You can't do such a thing; that's the short answer. When an elder is riddled with Alzheimer's/dementia, they constantly want to 'go home' when really, they're seeking a place in time more than a brick & mortar building. If your mother is literally wanting to 'go home' back to her house she lived in to reside independently again, that's a similar situation. You cannot convince her that she's incapable of living alone, so that's when the 'therapeutic fibs' come in handy. You can tell her that her house is under repairs or being painted or getting new floors for being damaged. Or it's being fumigated for pests and she can go home down the road sometime, but not today. Or, if that doesn't work, you can tell her that her doctor ordered her to not live alone, and that's why she's living with you. If and when the doctor says she can live alone again, THEN she can go back home. Until such time, however, she's stuck living with you.

It won't matter, though, b/c the information will not sink in to a broken brain, and she will ask you repeatedly why she can't go home. And, like a broken record, you'll have to keep repeating yourself over and over again until you feel flustered. Such is the nature of dementia, unfortunately. My mother would ask me where her dead relatives were a thousand times a day, so I'd have to come up with a story 1,000x a day, every day, about where they were or what they were doing that they couldn't talk to her on the phone. It's exhausting. And sad, too.

But to try to 'satisfy' your mom is likely an exercise in futility. For a better understanding of your mother's dementia, I suggest you read this 33 page booklet (a free download) which has THE best information ever about managing dementia and what to expect with an elder who's been diagnosed with it.

Understanding the Dementia Experience, by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller

Jennifer is a nurse who worked for many years as an educator and counsellor for people with dementia and their families, as well as others in caring roles. She addresses the emotional and grief issues in the contexts in which they arise for families living with dementia. The reviews for her books are phenomenal b/c they are written in plain English & very easy to read/understand. Her writings have been VERY helpful for me.

The full copy of her book is available here:

Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to lealonnie1
Hopeelm Nov 26, 2022
Thank you!!!!!!
She may never be satisfied, and you may just have to be ok with that. If your mother has dementia, her brain is now broken and she can't rationalize or truly comprehend what is best for her anymore.
Bless you for taking her in. Just make sure that you're taking care of yourself and your husband and children as well, as they must come first before your mother.
And if for some reason she does have moments of clarity, you can tell her that her ONLY 2 choices are living with you or being placed in a nursing facility. I'm willing to bet she will change her tune in a heart beat.
But now that being said, you may end up having to place her as time goes by if her care gets to be just too much for you, as again, you must take care of yourself as you matter in this equation too.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to funkygrandma59
Hopeelm Nov 26, 2022
Best reply! Thank you. And when she is clear I tell her to remember she is safe and that We love her. I have told her she has two choices and she says she doesn’t ever want to go into a care facility. And frankly I won’t put her in one. I love my mother and I have always had a good close relationship with her.
Just a thought- has anyone ever “helped” you “to be satisfied”?

If so, when that happened, had a major, undesired life change recently occurred in your life?

It is very rare for a successful outcome to result from an arrangement such as yours.

With the best possible motives, you chose what you felt was the only solution to your mother’s problem, but perhaps missed the part about how your life was going to change when the “solution” took place.

Even if your siblings promised they’d help, the likelihood of that happening was truthfully pretty remote.

Are you willing to consider changing the present arrangement to achieve more balance for yourself? You will need to be the person to initiate that change.

A good Assisted Living facility can be very much like
apartment living, if your mother would be willing (and able, AND eligible) to attempt it.

Why is it that “She cannot live alone”? Did she come to you with a diagnosis that includes “cognitive decline”?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to AnnReid
Hopeelm Nov 26, 2022
She falls a lot. Her last fall was in June. It put her in the hospital and the doctor told me that it would be bad for her to continue living alone. She wonders at night and gets lost in the house. So she absolutely can’t live alone. And as for me I am making the best of a hard situation. I try my best to keep her happy and satisfied. But I simply asked if any one might have an idea or maybe tell me how they handle the problem of her wanting to go home.
If you have siblings why is it your caring for Mom? Let go of that feeling "my siblings don't help or even call". It just depresses you. You now are the "chosen one" you make all the decisions. I hope you have POA because then u definitely make all the decisions.

You deserve to have a life just like your siblings. You and your DH have a right to enjoy your children and your grands. If not now, in the near future Mom will be harder to care for. You will be doing everything for her. Think about placing her. If she has the money, use it for a nice Memory Care or Longterm care facility. When her money is gone you apply for Medicaid. She will get the care she needs and you can enjoy her final time here on Earth.

Do not save your siblings inheritance. Mom's money is for her care.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29
Hopeelm Nov 26, 2022
My situation is more difficult than most. My father is still living. About 20 years ago he had a stroke. After this happened we , along with my mother discovered that he had made a woman his POA . He also had made it so that he would move in with this woman if he could not be independent. My father is no husband or father of the year but this surprised us all. My mother up until this dementia hit could live alone and be fine. But now it is no longer safe. Of course she wants to go home , I understand that. And yes I am very tired. I am going to get a person to come at night at least 4 nights a week so I can get good sleep. But I will absolutely never put her in a nursing home. My mother has been treated horribly by my father I know all of my life and she will no longer be treated that way. So yes it will be hard and is hard but I will do this for her. And as for my brothers and sister, they are the losers.

I applaud you for your convictions in trying to make up to your mom for the hurt that your father dealt to your whole family, including you. I have to imagine that some of your determination to keep your mom out of a care facility is based in your not allowing your father's betrayal to impact you either.

Do the best that you can for as long as you can and please don't make any promises to mom or yourself to never place her. We all want to 'go home', but the reality is that your mom will reach a state where she can no longer be safe living outside of a SNF and you'll reach a point of being unable to safely provide for her needs without shortening your own life and detracting terribly from the life of your own family.

I wouldn't attempt a single fib. Be completely honest that your mom, for now and for as long as you are able, has 2 choices: with your family or in a SNF. Please don't make the promise that you can do this for the remainder of her life, you may have to break that promise. we never know the hand that life may deal us.

If you were left with the choice of caring for your husband or heaven forbid, a severely injured adult child, would you still place your mom's needs above theirs? Would she want you to, and if she she did, wouldn't that be terribly selfish of her?

Do what you can for as long as you can, just please, recognize your limitations as your mom's needs change and leave yourself the out that you may one day need.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Luta65
Korky777 Dec 2, 2022
Thank you for this response. It's always difficult to hear someone say that they'll never place a parent in a care facility because they love them so much. Sometimes, making that incredibly hard and painful decision is one of the greatest acts of love you can make.
Tell her you “need” her help. Assign her with manageable tasks so she feels useful. Even asking her for advice may feel meaningful. Tell her that you’ve been missing her. Convince her that she is taking care of you.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to ACaringDaughter
ConnieCaretaker Dec 2, 2022
When Mom was moving into my house, I furnished her bedroom with her furniture (from her apartment). I hope it made the space familiar and comforting to her.

I do not believe people can make others happy, for more than 10 mins (the choice to be happy is internal and our demented loved ones cannot make rational choices). A disease of the brain is still a disease and there is no known cure. All we can do is write and call our legislators to pass laws that help Alzheimers patients live better in whatever amount of time they're allotted. Until our legislators change the horrific system of indenturing family members and stripping our seniors of their dignity, they are NOT earning their paychecks; stand-up and speak up, because you're probably next.
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Someone on this site, suggested agreeing in principle that going home might be a good idea, but very complicated. They then asked the elder to plan it out in detail. Some gave them a suitcase to pack. Apparently, most tired of the planning once they started. Not sure this would work in this case. With my mother-in-law, I explained that her son had given up the apartment at the time she was too ill to return. She wasn't happy, but accepted it as a given. Getting her home back would be a big problem for her to tackle. But many remember a home of long ago. I am in in Al and at times start discussing moving into another house with my husband. The reality usually wears the thought away when I look at listings for houses. I want to be "home" and thirty years younger to manage it!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Moxies

Reading your response below to JoAnn29 that is mind blowing.
Have you or your mom consulted an attorney?
And if mom is no longer decisional you can contact an attorney on her behalf.
Her assets should be protected as much as possible making it more difficult for your "father's" POA to gain access to the marital assets. If this means taking him to the "cleaners" so be it.

Tell mom that you need her help. Give her tasks to do that she can do easily.
Many people with dementia will say they "want to go home" and this may not mean an actual physical place but it can mean to a time when they were healthy, safe and happy.
Reassure mom that she is safe, you want her with you.
Redirect as much as you can.

If there is an adult Day program that she might go to that might help her. It will give her a place to go and people to be with. It will give her a break and you as well.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Grandma1954
RedVanAnnie Dec 2, 2022
I was also about to say "tell your mom you need her help, " so I am glad you said that. I do not know why that approach feels "right," but if Grandma1954 says it, too, I know there must be something to it!
I don't understand some of the responses below as they do not seem to respond to your question here.

I believe that you cannot 'help' your mom feel satisfied.
If you start from that point / perspective, it will be easier to manage the continually "I want to go home."

She may not / likely will not ever feel / be satisfied.
All you can do is REFLECTIVE LISTENING and ACKNOWLEDGE how she feels.
Reflect back what she says and ask her questions:
"Are you feeling lonely"
"Do you miss xxx" - in other words, give her opportunities to 'get it out and talk'.

Part of this disease (dementia) is the repeating and thinking about 'before' and wanting to go back to what one perceived as their personal security and safety, if not just familiar. I can't tell you how long I heard this when friend (I'm his POA and everything else) of 20 years said, in frustration, "I want to go home." Bottom line, after being in this nursing home for 1 yr and 2-3 months, MDs (2) and I decided to let him be at home. He lasted two weeks and was then placed in another nursing home - after the expense of over $5,000 for the needed 24/7 (intermittent) care - which he could not afford.

He then said in the new nursing home "I made a mistake." I didn't say anything - no reason. He is almost 90, now bedridden. No point in saying what he should have done ... which I said over and over again. Sometimes, we just need to do what feels right in the moment (in this case months in the making). gena
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to TouchMatters
Grandma1954 Dec 2, 2022
great advice for everyone.
Your mother may not ever be satisfied living with you because of the dementia.

Five years ago when I brought my mother to live with me, she was happy. Then my brother died and 3 months after that trauma she broke her hip. The dementia started to kick in and she began to lament about going home. She began to want her mother and father more and more.

I've learned that I am powerless over my mother's happiness and contentment. All that I - and you - can do is to provide the best care.

I applaud you for your determination to keep your mother at home. I'm doing the same thing and it's not easy, but in the end it's what works for us.

Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to southiebella

Hopeelm: Unfortunately, all reasoning is non existent in regard to your mother. She has lost the capacity for lucid thinking as she suffers from dementia.
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Reply to Llamalover47

She needs to be gently reminded that your house is her home. Try to use furniture from her house in similar arrangement in her bedroom and (if there is enough room) a sitting/living room. She may find comfort in the familiar and stop pining for her prior house. Talk with her doctor about anti-anxiety medication as well.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Taarna

Something that changed my mom's perspective on "being stuck" in my apt and not her own (that she knows to her bones she would not have been able to stay in alone anymore) is when I reminded her of our original plans which was - we were initially going to both family groups (hubby and I, and mom) move into a new two bedroom. The economy and rent went bananas though, and as I'm on LTD/SSDI myself and hubby had a stroke, even adding my income and mom's together for the current painful rent for a two bedroom wasn't doable. Also she got sick before wed even started looking and went on hospice two months in here.

We would have been absolutely not allowed whatsoever to move into her IL one bedroom (which was sec 202 and really a SUPER NICE little complex on a convent campus / church grounds), and as our current one dbdm has a private ground floor entrance making it handicap accessible, they allow pets for my kitties etc.. Welp, we moved her here.

When I reminded my mom of that I said, "who knows, if the world returns to sane if you want we can find the kind of place we wanted to get in the first place.". I know that, well, my mom wants to be independent OR AT LEAST to have a measure of the control over things.

So -- this is not my and my hubby apt anymore. It is OUR apt. Second, I t known that if somehow we find someplace else we could go then sure! And then mom's name would be on the lease and etc. My mom just doesn't want to be "homeless". It means other than here she feels she has nowhere else to go... Because she thinks that I would / could stop her or at the very least wouldn't help her if she decided she somehow wanted to leave.

I figured out how to get her to realize that no, no one took her ability to have her own home away. she did try to start framing it that way and I said, no mom im not going to let you think random ppl did this to you, I moved you out. And explained why again. She couldn't live alone, that's all. But that, if push came to shove that... Sure we could get out of this place and, say, go somewhere else. Even if we never do, and I don't expect my mom would push at all unless we somehow did find a place that's nicer and a better deal, the fact that she knows / believes me that it's an option, really erased a lot of her "homeless anxiety".

Edited to add: no one is sure if my mom actually has dementia. It is her COPD condition and an exascerbation as to why she's with us now. Normally I'd have gone to hers and left hubby to fend for himself with frozen food in the toaster oven but since he had a stroke in 2020 that's a no go. (and he's in his thirties. This was a 20mm aneurysm that was lurking in his head that clotted up/ caused venous capillary hemorrhagic damage so he got both ischemic and hemmo rahic damage in right temporal lobe.. midline shift and all don't ask how he walks and talks, no Dr knows...)

... Welp no more leaving him alone to care for tiny mommy. Now he is a saint dealing with her taking 90% of my time. His stroke actually taught him first hand what broken brain feels like, so though he is frustrated at times he is not mad at her or me.

It's also my superpower to answer the same questions dozens of times. So even in delirium she started saying "that's what you always say", or the weirder "that's what everyone says to me", and everyone was me ♥️
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Caldinea

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