Everyone says not to argue with her, as she has dementia. However, her "reality" is scaring her and she cries on the phone. She asks, " when can I go home? Why don't you come get me! I don't live here!" If I told her I'll be there soon, she certainly calls back and says "why didn't you come?" It's easy to let them live in their own world when they're happy. It's a whole different thing when she's scared and paranoid. Also--she was recently moved to Memory Care from Assisted Living and has been on Depacote for only about 5 days. Help!
I validated my dad with all the "good" things but when he saw war on TV (he wasn't supposed to have the TV on during news) - he was certain there was a war in our community and he accused me of lying to him when I said there wasn't. It was distressing to say the least.
All that I could do was acknowledge his stress and in a kind way tell him the was was in a different part of the world and the war couldn't get to him.. Did it help? No. I tried to make him feel safe and let him know I was there. Eventually it passed and he moved on to something else. We can't make it all go away no matter how hard we try. My heart is with you.
Please read the full string on comments as each one has something valuable to share.
What I have tried is to acknowledge the feeling. The feeling is real. I don't agree with the scary delusion but I try to be comforting about it. Then I try to distract to a different topic. Always successful? Hmm ... no, I can't say it has been.
"Oh Mom, it must seem very strange to be in a new place now! Nothing is familiar. The people are all different than the ones you are used to. Not everyone even knows your name yet, and you certainly can't remember the names of all these new people. I'll bet you feel confused and unhappy." ... "I'm so sorry you are unhappy. This new place has more people to help you. Once you get used to everyone this is going to work out fine. I'll be there to see you the day after tomorrow. Is there anything you would like me to bring for you?" ... "You know, I think your winter robe is looking a little shabby. Is it time for a new one? Should I bring in my computer and we can pick one out for you?"
summary: You are unhappy and you have reason to be. I am very sorry about that. Things will get better. Change of subject-- how about a new bath robe?
Don't argue with her but as Jeanne said, acknowledge her feelings and then redirect her to something else. Redirection can be exhausting for a caregiver and I found that it was helpful to have a running list in my head of my go-to subjects in which to redirect. That way you're not in the moment, at a loss for what to say.
Give the Depakote a little time to work and if your mom can't seem to settle in maybe discuss with her Dr. an anti-anxiety medication.
a tantrum about wanting to go to Sunday School on a Thursday, and I couldn't convince her that it wasn't Sunday. Some years later, I mentioned the incident to her, and her reply: You should have given me a cracker and some juice and it would have been fine. My MIL in her last days would insist it was the wrong day. What I should have done is asked what she usually did on that day, and followed that cue. Similarly, asking someone who wants to "go home" what they like best about going home, or what they want to do there. In other words, try to get past the impossible part to the real reason behind the request.
You could ask the staff for advice to make it feel more like home to her... some of her stuff, pictures, etc. And make sure she is being treated well at the facility!
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