When it is time for me to go home, my mom says "I thought I was coming with you", "I thought we planned to go to your house for dinner". Every time I leave it is the same thing. Besides saying "no not today", what else can I tell my mom. I know it is the disease and she can't help it but she goes on about how she hates living there (nursing home) even though she doesn't know what kind of a place she lives in. Then she wants to walk me to the elevator to go home and then when we get there she says "I don't know how to get back to my room", then I have to walk her back. Any ideas on how to deal with this and what to say to her.
Elaine, you are not going to change Mom's behavior. Yes, it is the disease. You need to continue to tell her "not today". You need to make leaving a quick process, not lingering for her to go on and on about going home. I never told Mom I was leaving. The most I would say was "I'll be back". If I was going to the bathroom, upstairs to talk to an administrator, or leaving to go home for the day it was the same thing.... "I'll be back." When you linger they will ask to follow you. If you still have difficulties then ask the staff to intervene by giving her something else to do while you leave. I found it helpful to leave when I took her to supper or when an activity was just beginning.
Please remember that her begging is in the moment. When she knows you are going back home she wants to go with you. As soon as she is involved in something else that thought is gone. You are the only one left with the lingering guilt because you went home. She is fine.
Yes she tells you she hates it there. She hates the confusion in her mind and blames it on that place. I think I have told this story before but Mom insisted on going "home". So I took her. She did not even recognize where she was. Her request to me, standing in the middle of her "home" of over 50 years, was... "I want to go home!" I have never met an Alzheimer's patient that didn't say that same statement over and over no matter where they were. You have to remember that it is not "home" as you and I think. It is their idea of "home"... a place of peace where their brains are not confused.
So tell her you will "be right back" and then go without lingering. If necessary ask the staff to redirect her. Then know that she is fine when you leave
The following user gives a hug of support to Gabriel: bearcubs (02-24-2013)
Probably you need to take your Mom somewhere else and leave her there for activities so you can leave.
My husband always did that with his late father. After we finished the visit or stayed for a while, my husband would take him back to the activity room where there are many residents and/or programs ongoing. Once he was distracted, we just left. After a while, he forgot about us and was very happy with the staff.
Maybe you can try this. Don't literally say good-bye or she would want to go with you.
The following user gives a hug of support to ninamarc: bearcubs (02-24-2013)
The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post: bearcubs (02-24-2013)
I think the term "home" refers more to a state of mind. "Home" is a feel of being safe, being in control of ones surroundings, and being relaxed. This is a feeling one normally associates with being in our own physical home.
Unfortunately, for many of our loved ones, that "home" no longer exists, although they repeated express the desire to go there. Wanting to go home is their way of saying that they long to get back to a place of familiarity, where they are in control and can feel relaxed. Indeed they can be standing inside their physical house, but they don't necessarily feel they are home.
Don't beat yourself up with the guilt, Elaine. Your mom's mind does not allow her to feel at "home" regardless of where she is.
Last edited by Luau; 02-23-2013 at 08:13 AM.
The following user gives a hug of support to Luau: bearcubs (02-24-2013)
Elaine, how I feel for you, the same thing happened with my mom. She lost her sense of reasoning and even if I stayed all day, she still wanted me to sleep on the end of her bed and not leave her. It broke my heart, one day the nurse said she was very agitated after I left for the night, yelling how her daughter could do that to her and leave her. I still feel bad but know she wasn't being reasonable.
The Following User Says Thank You to dorri For This Useful Post: bearcubs (02-24-2013)
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I just found out today while I was reading some of the posts. May the days ahead bring you peace and comfort. Hugs and thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. It is so good to know there are people out there who care.
The following user gives a hug of support to bearcubs: dorri (02-24-2013)
Luau, I know exactly what you mean about the word "home" being a state of mind. This is where you find peace and happiness. It is so sad that people with dementia are not able to find this comfort. Thank you for replying to my post. Hugs
Thank you once again for your insight. It is a rough road but I'm trying to stay strong but I have days when it is very difficult for me, especially the days I visit with my mom. The only thing that keeps me going to visit her is being able to hug and hold on to her. I do not want to let go. It is so sad seeing her saying and doing things that are out of the ordinary in our world. We all know she is living in a different state of mind than us. All I can do is be there for her as much as I can and try to take care of myself. There is no other choice. I hope you are having a wonderful day and thank you for always being here for me. Big Hugs.
My mother would always ask where I lived. And when I left, she would say things like,"home, sweet home". But, even though that terrible disease had taken over her mind, I was relieved that she recognized me the whole time.
She is gone now, and I still am sorry that she couldn't have stayed with me -but I realize that would never have been possible.
The main thing is that you are visiting her often and making sure that she is getting excellent care. She knows you love her. God bless you.
Elaine, it is a difficult journey and the only thing we can do is the best that we can in the moment. I am glad that you are able to visit with your Mom. We wish for them to be as they were and be able to enter our world but we also know that is not possible. So we just have to go to them, where they are and in their world, and make the best of what we have right now. Try to find something each time you are there that will make both of you smile. A picture, the sunshine, a bird, a walk, reading a story, or anything that will make you both smile. Put away the sadness for just a little while and create a few moments of joy to remember with her. Accept what is and find the best in the day. That is how I came to actually enjoy visits with Mom. Sure, I wished it was different. But by staying in the moment with her we did find laughter and smiles. That makes it all a bit easier.