Mum wants to go home - no dementia

My mum who had a stroke around 20 years ago, went into a care home around 6 months ago. It took a lot of adjustment, and although she was ok, Im not she she ever fully settled. Previous to that, myself & my dad were her carers.
Since Covid-19 we haven’t been able to visit. We have regular phone contact and occasional video calls.
She’s told me on the phone today she wants to come home and I just don’t know how to respond! It’s breaking my heart that we can no longer care for her at home.
She had capacity and no dementia just occasionally confused but otherwise ok.
I feel so guilty.

Be strong Vicky, think back to why mum went into the home in the first place, it’s never a decision anyone wants to make, but mum NEEDED residential care, and nothing has changed for the better, in fact home life would be incredibly hard with mum too. Don’t put her on the “in and out” roundabout. Do everything you can to make her feel loved while she is there, giving her some flowers, some special “smellies”, new slippers. But don’t give in, or you will be right back to where you were before she went in. More will fall on you, as dad is now older too, and probably enjoying a quiet peaceful life?
You have nothing to feel guilty about.

Guilty for what for caring and wanting the best for your Mum. Drop the word guilt and turn that word in to concern. Think back to why the original decision/s was made. Are you happy with the level of care. That is being offered to your Mum. Do you feel she is safe. If you do that’s what you need to tell her. The latest procedures are there to keep everyone especially her safe. Remember we may not have signs of /or have Covid-19. But we could be carriers and not know. If Mum has capacity you the care staff needs to reiterate.Why the general public have to follow the social distancing rules.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply. You always seem to have reassuring words. Trying my best to be strong and kind to myself x

At the moment it’s difficult not to question everything we are doing, not doing, should we, could we etc etc. I’m having odd dreams about all sorts of things which is unusual for me. I’m not caring at the moment either, as my son is on lockdown at his flat. My cottage has been neglected a bit in recent years, so I have a clear goal. By the end of lockdown it will be back to how it used to be. I’ve nearly completed a paperwork marathon, I’ve filled many recycling sacks. I have sacks full of clothing waiting for the charity shops to reopen. This week I have some things to revarnish, little things like the wooden lids for my storage jars I’ve used for 45 years, and the house sign that goes on the fence outside. I’m planning new curtains in the hall, once I’ve done a wallpaper repair. We had a gas wall heater removed and bricked up a while ago, I replastered it long ago and then hid it with a small chest of drawers. All these are simple jobs for me, but each lockdown day has seen some progress, and it helps to concentrate on my own little world whilst chaos reigns in the wider world.

I think I need to try and find this kind of focus bowling bun.
At the moment I’m working from home, taking my dad supplies every couple of days, then feels like I’m waiting for my mums phone calls.
I’ve got so much I could be focusing on in my home too, so I think that would be a good start too.
Thanks for the ideas!

Vicky, I can only echo Bowlingbun’s words. Remember why she went in the first place. Guilt comes as part of the package, unfortunately. Whenever my mum mentioned gonig home (and sometimes she meant her childhood home), I blamed the doctors! Insist that she stays a bit longer etc etc. especially in times of infection, she is safest where she is etc etc.

Yes, unfortunately you will need to distract her and then distract yourself.

A very difficult time for you and certainly not a time for any major decions.

Take care,

I would blame the doctors too! I would even go as far as saying I wish they would hurry up but we dare’nt go against them. Hubby would say I suppose not, but aren’t they slow (useless)! Any distraction helps. Let’s have a cuppa, look at this TV programme, just change the subject. It’s very hard, and heartbreaking yes, but you know it’s for the safety, best interests of the person you love and yourself to be honest. Feel sad it’s happening but not guilty. Think how guilty you would feel if you relented, and something awful happened.

Perhaps there’s people dying all around her in the home from Corona-virus and she feels vulnerable at the moment. Just a thought.

Thank you everyone.

Yes I think she’s particularly low at the moment due to the restrictions In the home, so hopefully her mood will left when things go back to some kind of ‘normal’.


I am the opposite, it is me that wanted to bring hubby home. For a while I struggled to get head and heart in same place. I made a list of his needs, extremely high. Even in the nursing home he has 1-1 staff. Then one by one I went through and looked at each point and what if anything I could do for him, in a safe way though. My head knew what outcome would be but I still had to go through the process to convince my heart, if that makes sense.

It is 38 days today since last saw him properly. Facetime via staff not doable as his Alz that advanced and face facing down, after the 1st time it hurt me more. So now I visit twice a week and although not ideal, I see him through the window and he is able to hear my voice. That is our last connection and I was worried in case we would lose it whilst being apart.

The other side of it Vicky is bed space. had you attempted to bring your mam home and it never worked out, I doubt there would be any placement there or elsewhere available. All our local homes are at full capacity and a waiting list for places. My heart goes out to those that need respite as unable to get any.

Like others have said, you made the original decision for a reason. Try hold out a while longer., for your dads sake too. Could he go through upheavel himself at this time…

I have not been on forum for a while now so no idea if your mams place is close to you. if it is have you considered dropping little notes in, or pictures for her window. here many residents have pics of rainbows up. Maybe make a cake or buy one if easier, that she can share with others. A possible montage of photos for her wall. Just a thought

x x

I sympathise and am in a similar situation but my mum does have dementia. I haven’t been allowed to see her for about 5 weeks now. We Facetime but she often cries. I send her pretty cards and today I was shopping near her care home so I rang and said I have a card and some biscuits and sweets for her and the Manager let me leave them in the porch.

Every time I ring her or Facetime her she says she wants to go home and it’s horrible for both of us. i just have to keep changing the subject.

Hello and welcome!

Ask the care home staff to distract her. Perhaps you could talk to her on the phone instead?

Yes, we’ve sent goodies, cards and I’ve written letters.
My head knows she can’t come home but at the moment my heart aches.
Thank you everyone and I’m hoping you’re all finding the strength you need at the moment too.