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 Homesick again? 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Homesick again?
My mother has been in an SNF just over a year. We knew she was not happy about it and for the first few months she would frequently express a desire to go home. But by the end of last summer, that seemed to have passed and she seemed to be make a reasonable adjustment.

Suddenly today, my sister called her and a minor complaint of our mother's mushroomed into a full-fledged crying fit, almost hysteria, because she doesn't want to be there! She didn't express the desire to go home, but she is so forgetful of her prior life, I don't know if she could remember her home well enough to form that thought. But she sure did not want to be living in the SNF.

This caught us totally off guard, coming after a good six months of apparent acceptance of her situation. Has anyone else's LO done a 180 like this? What did you do? We don't know what to say or do. Maybe these thoughts have been in her mind all along and she never expressed them. I don't know. At least I have learned not to try to have a logical discussion with her. It's very hard to go through this all over again--for all of us.

Julianne


Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:14 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Homesick again?
Julieanne,
Oh How sad for all involved, I would guess the best you can do is try to redirect her when she gets in these I want to not be here moods, I can't say I blame her to be honest with you!

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Irene Selak


Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:35 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Homesick again?
I'm so sorry that this is happening, Julianne. I don't know your situation but I do know that 'going home' is a common request even when they are living at home. Dale said that often. "Let's go home." I'm sure I've responded hundreds of times with basically the same answer. "You are home, dear."

Certainly where she is now is 'home.' I really think 'home' is not a physical place. They want to return to a place where they feel safe and comforted.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:43 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Homesick again?
Julianne, we found the same situation--his wanting to go home when he WAS home. So I wouldn't take it too seriously. It's part of the disease.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:17 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Homesick again?
I don't blame her one little bit. I wouldn't want to be there, either. And by "there" I don't mean the SNF (and maybe she doesn't either.) I mean I would not want to be robbed of my independence, of my ability to do things that used to be meaningful to me, of simple joys and pleasures and even challenges of life. I would not want to be diapered and humored. I would not want to be unable to have a coherent conversation. I have seen what dementia is like, and I would not want to be there. And if I do go there (because, of course, it is beyond our control) I will probably spend some days crying about it. And if I do, I hope I will have someone to comfort me, and acknowledge my sad losses, and assure me of their love in spite of their inability to fix the situation.

Of course, I don't have dementia and maybe this isn't what I'd really want if I were crying about being there. But it is where my imagination takes me right now.

Hugs to you Julianne, as you struggle with this very sad situation.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:20 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3359
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Homesick again?
About 6 mo. after my dad had moved to the ALF he was put on Namenda and Aricept, just after he'd gotten used to where he was and had started being somewhat content. Not happy, but not too unhappy till those drugs. He started crying a lot, and talking about how much he missed my mom (she died in 1997). He seemed more anxious and more depressed being on those drugs, and I never was able to get him off them till almost the end.
I don't know if your mom has had a recent med. change, but that can greatly alter their emotional state. I would never have agreed to have my dad put on those meds at the time he was put on them and I worked for many months to get him off. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:33 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Homesick again?
My mother has had no recent medication changes, though she does take Aricept and Namenda. She didn't say she wanted to go home, she said she didn't want to be in the SNF (which may be a distinction without a difference). I just don't understand why this would come up again after six months when she seemed to be adjusting to the SNF. Not that she, or anyone, would want to be there, but she had made no complaints about it for all that time. What I am trying to understand is what, if anything, it means about her disease or its progression.

Julianne


Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:59 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Homesick again?
You reminded me that my mother (104 when she passed in Sept.) was also very unhappy with the 'home' where we had placed her. It was a lovely place which had been selected with a great deal of care.

Mother complained about everything and regularly told us that her caregivers hit her. We could never see any bruises - but she was a difficult patient. We knew that. She did not want to be there.

I sympathize.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:21 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 736
Location: LA
Post Re: Homesick again?
Mr Bobby would feel down the side of his bed for proof that he was in his own bed and in his own home. Of course he was. Sometime he would "know" he was home but many times he thought he was somewhere else and did not want to be there. We just do the best we can. I know of no meds or truths that can help. Keep on loving her in what ever way you can to show her that you are with her. ----- I remember using talk that either fit in with what he was experiencing, sometime it was just an "I know or I understand or hummm" anything like that. I kept chocolate on a stick for such times. Usually there is a prescription medicine to be used "as needed" if she gets too unhappy. She may just need a glass of water but don't ask if she needs it just place it in her hand while talking about how nice it is. Anything like that to pass the time and let her sleep. Each time she wakes up it will maybe be like a new day and she will be ready to fit in with the schedule. Maybe. Try not to be sad. Above all No Guilt.

A friend said, "It is what it is". Dorthea

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"See this lady she's 85 but she's nice" When I joined in 2007 this is the way Mr B. introduced me to the people only he knew,he added "You need to listen to her" he was 89 then, death due to Lewy Body Dementia/pneumonia in 2009.


Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:04 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Homesick again?
What beautiful and wise advice, Dorthea.

Dale is at the point where he has no concept of reality. This afternoon, he thought he was in a school. A few nights ago, he was in Yosemite and our campsite was in danger because of a flood. He kept yelling for our neighbor. His name is Dick.

The next day, our pastor whose name is also Richard (but he uses Rick) was here and Dale kept calling him Dick and the pastor corrected him a couple of times. I wondered if Dale would say something about the flood... but he didn't.

Yes, we do the best we can and I'm letting Dale sleep. He is doing that a lot now and I'm so glad.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:32 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: Homesick again?
Leone, what a blessing that you and Dale are getting some rest.

I think my mother is a lot like yours, just not happy with the SNF she is in, despite the fact that it is a very nice place. I knew its reputation well due to clients and family who had LOs there so I had no doubt it was fine. I suppose I need to accept the fact that my mother will never truly accept her circumstances.

My sister and I have spent the past 10 years trying to make her happy and her situation nice, so now we are having difficulty accepting that it can't be done anymore. Thanks to all for helping remind me of that reality.

Julianne


Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:50 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3359
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Homesick again?
How true, our LOs will probably not be happy no matter what we do or don't do because of the nature of the disease. Logic doesn't count anymore either. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:02 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Homesick again?
No, no logic anymore, either. My mother is calling herself my daughter and I am her mother.

Julianne


Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Homesick again?
Quote:
My sister and I have spent the past 10 years trying to make her happy and her situation nice, so now we are having difficulty accepting that it can't be done anymore. Thanks to all for helping remind me of that reality.


This is so true and so very hard to accept. My husband has been in a nursing home since December and I only just came to terms with the fact that I cannot make him happy nor can I make him better. I can only continue to love him and care for him as best I can with no expectations.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:58 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Homesick again?
Lynn, Julianne, and Pat,

You've expressed this concept very well. It is profoundly painful, isn't it? We work and work and devote our lives to improving the quality of life for our LOs and then for at least minimizing their distress. And we do it for months or years. It must be extremely hard to accept when those efforts are no longer effective. My heart goes out to you. I'm not at that point in the journey yet. I'm trying to soak up your wisdom for when the time comes.

Jeanne

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:43 am
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