up for hours to help her and the next time they were there before he hit the floor. He was checked by a doctor, a nurse, a PT evaluation was ordered but.... nobody listens to her and did anything for him. Then she melts down and wants to go home..... to that phantastic place where her ALZ is no more!

All you can do is listen, and validate her feelings of frustration without agreeing with her need to go home. "I know you are frustrated Mom. I understand that this is not where you want to be but this is where you need to be. I am hearing what you are saying." Sometimes Mom does ok in the moment if she knows I am listening and understanding.... even if I can't fix it. Other times.... she just gets angry and hang up the phone on me to call another sister and try again. I wish I knew the number of times I have talked to mom on one phone, put my hand over the receiver while she talked, and talked to the facility to order her "happy pill".

It is all part of the disease and you just have to know that your Mom is at the best place for her and your Dad. You are all doing the best you can and though it is not perfect, it is what it is.

Love, deb

 
Old 01-01-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

debbie,

The fact that she is wandering in the halls isn't a bad thing. Where my mom was all of the residents wandered the halls. In fact the staff encouraged them to be out and about. It was perferable to them sitting alone in their room staring at the walls. If your Mom is out and about, she is at least making contact with the other people that are in the unit with her. I am assuming that she is in a locked unit? Can she have a TV in her room? If so perhaps you might want to have one brought in for her. Or bring a small cd player that she can listen to. But be aware that small things like that tend to grow feet and wander away. But if she likes to watch tv that might help her. Or have the local paper delivered to her so she can read that every day. There are alot of everyday things that you can have done to help her that we don't think about. But having her wandering also keeps her activity level up which is good for her circulation.

I know that these words are small comfort to you, but i lived through what you are experiencing now. It's hard, but taking her home isn't the answer either. It would only destroy your father's health and send your mother down the slope even faster..and truth be told she wouldn't be any happier at where your father is living now either. Plus, the dangers at your father's home are so many compared to the NH. Scatter rugs, knick knacks that can break, stoves, knives, scissors, pins, needles, cleaning supplies, being able to get outside...is your dad ready for 24/7 care? I shudder to think how lucky I was that daddy and momma survived his time taking care of her. As it was they bost lost so much weight that I was panicked. Please Please don't let your father do this to your Mom and to him.

You might want to talk to the head nurse and ask her what you can do to help your mom with the transition. I called the staff every day to check on my mom. My mom was in Minn. and I live in VA. so having a good relationship with the nursing staff was vital for me to be able to get the good inside information that I needed. We came home every 4 monthand more often as mom got bad, but I cultivated my relationship and made sure that they knew that I appreciated their help. But call and ask to talk to her if she doesn't have a phone in her room. Ask her nurse what she suggests to help her adjust. Ask if they think she is depressed. perhaps she needs something to bring her up. AD pateints often are slightly depressed, not uncommon for them to have an antidepressant. It might help. Does she have scrapbooks? Photos that you can bring for her to look at? sometimes these will help. Also photos for her walls. Anything that will make it her room and remind her of her family for as long as she will remember....

hang in there debbie. It's hard. I've cried my way across the country many times....hang onto your towel dear.....

 
Old 01-01-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

Debbie...each of us surely understand your Father's wishes...but the absolute reality of the challenges "going home" would bring are overwelming!

My words echo the others here...I sure hope it is possible to get your Mom into a safe envorinment where trained personnel can help get her thru this horrendous journey. This disease robs us all.

My FIL (who didn't seem as far along as MIL) tried his best to take care of MIL for a couple years...their 3 sons paid little attention as both parents deteriorated. This man who had worked very hard his entire life suddenly found himself doing wash...cooking...taking care of the wife who had been in charge of everything at home...both were in their late 80's at that time.

I understood his "reasoning" for buying that gas grill...in his mind he thought Mom would be able to use it easier than the stove. She was not able to make the wonderful meals she could before. When he told me " you really don't need a full cap of soap in the washer"...I kind of understood his thinking....even tho the sons complained about the grungy-looking clothes. In his mind, of days gone by, this was a needed cost-cutting! Both of them lost weight...he went everyday to Goodwill and collected things he HAD to have while she simply sat in her chair methodically picking every bit of velvet off her chair arms. I went out and showered her when I could...the rest of the time, this very meticulous woman sat in a dirty nightgown doing absolutely nothing.......no TV...no music...no communication.

He would not respond to our urging to get her placed somewhere...he was SURE he could do this! One afternoon, a panicked phone-call asking me to hurry out there resulted in finding Mom in the bathtub on a stool, bleeding profusely where she'd repeatedly scratched on the front of her leg. Dad had put a turnequet (old hankerchief) on her leg...I had to call an ambulance. A few days later, we took her to the Dr. again...and had informed the Dr. about the huge open sore on Dad's ankle also...without Dad's knowlege. Both were immedietely put into the hospital...........and never returned home.

I do realize their resulting placement in seperate facilities was actually "easier" for their sons than trying to convince their parents to actually do this! I know if the Dr. hadn't forced this decision....they would have simply gone back home because no attempt had been made to get them in a safe and stable environment. We were very fortunate decisions were taken out of the son's hands.........and I'm thankful they were finally in a place where they were taken care of.

Your situation is different....YOU have to convince your Dad to make this choice. My thoughts and prayers are on their way to you for gentle guidance in this difficult situation you're facing. Keep us posted....we DO care! Pam

 
Old 01-01-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Re: my dad wants to take my mom home permanently

thanks deb. all of these comments make me feel so much better. it seems as though we all have the same feelings. other people just dont understand and these boards are a true home for me.

 
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