My mother thinks she is not at home. How do we convince her that she is at home?

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We try to convince her that she is home. She has lived there for 45 years. She wants to know why we keep trying to trick her and keep taking her to these fake houses that look like hers but are not. She knows her address and street corner but still belives in her soul she is not home. She is sobbing for us to take her home. we take her to our house for a visit then home but she is not fooled by yet another fake home. Her financial limits leave us in what we percieve to be a disfunctional and undirected medical system. We are at a lost. She had a seizure in November and this has come on since then. Before that she seemed good other than a few slight confusions or memory problems tha did not alarm us.

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We all need to remember that when someone has memory issues and say they want to go "home", the home they mean is their childhood home back when life as a child was simpler and fun.
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My Mom went through the same thing. It got to the point where we'd go for a short drive and when we'd get back home she wouldn't recognize the house. She thought we'd just gone into some strangers home and made ourselves comfortable. No matter how I tried to convince her that it was our home she just couldn't understand and it created a lot of anxiety for her. The home she remembered was the home of her childhood. Eventually, it got to the point where we were basically home bound. She would do fine as long as we never left the house. This was one of the reasons for finally placing Mom in a Memory Care Center. There she wouldn't have to go anywhere and there were plenty of things there for her to do. It has worked out great so far. Such a horrible disease.
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We were just having the same issue with our mom. She would get so angry when we tried to tell her she didn't have another house. Then my brother tried this. Whenever she said she wanted to go home, he told her that she was home. That she had been telling us that she hated, hated her home and that she wanted to go back to her mom's house (where she currently lives). He told her that she had finally convinced everyone and that they sold the other house and that she had just moved back to her mom's house. Amazingly, she has accepted that, saying, "Really? I guess now I only have to remember that I now have only one home." It's been a while and it has always worked (so far).
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One of the things I used to tell Ruth, was that her son was going to let her stay in the house we were in.... and I'd point out how nice it was, her own bed, bath, ect.... her face would light up and she'd say how sweet that was of her son... we may have to have that conversation many times during the day, but it helped her to be calmer... I don't know that I would tell her things like a gas leak or things that might make her worry or have anxiety over , regardless of how temporary...
As others have pointed out, and something I always say, she doesn't live in our world anymore, so we have to go to hers.....
And also the suggestions about getting her evaluated is essential.. there may be a med for her anxiety... or at least you would feel more secure about what you are working with... prayers for you and your mom...
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When we try to convince someone of something, we tend to do most of the talking. See what happens if you get HER talking. Ask her about her house. Get her reminiscing about her house. When you chime in, chime in with something that validates her emotional state: "You miss the feeling of how things used to be!" "You're feeling anxious about where you are!" You will be going with her flow, and you might find out something that really is missing for her that you can either help with or sympathize with.... Good luck
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So sorry to hear of your Mom wanting to go home. We went through it for a year, the wanting to go home, the wandering, and the sleepless nights. I had the car parked out front and we took several rides until she would come home. Althou she lives with us, she was never home, even in her home. "Home" is comfort, its a lonely disease and a confusing disease and they want "Momma" sometimes too. To me Home is I need to feel safe. Its time for tots of diverting her attention is now needed along with medication to help. MY Neuro put Mom on depakote sprinkles to calm her brain and it was a life saver for us. My Mom rarely asks now, is calm on her mediation yet doesnt sleep like she did when she first went on it, she is up 12 hours mostly. When all else fails, everyone start singing! It seemed to work for us and she loved it! Sing the old songs, the hymns and you will be surprised how they can sing along and smile.
Best of luck!
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As the others have told you, there is no way to convince a dementia patient of external Reality. They have their own internal reality. It is generally better to join them there and provide what comfort and practical guidance you can. And, by the way, Alzheimer's is not the only kind of dementia that displays this symptom.

Coach is probably right -- she may be remembering her house of 30 years ago, or even a childhood home.

How about a creative story for her comfort? "There was a gas leak in the neighborhood and everyone has been evacucated. You can't go back until it is safe. Meanwhile, they provided everyone with this facimile houses. Didn't they do a good job of getting it just like your real house? Is there anything we can do to make it better for you until we can go back?"

Some people are satisfied by going for a drive and coming back to the house, but for others this just makes them mad and feel tricked.

This is a hard one! In my husband's case, it lasted just a few months. He mostly thought we were in either a train station, a school, or a hotel.
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I second the other posts about getting your mom to a neurologist to have her evaluated for dementia. Whether it is a progressive dementia like Alzheimer's or damage to her brain caused by the seizure, it sounds like she is having some consistent confusion and problems with reasoning and logic. This website can help you locate an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in your state, where your mom could get a thorough evaluation for dementia so you can have a clearer picture of what's going on and what she can understand:


Whatever the cause or course of her confusion, it seems like she is not able to understand when you try to tell her that she is home. When someone has dementia, it is unlikely that you will be able to convince them of something they don't feel is true. She may be remembering her childhood home or remembering her home as it used to look. Whatever the case may be, it doesn't feel like home and you probably won't be able to make her believe it. All it does is make both of you more frustrated

So meet her where she is. I'm sorry you don't feel comfortable here mom, but this is the best place for your to be right now. We need to make sure your home is safe for you to go back to. Your home needs some work done so this is where you need to stay for now. What can we do to make this place more comfortable. What do you love best about your home.

These are all things you can try to say to her. No guarantee that they'll work, but it's about responding to her feelings of not being comfortable and probably feeling scared. She's not going to respond to arguments or facts, but find a way to connect with her on the feeling level. This is hard to do and it's important for you to have support for yourself as well during this difficult time.
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My mother had dementia and one day she told us we needed to take her home. She had lived in her home for 30 years. The evening before and all the next day, she thought she was somewhere else. I would ask her if she recognized her couch, her pictures, etc. and she would tell me they looked like hers at her house. She finally decided she would walk home and was very angry at us for not taking her home. She got outside and fell and scratched up her arm. I had to call my brother to come over. But, she never did change her mind. With my brother there, she calmed down. But, later, my husband said we should have taken her on a drive and then come back home and maybe she would have recognized her house. She did that one other time before we had to put her in the nursing home. Her mind really got so bad near the end. It was hard to care for her because she wouldn't let me...she was so angry with me all the time...trying to hit me, say terrible things to me, lie about me to others, etc. It's a hard time in caregiving. God be with you and your loved one.
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This definitely sounds like she is in the moderate stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Has she been diagnosed? If not, she needs to be. I had a grandmother with Alzheimer's, and she would say much of the same things. Currently, I have a step-father that has been recently diagnosed with AD. He is 82. His doctor does not want to put him on any meds, because of his other health conditions...we are trying to get him a second opinion, but he doesn't want one. Good Luck!
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