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What are the preparations needed to bring my mother home from assisted living?

Hi, I have been living in Australia for the past 10 years for work. Now I am moving back to my home country. All these years my mother, who is now 83, was living in an assisted care facility here in Canada, called Prestige Care. She is very happy there. Now that I am here, I wish to bring my mother back home, and she said yes. I want to make sure that she will be as happy as she was in her facility. Any suggestions on how to make her comfortable at home? I want things to go perfect!
Status: Open    Aug 17, 2015 - 08:08 AM


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Aug 17, 2015 - 09:41 PM

It is important to discuss with your mother what are the top 5 things she loves or finds most helpful at her current placement. The reason I bring this up first and foremost is keep in mind if anything she says points to the 'care' she receives (personal care, bathing, etc) or the social opportunities she has remember that somehow (likely) in order to keep her happy you will have to either be that outlet, hire a caregiver to assist, and/or provide her the social life she has become accustomed to. Not to mention any home remodels that may be necessary to accomodate her now or in the near future.

Have you given any thought to doing a 10 day trial at home? I suggest that as a viable option to families so that you can become familiar with what her true needs are (when you aren't around) and are fully aware of what she EXPECTS from you. Having been gone for 10 years I worry for you that maybe alot goes on behind the scenes at the assisted living (care, meals, social, etc) that will be expected of you at home. Maybe that is something you are ready and wanting to do, but a 10 day trial will give you BOTH a good picture. Call it a 'staycation.' We often find the honeymoon ends after about 3-4 days and after that you will get a better idea of what she needs, what you are capable of doing and overall how you two might work this out together.

I hope that is helpful.


Feb 06, 2016 - 08:32 AM

Seriously - consider not doing it. If she is happy and adjusted to the assisted living facility, being in your home could be isolating and boring and she might need YOU to personally supply all the attention and activities that the facility and its staff were able to provide. Consider visits for special occasions first, and realize that even a 10 day trial peroid at home with you might still be in a "honeymoon" phase of sorts. Realize that you can be more involved with her now that youare closer, without necessarily taking on all the responsibility of providing all care and supervision. Ask the staff at Prestige Care how much supervision she needs, what all she does during her days there, what care they are providing for her, and whether she can be left alone for short periods of time or not. Then assess your resources accordingly, and realistically. Maybe it will be great - maybe you will be one of the ones who never needs to write to AgingCare or here about how burnt out you are and how you wished you could keep Mom at home but can't provide all the care for her and stil have any time for yourself or other family, but now there is no room available in the facility you want, and she is on a long waiting list for one. The chances of things being "perfect" are frankly, slim. Even if things are ideal it will be a big adjustment. I would not take mom's "yes" as a reasoned, thoughtful judgement, let alone a guarantee that it will go as well as you hope. For it to really be better for Mom than where she is, there has to be support, she has to have level of care that can be managed with that support, you have to have an excellent relationship where you can communicate rationally about problems or conflicts, there have to be advantages to living with you in terms of her quality of life. Don't let your idealistic desire to be a Good Daughter and take care of Mom at home become more improtant than her actual happiness. After all, there is a reason she is in assisted living in the first place, and that reason will not go away by your changing her location. Sorry to be Debbie Donwner here. Again, maybe your situation is more ideal than many andit could be wonderful to have her home with you. Just think about it with total honesty first.
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