Question: My mom is in a Memory Care unit. She says she understands why she is there and is glad to be there, but she still makes comments about being in prison. We have a disagreement among siblings as to whether or not she should be able to go out. Do you have an opinion on that? One of my sisters wants to take her to her house for the holidays and my other sister thinks she should not upset her routine and should leave her within those four walls.
Dr.Amy: How people react to a change in routine is very individual. This is true for all of us, but especially for those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. While a good memory care center will offer a variety of stimulating activities, a visit with family might provide your mom with a welcome change. Let your mother’s wishes influence your decision. You say she is glad to be there and yet she also makes comments about being in prison. Is she asking to be taken home for visits—or is she making a joke? If she desires a change, this is a good reason to give it a try.
People’s reaction to change is not constant. If she reacts well to a visit to one of your sister’s homes one day, this is no guarantee all will go smoothly the next time. You need to be prepared for that. Good luck, and may the peace and joy of this season touch your whole family!
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