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This is breaking our hearts because she is too confused to stay safely by herself. She has short term memory loss, and we repeat 1,000 X's a day that she should stay with us and she refuses to stay, stating "I just want to go home". Any suggestions!

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You can tell her she just needs to stay for a few weeks. That might relieve her, to think that she will be able to go home someday. It won't work if she can still use a calendar.
The technique Jeanne recommends is sometimes called, "Give her in fantasy what you can't give her in reality." Talk about the particular things about home that she likes best. Ask about other houses she has lived in. Ask her if she would be happier here if you put a Jacuzzi in her room. Feel sympathy, not guilt. Best of luck.
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BTW, I think I'd drop the 1000s times a day explanations of why she need to be where she is. That is logical, and it has nothing to do with situation. And as you see, it doesn't work to fix anything! Accept that she want to "go home." Acknowledge her feelings. Don't try to reason them away.

If mom kept saying, over and over, "I want the flowers to bloom! I want to see that lilac bush in bloom!" you could probably remind her that things happen in their own seasons a few times, but you'd quickly see that a science lesson wasn't really helping. It might be better to say something along the lines of "Me too! I am so tired of the dreary winter landscape! Let's plan a trip to the conservatory next week. They have lots of things in bloom!"

Acknowledge her feelings (even if you don't understand them), don't try to explain why her feelings aren't appropriate, and do try to give her some little token to cheer her up.
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Karen, how hard for you! Early in his dementia my husband constantly wanted to "go home." Being new to the situation myself I tried all kinds of ways to convince him that he was home. "See this lamp we bought together after we were first married?" And look, our very own scrapbooks are right on this shelf!" He'd recognize the items and agree with me, but that did nothing to stop him from wanting to go home. I doubt very much it was a childhood home -- he was raised in an orphanage.

I think it is an instinctive desire to go back to when things were "normal" -- when they knew where they were and when the world seemed to make sense. For me, when everything around me seems to be going to hell on the express route, my phrase is "I want my mommy." I don't have dementia and I don't really expect my 95yo demented mother to help me or comfort me. But it is how I express the wish that the world were simple and a funny story and a warm chocolate chip cookie could make the world a happy place again.

For my husband, this "go home" phase lasted a few months. I didn't handle it well. It came back in the final stage when he was overly tired. I did better with it then.

Here is what I'd share, from experience:

1) Do NOT take this personally. It is not a rejection of you or your hospitality. No one is sure exactly what drives it, but it is part of the dementia and it is NOT personally directed at you.

2) Do not expect to be able to reason Mother out of this. Whatever else it might be, it is not reasonable. Don't bother with the logical explanations about why she is where she is. That has nothing to do with what she wants.

3) Sometimes it is possible to discover what the drive is behind a particular episode of wanting to go home. For example, my husband often wanted a nap and was delighted at finding his own bedroom. Or he wanted to go home where he knew where the beer was kept. Remember, my husband WAS home, but the dementia kept him from remembering where the bedroom was, or that beer is in the fridge. It is not always possible to figure out what prompted an episode, but when you can, take advantage of it! "Oh Mom, I'm sorry I can't get you home right now. What would you be doing if I could get you there?"

4) Remember, This is Not Your Fault. This is not about what you are doing right or wrong. It is the dementia. Don't add any guilt to your already overwhelmed feelings!

5) This won't last forever. Figure out what is calming and soothing and ride it out.

6) This symptom will go away and others will take its place. Some you will be able to cope with better than others. None of them are your fault -- or your mother's fault!

7) Someday your mother's symptoms may be more than you can manage in a way that is best for all concerned. Be open to the possibility of a care center. Personally I would not let this particular symptom be the deciding factor, if you are still getting along in other respects.

8) Discuss this and each new symptom with her doctor. Not everything can be addressed with medications, but if the doctor thinks a drug might relieve agitation or anxiety and that seems to be a part of this, be open to a little experimentation.

How wonderful of you to want to take care of your mother! Having her live with you isn't the only way you can do that, but since you are embarked on that path now, I hope it will work out for you for a good long time. I was able to keep my husband at home through his full journey. (Caring for a spouse is a different kettle of fish.) My sister was able to provide extra doses of love for our mother in her lovely home for 14 months. Mom has been in a care center now for two years, and is thriving there.

Each situation is different. Come back and talk to us often. Perhaps all of our different experiences will help you find the best solutions in your situation.
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Eyerishlass - well said. "Home can be a state of mind." Words to live by.
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I had a patient who, when being cleaned up, would proclaim, "I want to go home!" She didn't have dementia and she was in the same home she had lived in for 50 years. No one could ever figure out what she was talking about and her family tried to ask her but she didn't have an answers for them.

In my opinion, "home" doesn't have to be a place either in the past or currently but can be a feeling of being warm and safe and comfortable. "Home" can be a state of mind.
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My dad thought he was in a hotel when they moved in with us.. kept asking if I had the room number, and did "these people" know we were staying. It is so hard.. good luck
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One thing important to remember, when a person, that has memory loss, says they want to "go home", the home they are referring to is their childhood home. Currently memories are gone, but those way far back memories are still floating around.
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Mom may need anti anxiety meds for immediate use WHILE you figure out how you are going to handle this issue. Don't panic! Don't assume mom "remembers" that she is in a new place and that you told her for the 21st. time that this is where she is going to be now. Act as if you are telling her for the first time. Don't be annoyed with her. SHE IS SCARED. That is what is happening, so something to bring the edge down a couple of notches may be needed. *Maybe for you too*..........Hang in there. No hasty moves. Remember she is scared, so put yourself in her shoes and tell her whatever you know is comforting for the time being.
HUGS,
M88
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Karen, it sounds as though the move has confused and agitated her. Not uncommom! Have you talked to her doctor? She may need some anti-anxiety meds to ease her through this transition.
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This may be the least of your problems as her dementia progresses. She's going to run you guys ragged very quickly. Yoga gives good advice. You need to consider memory care or very supervised assisted living. Whether she's in your house or a facilty its a big adjustment but she will adjust over time.
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Sorry you are going through this. She sounds like my mom. I suggest looking at professional memory care near you. I got the paperwork yesterday to put mom on the waiting list. Has your mom been tested by her Dr or seen a neurologist yet? Her condition may worsen or she could wander and place herself in danger.
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