When a Person with Dementia Says, “I Want to go Home”
Have you ever heard an older person tell you they want to go home? When in fact they are at home? This phrase is often repeated by the person living with dementia in the mid to late stages of the disease. The person may even begin packing their suitcase in preparation to leave. Your response may be, “You are home.” Perhaps you go as far as to remind them how long they have lived in their current home.
There may be a better response.
When you respond, remember to always address the person with dementia by their first name. Don’t argue, be agreeable.
Try asking something like this:
“Mary, do you need to do something there or do you just want to be there?” Wait for a reply.
When you validate a fear, concern, want, or need that the person with dementia has, you will help them feel like they are being understood. They will feel you are listening and able to satisfy the issue at hand. A person with dementia needs from their caregiver to feel safe and loved. Constantly giving reality checks will do nothing more than confuse or make the person with dementia uneasy when you point out that they are wrong or don’t seem to know what’s going on.
For more tips on improving communication with those with memory diseases the ALZ.org website is very helpful. – https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/daily-care/communications
For more information or help finding in home care or senior living for you or a loved one, schedule a no cost family consultation. Call Home2Home4Seniors today at 210-899-7080. As always, Home2Home4Seniors services are free of charge. We look forward to speaking with you.