Mom has been in AL for a year now.

We now know that she is declining cognitively. (I have yet to have a Dr. give her a Dementia diagnosis, but that's an entirely different story).

I'm just having trouble figuring out how to talk to her when she has these episodes of total confusion. She's very intelligent, but stubborn and conniving too. She called me and told me I needed to pick her up and take her home otherwise she was gonna walk. When I told her she was already home, she argued and said no. She kept asking me where her stuff was. She thinks where she is living is temporary.

Because she slipped and fractured her hip, she had to be moved from her house to AL in a short amount of time. Her house sold within 6 months and we put a lot of her belongings in storage. We have furnished her apartment with many of her favorite things, though.

What do I say to her in these times? Is this because she needed "closure" from her life before the fall? And if it is, how do I give her that closure?

Should I take her to the storage unit so she can see the remainder of things that were in her old house?

Or, do I just stop trying to figure out the "why" and keep reminding her about her life as it is now?

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My mom does the same thing on a daily basis, every 5 minutes she asks when am I going to take her home?🏡. If I tell her that she's already in her home she says that I am lying and calls me the worse kind of names, she even believes that her mom is still alive and that I am keeping her hidden because I am wicked. My brothers and sisters do not experience this kind of behavior because they come for 1 or 2 hours like a visitor.
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So much of this resonates. My mom has been in MC since 4/19/22 and is a total flight risk. She’s gotten 10 blocks away and we’ve had the police and nurses driving around searching. Very scary day. She said everyone was being molested at night. Said the same thing at the hospital she escaped from prior to here. It’s been hard. Hopefully she’ll adapt.
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The classic phrase "respond, do not react" works very well for me. Husband has been a bit agitated the past few days, I do not correct or remind him when once again he says something right outta left field, and I'm gonna miss that fly ball it's zooming so high and fast over my head. Besides, he's already forgotton what he said and is on to something else. After 19 months of this-it's now to the point where having a normal conversation, outside of this dynamic, feels odd.
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Apparently is too late already for a POA. You don't need a doctor's diagnosis to understand that your mother suffers from dementia. There is nothing to explain to her, she won't comprehend it. It seem that her dementia is advancing rapidly.
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You could put some basic information that you print on a large pad of yellow paper that has lines. Maybe tape that near the bathroom so she remembers to look at it. I think taking her to a storage facility might not prove ideal. It emphasizes her life being somewhat reduced to that. I also moved items of my mother's to both the AL facilities she has been in. Now she is in SN and seems to be fading. She came around to accepting this was where she resides and she had items that she felt good about ( AL facilities ). She has become too ill now to ask about items.

I know I have had to repeat facts over and over. I try to do it as though we are starting at the beginning each time and work on being patient. There are medications that can slow down the speed of decline involving cognitive issues. Hopefully there is a staff doctor you could discuss this with. Said medications won't solve the problem but is worth asking about depending on what her diagnosis is.

I don't know that there may ever be closure. I would hope for acceptance.
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You need to take Mom to a neurologist. He will give her a series of tests and probably order an MRI which will show a Dementia or if she had a stroke. You need a formal diagnosis and I hope you have POA. If not, get it now before a diagnosis and while she understands what a POA is. If she bulks, tell her if no POA is in place, then the State can take over her care when needed.

Intelligence means nothing when Dementia is involved. It effects everyone the same.
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Let mom know that she's living in AL under 'doctor's orders', and she'll remaining living there until the doctor says otherwise. Blame it on him, in other words, and let her know that it's out of HER hands and out of YOUR hands that she's living where she is; she needs more care than she can get at home, ergo, AL is the place for her. Disregard her saying she'll 'walk' out of there; in my experience, a resident has to sign out of the AL before they can leave. If she were to try to do such a thing, the AL would call you, would they not? Plus, she'd have to call an Uber or a cab and arrange for a ride, and know the address she was going to. With dementia at play, that's highly unlikely something she'd be able to accomplish. So let the AL know what's going on, and that they should keep an eye on her, too. If her dementia worsens, then she needs to segue into Memory Care AL where the outer doors are kept locked and residents cannot leave the grounds and 'walk'.

When dementia is at play, you can remind mom about her new life 1000x, but she'll keep going back to asking the same question regardless; she'll want to 'go home' no matter what you say. Many elders don't even see that they have a problem to begin with! Going home is a very, very common theme for these elders; some even pack their bags daily & wait by the door to be picked up to GO home. Oftentimes, they don't know where home even is; it's more a place in time when they were younger & healthier than a brick & mortar building. Your mom may actually remember her house, but it's not a good idea to take her to see her things in storage!! That will likely upset & confuse her more. Leave her be where she's at, distract her when she gets upset about going home, and repeat the doctor mantra.

Here is a link to an excellent booklet on Alzheimer's/dementia for you to read to gain a better understanding of what's going on in mom's mind:

Understanding the Dementia Experience, by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller

Here is a list of useful tips for you to use when dealing with mom nowadays:

The “Dont's”
· Do not reason and argue
· Do not demand that they reason or problem-solve
· Do not demand that they remember
· Do not demand that they get their facts straight
· Do not correct their ideas or scold them
· Do not reorient them
· Do not think that they are being uncooperative on purpose
· Do not think that they really do remember, but are pretending not to
· Do not use a “bossy” dictatorial attitude in care
· Do not act with impatience

The "Do's"
· Enter into their frame of reality, or their 'world'
· Be aware of their mood or state of mind
· Use few words and simple phrases
· OR use no words, just friendly gestures and simple motions
· Do everything slowly
· Approach from the front
· Wait for a slow response
· Constantly reassure them that everything is 'OK'
· Keep people with dementia comfortable 'in the moment' - every moment
· Maximize use of remaining abilities
· Limit TV or radio programs which they may feel are frighteningly real
· Maintain privacy
· Provide a safe physical environment

Language Needs
· Use short words
· Use clear and simple sentences
· Speak slowly and calmly
· Questions should ask for a “yes” or “no” answer
· Talk about one thing at a time
· Talk about concrete things; not abstract ideas
· Use common phrases
· Always say what you are doing
· If they repeat their question, repeat your answer as you did the first time · Give them a longer time to process information
· Wait patiently for a response
· Be accepting of inappropriate answers and nonsense words
· Speak softly, soothingly and gently

Wishing you the best of luck!
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"...told me I needed to pick her up and take her home otherwise she was gonna walk. When I told her she was already home, she argued and said no."

Ah. Actually, you argued.

Also, she is technically correct. Although she is now formally resident at the ALF, this is not home to her. Not yet. You know what she means by "home," and you know it ain't the ALF. Don't waste your breath on this conversation.

Ohboyohboyohboy what DO you say..? I know how difficult this one is.

Ask her about the here and now - what's going on that minute (are you in your room? Did you have lunch yet? Has your headache gone from this morning?), leading to what she can recall of the day (agreeing and expressing appropriate interest or sympathy, whether or not she really did meet the President or somebody stole her groceries on the bus), leading to a bit of what you've been up to (anything that will make sense to her), leading to what is happening next, today (I expect you'll want to watch Single Forensic Pathologist Jails Entire Organized Crime Network, won't you? It's on in five minutes...).

And if you can't keep heading her off until she comes back to the present day and you're getting desperate, tell her you have to go and you'll call her tomorrow. Then say "love you" and hang up. She'll be fine.
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