My mom has lived with me since 1984 bu says she doesn't feel like she's home. She asks me where I am too. So I ask her who she thinks I am and she replies,,, just a person. Mom has,t been diagnosed with dementia yet but I am certain she has it but will not let me discuss it with her doctor. I asked for a ct scan and they found an old dryer up blref on her brain from an earlier fall, and they explained confusion from earlier months by this. Today she asked for her mother whom has been dead since 1975. How do I handle this I am with her 24/7 and feel privileged to be so. How do I keep her happy?

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Often when someone says they "want to go home" it is to a place where they felt safe and secure. Most likely their childhood home. It was when they were safe and well.
So try to reassure your Mom that she is safe at home, you are with her and you will keep her safe.
Remember that promise. That should be the one you make regarding her well being. I say that because there may come a time when for her safety and possibly for yours you can not keep her home, or out of a Memory Care facility or Nursing Home.
the promise you make is to "KEEP HER SAFE" it may come when you will need help, she may be up and wandering at 3am, she may get violent, she may become a fall risk. These are all things that may result in you having to place her. Do not feel guilty about having to "keep her safe"

When she asks for her Mother, her Father, brothers or sisters...just reply with simple answers...She went to the store...he went to town to get the car is at school......Do not tell her that they have died if they have. If they live far away tell her that they are out of town. You can try making phone calls but at some point the phone will be confusing, as I called it .." a disembodied voice from a box" If the person can not see a face they will have no connection to the voice from the phone. And as you can tell already even seeing you and talking to you sometimes she does not know who you are.
Your Mother probably does have Dementia..the type may or may not matter.
I suggest for you a few things.
Get to a support group for yourself.
Gt your Mother in an Adult Day Program if there is one near you.
Read what you can on dementia but remember that each person is individual and not all people with dementia get violent, repeat questions, and whatever else people "always" do.
I can tell you what they "always " do is
Continue to decline
Continue to loose basic skills
Will become incontinent
Will stop eating and drinking at some point
Will die.
How long it takes from start to end is different just like anyone's life.
Helpful Answer (2)

Some things that people say to comfort the person with dementia is that they'll take them home when the heater is fixed, when the car is repaired, when the bridge is repaired, when the painting if finished, etc. Then change the subject or look at old photos that may be bring her comfort.

I'd keep in mind that it may be that she's not being insistent on going home, but only that she forgets that she has already asked bout it many times before. The only solution is to keep answering her over and over.

If she's obsessing and anxious about it, I'd discuss it with her doctor and see if medication could help her.

Also, keep in mind that this stage often runs it's course Other behaviors may start though.
Helpful Answer (4)

Mother is in the beginning stages of dementia. She reminisces constantly of the old days when she was a girl. She repeats herself constantly. I handle this by just listening and nodding my head or saying "yes, I know". I CAN'T make her better, I CAN'T take her "home" or anywhere else her poor brain wants to go. Just be kind and patient. Sadly, this doesn't get better.
Helpful Answer (3)

Newcrafter, early in his dementia our house did not feel like "home" to my husband. Instead he thought we were in a school, or a train station, or most often a hotel. When he wanted to go home I think he was longing for a time when he felt comfortable with his world, when things made sense to him.

I spent a lot of time and frustration trying to convince him we were home. I realize now that was a waste of time for both of us. When he had bouts like this later in his disease I went along with them and we were both much better off. ("I want to go home. When does the train get here?" "Oh, I'm so sorry but there won't be another train until tomorrow. But I know of a really nice bedroom you can use tonight and then we'll look at the train schedule tomorrow.")

There were a few times my mother asked where my deceased dad was. I'd been dealing with dementia for a few years at that point, so I knew enough to go along. "He's having a poker weekend with his buddies. You and I are having a girl's weekend!"

My mother knew all her daughters but sometimes got us confused. To help her out when I visited her in the NH I'd start out by saying, "Hi Mom, it is your nicest daughter Jeanne!" and she'd say, kind of laughing, "All my girls are nice!"

I think not being recognized by a loved one is absolutely heart-breaking. My husband went through a very brief period of not knowing who I was. Painful! He did accept me as a very nice lady who was helpful to him. With some kinds of dementia the loss of ability to recognize people, especially in the late stages, is permanent. But that is not always the case.

When your mother asks where you are, she may be thinking of you as 11 years old, or 5, or 15. She doesn't recognize the grown-up you! If she accepts you as a kind person that she is safe with that might be the best you can do at that moment.
Helpful Answer (5)

newcrafter101, I remember when my Mom was in long-term-care, she would ask to go home. At first I thought it was the house that she and my Dad had shared, where she had lived a month prior.

Then my Mom [98] was asking if the cattle were out in the field, that was the ah ha moment for me, as Mom grew up on a dairy farm, and none of the other houses she lived in had cattle. Then Mom talked about wanting to see her sisters [all of whom had passed]. So what I did, I told her we will visit later in the week as everyone is so busy right now.. and Mom was ok with that answer. Of course, Mom would forget that conversation an hour later.

I didn't want to tell Mom that her family had passed on, because she would have grieved each time, and I didn't want to upset her. The therapeutic lies worked just fine.

Eyerishlass, above, had written a lot of good suggestions, I agree with everything she had said.
Helpful Answer (1)

I think the home she's asking you to take her to is the home in which she grew up. This is a common desire in people with dementia.

Like anyone else, your mom may not be happy all the time. This is going to sound so simple and stupid but I swear it works. Working in the medical field myself I come across people with dementia somewhat frequently and when I do I give them a nice, warm smile and they automatically respond. Don't grin like a psychotic clown, just a sweet, welcoming smile. It can help de-escalate an outburst and it helps to put the person at ease. So that's one trick I have in my bag as silly as it sounds.

Did you tell your mom that her mom has been gone for 40 years? If you say "since 1975" that may not have an impact on your mom since she may not know what the year is right now. If you told her, what was her reaction? Sometimes with people with dementia it doesn't help to remind them that a loved one is gone. Even though it was 40 years ago your mom could experience the grief all over again as if it were yesterday. But it depends upon the level of her dementia as to how to answer this question. You could tell your mom that her mom is on a cruise and won't be back for a while and this may placate your mom. Or not. Again, depends upon her dementia.

The 3rd thing I've done to help keep people with dementia happy is to give them as much control over their environment as I can while still keeping them safe. Pick out 2 outfits and ask your mom which one she'd like to wear. Would she like chicken or fish for dinner? Does she want to take her shower this morning or wait until she's a little more awake (but watch out for this one because a lot of elderly people will put off taking a shower indefinitely).

The last thing I would suggest to keep your mom happy is to treat her with respect and as a person who still has value not just to you but to the world in general. Ask for her opinion on things, ask her what she thinks about something. If she keeps up with current events talk to her about them, let her have a voice. It's not so much about her answers as it is about the questions and the forum for her to voice her opinions. It always feels good when someone comes to us and says, "Let me get your opinion on something...."

The general thought on taking an elderly person with dementia back to their childhood home is that it isn't a good idea but I think it should be on a case by case basis. If you were to drive by your mom's childhood home would she want to get out, go inside? Would she understand that she isn't able to do that? Would this cause some kind of an outburst and only frustrate your mom? Most people err on the side of caution and don't get themselves into this situation.

Since she's been living with you for over 30 years I'm sure your space reflects her presence. Ask your mom to talk about a little statue she may have in her room or a particular picture she has hanging on the wall. This will help reorient her to her surroundings and hopefully bring her some comfort and peace of mind.
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