Alzheimer`s Disease/Home


My mom has what I consider moderate Alzheimers. She recognizes her family most of the visits, sometimes confuses me for my neice. She is ambulatory, able to feed, bathe, dress self. She has good long term memory, short term memory is shot.
She has been in a memory care unit for about 1 year. She needs reminders to join activities,meals, etc although somedays she initiates these on her own....if she had no reminders, I fear she would stay in her pajamas and in her room most days but not certain. She can still reason....can play bingo and puzzles but has lost interest in watching movies,reading etc.
She was an avid gardener and cook before moving to the care unit and these activities are not available there.

I am concerned because she keeps asking about her house and is worried about it and it's condition/security. We are in the process of rehabbing it to sell it to pay for her care unit which is 4k/month.... :<
My sister insists on keeping her away from it as she is concerned that it will trigger a traumatic event when she sees that it is empty and her garden in a shambles.

When she asks about her home, my sister says, "you don't need to know" which frankly irritates my mother and mom said, "it just makes me think that something IS wrong". I assured her that the house is secure and that there is a yard man mowing but then I change the subject because I don't know what else to say.

She said today when I told her that my sister was painting and fixing it up, "well I guess she thinks she's going to sell it!"

I wonder if it would be good or bad idea to take her there or if that would be harmful to her mentally/emotionally to see her home empty.

I really wish that she could stay there with 24/7 sitters but dont know if we would be able to find adequate,reliable sitters. My sister is not very open to this idea though.

Do you have any advice?

Thank you for your time.

Hello Rosemary:  I would advise against taking her to see the house.  I would also advise that you maintain her hope that some day she will be able to go back home.  You can do this by "therapeutic fibs" with something like "Well, you know there are workmen there right now Mom, but once they finish--maybe later this week, we'll plan to drive over there so you can see it."  Chances are pretty good that she will forget the conversation and in the meantime, she's been reassured and feels good about the fact that she will get to see it again.  Another way, is to talk around the subject with something like "Mom, I know you're really worried about the house, but I promise you that it's being well cared for right now and you know we all hope that you will be able to return soon to see for yourself."  That's really not a "lie" but it may reassure her.  Maybe bringing her flowers "from your garden" would cheer her up and help reassure her.  Don't let her lose hope that she can return home some day.  Eventually she will stop asking about it as her dementia increases.  Please ask your sister to avoid telling her things like "you don't need to know" since that just makes her more anxious, as you have already seen.  Get into her reality and work with her on that level knowing that whatever you say to her will likely be forgotten so you can tell you "maybe later this week we can go there" until she forgets about the house.  I would advise you and your family educate yourselves about how to interact more appropriately with your Mom and one book that I recommend--since I wrote it (!) is "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia."  You will learn many, many tips that will not only help you feel more comfortable, but will improve your Mom's quality of life as well.  I wish you much luck Rosemary as you and your family take this walk through dementia with your dear Mother.  Cindy

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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