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Can I bring my mom home to die?

My Mom is 88 years old and has Alzheimer's. She is totally bedridden and needs total care. She doesn't respond verbally but will follow you with her eyes and always pay particular attention to her granddaughter and grandson who are my children. She will often watch me and she enjoys music tremendously. She will not speak but will purposely hold my hand upon request. This is the situation. She has been in a nursing home for over 10 years. During this period of time she has received excellent care with few minor incidents that were readily resolved. Now I want to bring her home, each time I visit her she looks at me with eyes that plead to go home. I feel strongly that she does not want to die at the nursing home but wants to be with her family. This thought never leaves my mind. She was placed in the home because in the beginning she would wander, and would become extremely angry and aggressive. I don't want to get a call that my Mom has died and I was not there, I cannot bear the idea that no family is with her and I only see her only twice a month because of the distance she is away from me.
Status: Open    May 02, 2015 - 06:54 AM

End of Life

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Expert Answers

May 20, 2015 - 07:54 AM

9/10 people said they wanted to be at home at the end of life. Your intuition and her eyes are telling you this. The important thing is to make sure that you have a set up to physically care for her. Involve the whole family -grandchildren included with age appropriate tasks. It will be an amazing gift for them as well.

Total care is very demanding In all ways for the caregiver. To have an aide come in in the AM to do bathing and dressing can do wonders. Set up a system allowing free periods for you to re- charge your batteries.

This could be one of the greatest gifts you give your entire family including yourself.

Good Luck,

Suzanne B. O'Brien RN


Jun 15, 2015 - 03:58 PM

I'm a huge hospice supporter. It is one of the greatest concepts for care. With that said, there is always room for education and growth. One of the major issues with hospice and an Alzheimer's diagnosis is that many times the patient does not meet the requirements ( at least on recertification ). Eligibility for hospice is a terminal diagnosis of 6 months or less for most of the US organizations. In order to be eligable and to be recertified ( staying on hospice ) there has to be a measurable decline in status. I have unfortunatley had so many Alzheimer's/dementia patients that need the care, but because there was no decline ( usually measured in weight loss ) they were taken off the program. People can live 7-14 years with Alzheimer's. It is devistating to watch loved ones care for their family member under such emotional, physical and financial hardship.
Please be aware that if your mom is not losing weight on a steady basis, she may get admitted to hospice but has a chance of getting discharged when you are now dependant on all the resources. Talk to your hospice about this very fact. It is just important to be aware of this sad fact and have a back-up plan. I have seen heartache when the services are not recertified. A nurse can come to the nursing home and do a complete intake and assess your mom. Hospice sooner than later.

Good Luck,


Source: Suzanne B. O'Brien RN


May 20, 2015 - 09:22 AM

The previous answer is powerful and well-thought out, being mindful of your own needs as a caregiver is so important at this crucial time. I say, follow your heart and bring her home, but not before you put important components in place.

Have you talked to her physician about end of life care through hospice? Hospice can provided support and other resources to caregivers in (and out) of the home during end of life.

Hearing positive experiences from seniors and their families living in nursing homes or other senior communities is wonderful, you are fortunate!

Jun 15, 2015 - 03:30 PM

I second what Sarah said.
Hospice will be a lifesaver for you.
Your Mom will continue to get great care from Hospice workers and they can help do things that you might have problems doing on your own. They can also provide equipment that will make it possible to move your Mom.
The CNA and Nurse that comes in to help me with my husband are wonderful. Any questions or concersn I have they can and will get answers. Most Hospice will also be able to provide volunteers that can sit with your Mom if you need to run out for a while. The goal of Hospice is to help you, your Mom and your whole family through this journey. They will also strive to be there with you and your Mom when she passes.
Good luck, this is a big decision. Als keep in mind that she may not deal easily with a move at this point and the move alone may excelerate a decline.
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