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A visit back to the family home--bad idea?
AlexSLC
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:04 PM
Joined: 8/21/2019
Posts: 3


My 98 year old mother moved into assisted living a month ago. Her VD is progressing; however, while her short term memory is horrible, she still knows her family and friends and can be quite engaging. As expected the first two weeks in AL were rough, i.e. not knowing where she was, accusing us (her children) of tricking her into moving, not understanding this is a permanent move, insisting she is going home, etc. Not unexpected, I know. In the last week or so, things have settled down quite a bit, but now she is asking to go back to "visit" the family home she lived in for 61 years. My siblings and I think this is a bad idea..but we're not sure. We keep kicking the can down the road when the subject comes up. Has anyone experienced this? How did you handle it? Any advice?
terei
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:11 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 403


She has not really had enough time to settle in at AL.  I dont think I would chance the possible melt down if she did not want to go back to AL.  I would put her off with excuses(especially if the home is not close by) like car problems, work demands, illness(yours) other obligations, etc. Until she gives up the idea
dayn2nite2
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:30 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1955


Very bad idea.
citydock2000
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:49 PM
Joined: 9/7/2017
Posts: 796


This will not scratch the home itch - and will just result in more requests to visit home.  Divert, distract, fib.
Victoria2020
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 1:11 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 862


Not good idea, she has her memories of the home, as retained. The new visit will not make new memories just stir up emotions.
King Boo
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 2:52 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3033


It's a horrible idea to actually visit.   

But it's a good idea to validate her feelings and defer.

"Sure, Mom, when the weather is better - or when my car is fixed - etc. etc. etc. It's such a nice house.  I love your furniture!  I also love the loveseat in the dining room here, let's go get a snack....."


AlexSLC
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 3:30 PM
Joined: 8/21/2019
Posts: 3


Thank you all for your input...and for validating our gut feeling. We’ll continue to distract and delay....and keep kicking the can down the road!  I feel very fortunate to be part of this online community. Thank you all again
harshedbuzz
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 3:57 PM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1655


AlexSLC wrote:
As expected the first two weeks in AL were rough, i.e. not knowing where she was, accusing us (her children) of tricking her into moving, not understanding this is a permanent move, insisting she is going home, etc. 


Why do you need her to accept that she's in the facility permanently? It seems kinder to create a temporary need for her to be there and kick the can to the resolution of that fiblet.

In a few months, when she's settled, you could take her on an outing to lunch at a restaurant if you feel the need.

AlexSLC
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 5:22 PM
Joined: 8/21/2019
Posts: 3


Thank you for the comment. You are right, it doesn’t help to try to “make” her understand that she’s not going home. It’s just hurtful to her. I think part of it is our futile hope that maybe she will be rational, but we know that’s not going to happen. This is all new to us, so we’re learning.
zauberflote
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 7:14 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 371


I was a slow learner in this regard. There were a couple of really good reasons Mom would not go back home, one of them being it was 600 miles away, and another being that it had already been rented to a new tenant. I kept doing things, dumb things which I hope are forgiven, like telling her her friends aren't able to take care of her; this here is your home now (that one was really popular ), which I finally learned not to say. We all make mistakes. Mom wanted to say goodbye to her apartment on the way to her first AL in same village, so we did. It broke my heart to see hers broken. All her stuff lying around bereft. She was only stage maybe 3-4/4, and it probably didn't hurt her permanently. But it sure made a matk on me. 

Go with your gut and your very sturdy can. 


Greg G
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 7:42 PM
Joined: 2/8/2017
Posts: 920


Hey AlexSLC,

Welcome to the club that no one wants to be in.  We're glad you knocked on the door.

As others have mentioned and you believed, taking her back is a bad idea.  Your idea for her of kicking the can down the road is a good idea.  Just keep using excuses as to why you can't make the trip today.  Use the same one over and over until it doesn't work any more and then use a different one.

They only have to sound reasonable.  No big, detailed thing.  Bad weather, broken car, broken roads, what ever.  As citidock and Victoria mentioned plus "home" may not even be there anymore.  It maybe somewhere else.

Keep up the good work.

Good luck and best wishes, Greg