Dad has dementia and keeps asking when he’s going home. None of his children can tell him he’s there for good. Any advice?

Follow
Share

Dad has dementia he keeps asking when he’s going home. None of his children can tell him he’s there for good.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
6

Answers

Show:
There has been a lot of Alzheimers in my family. No matter what answer you give him, he won't remember it tomorrow and will ask again. I feel the greatest kindness is to give the most truthful answer you can that will comfort them in the moment. The moment is all they still have; they deserve to be happy in the moment. If you can't give a truthful answer, know you are helping them most by saying whatever will comfort them in the moment. If the truth causes anxiety and unhappiness, there is nothing useful about sharing it as Dad won't remember it long enough to accept it or come to terms with it like someone without dementia, so sharing the truth hasn't helped anyone, especially not Dad. There were lots of good suggestions above. Don't guilt yourself over making your Dad's life easier in the only way you can.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

That's a good point. People who have dementia and who live in their own homes, may ask to go home. It may be somewhere in their mind, that doesn't really exist.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

For a person with dementia, home represents "not here." My FIL has no idea where "home" might be. If asked, he says he knows it's not where he is. He doesn't even know his son's or daughter's names anymore. He thinks his son, my husband, has children. "How are your kids?" Son never had children, but he's learned it's easier to go along with Dad and say the kids are fine. There's just no way to sort it out. We gave him a calendar with pictures and names, but Dad doesn't know what a calendar is anymore and can't read the names. We do a lot of "therapeutic fibbing" when we visit because he accepts the fibs far more happily than he does the frustration of being told truths he can't sort out.

Dementia is a sad disease. Sometimes being kind and withholding information is the best way to give our loved one a feeling of security and comfort. They need to know they are loved and someone, even if they are losing grasp of who we are, is taking care of things.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Kimstauffiger29, many times a person who has dementia and asks when they can go home is not meaning the previous home they lived.... the person means their childhood home back when life was so much simpler as a child.

It is best to use what are called "therapeutic fibs", like telling Dad "maybe next week" whenever he asks about home. Or saying the homes is being repainted. That will make Dad feel better in the moment, until the next time he will ask.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Good points above. I wouldn't get bothered about what info siblings may give dad about this. He wouldn't likely remember and the questions would still keep coming over and over. So, telling him the truth, actually, may not offer him any benefit.

With my LO, I tried to keep her happy in the moment, give her security, positive re-enforcement, the people here are so kind, things are so nice, food is delicious, etc.

Also, sometimes the questions are a phase and will fade. Eventually, they may not think to ask about things like that. My LO called her room her apt and she liked the way I helped her fix it up. She also thought that she worked at the facility.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Even if they did tell him that, he would keep asking.

I'm sorry for the sadness of your (your?) Dad's situation, but don't worry that you or his other children ought to be telling him the truth about his future care and trying to make him take the information on board - he just can't process and retain that kind of thought.

Instead, talk about how the nice people will be taking care of him until he's "better", and we all just have to wait and see how things turn out. Divert him to other subjects if you possibly can (take photo albums or the daily paper to provide talking points) and when it's time to leave try to hand over to a member of staff and slip out quietly saying you're going to the bathroom, or something like that.

Teepa Snow is just the best when it comes to handling tricky aspects of dementia - you should be able to find her videos online.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions