How to distract my Mom? She wants to go "home" and can get very agitated.

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She's on Xanax & Seroquel since mid-Sep. It's a daily event now and I feel like I'm losing my mind. She's flashing back to two different houses from her childhood, (also located in S. Philly) and wants to go NOW! I had to physically stop her Saturday because it was too late to go out. I have taken her out as a last resort but don't like doing it. Have tried calling siblings to interrupt the behavior but that isn't always an option.On Xanax & Seroquel since mid-Sep Many thanks for your help! Donna

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DonnaJeane57 - It helped me an awful lot to watch the series of Teepa Snow videos on Youtube called "Making Visits Valuable". It's got so much more content than just how to visit with a dementia patient. I think there's 12 videos that run about 10 minutes each. Also watch the one called "Gems". Anybody who starts caregiving an elder with any kind of dementia ought to get a free set of these CDs.

These will help you join your mom in her world, and have some tools at hand to discern the situation beyond what's just on the surface.

There is a sweet lady on my mom's unit in dementia care. She is completely unintelligible, but that doesn't stop her. I have helped her get unstuck from hallway corners before, and she is quite the chatterbox. But, she's pleasant, sweet in demeanor, and willing to be led to another area. I just compliment her shoes, clothes, hair. But this is easier for me because I'm not living with her.

Maybe accept that you're just not going to understand, but give mom feedback as if you do to keep her calm. This is when some powers of telepathy sure would help! But, like with small babies, we have to guess. Hungry? Wet? Constipated? itchy? tired? bored? something poking? foot going to sleep? Or failing that, it could be that she doesn't even know that she's talking and it's just nervous system activity routed to the wrong place. It's OK if you just interrupt with another topic or activity to disrupt the flow.

This problem will go away, but there's no way to know when. Better gird up in case it takes a long time.

I wouldn't try to take her out to the houses of the past anymore. See if mom is entertained by letting her watch the Teepa Snow videos with you!
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Not being able to understand her when she's trying to tell you something thats obviously important to her.... that must be tremendously hard for both of you. I wish I could give you a magic formula or at the very least some good advice but I can't. I can so understand frazzled in a situation like that. Lots of rest and some peaceful solitude is what I wish for you dear. You need it and you deserve it.
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You are probably right, Amy. Just so mentally exhausting trying to figure out most of my mom's ramblings. They seem important to her, so I'd like to respond but usually cannot. Except when she gets her handbag and wants to 'hit the road'! Guess I need to pray, "this, too, shall pass."

Thanks for your post, Amy
Donna
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donnajeane, don't let it wear you to a frazzle. Try the acceptance route, "This is what we are going to talk about for the next 3 hrs, 3 days or 3 weeks" because if it weren't for this obsession, wouldn't it be something else?
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Hi, HelpnGa . . . thanks, but, yes, we walk by one of the houses all the time, since it is down the street from where we live now - my long-deceased grandmother's home. Problem is my mother sometimes wants to go in, and I don't want to bother the new renter. Other times, she walks right by it.

These "conversations" are wearing me down to a frazzle. Been having one off/on for the last couple of hours as I type this; at least she's not agitated. However, I cannot make a lot of sense out of her speech other than those few words: mom, dad, home, etc.
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I haven't read all the responses so I hope I'm not just repeating things you've already heard. I'm not sure of this would work in your situation, but where we live, when my mom went on and on one weekend about going home, finally daddy put her in car and told her to tell him where to drive. Amazingly she took him every turn right back to their house and was happy to be 'home'!!! After that she calmed down a lot about going 'home ' Now when she says she wants to go home we'll tell her something like that's tomorrow when we go, or we promised to watch this house tonight (if you have a pet that's a great reason, pet-sitting). I wonder too you mentioned 'they' are waiting for her. What if you 'call them' and say she's having a sleep over with you tonight so 'they' know she's safe?
I do understand your struggles. My mom has very hard time expressing her thoughts and I think sometimes just says that one fall back of going somewhere bc can't say what she wants to say. Usually if I say something like that's tomorrow or next week when we go there, and then try to focus on something else it seems to work, at least awhile. Hope this helps!
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Donnajean: I am very sorry to hear that. Wishing you well.
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Hi, everyone . . . llamalover & partsmom . . . unfortunately, my mother's long- & short-term memory are really sketchy. Too late to get any 'real' info from her.

I also regret not interviewing my maternal grandparents about their life in Italy before coming here to the US. Of course we had conversations, but it would have made so much sense to document it while they were still here.
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I wish I had taken the time to get more "old" stories from my parents and other elders. You could use whatever they want to do or wherever they want to go as a "hook". Even ask questions like "Is that the yellow house on the corner?" "Wasn't that place down by the river? Did you ever get salmon coming upstream?" "I don't recall much about your mom. Did she have a favorite cookie recipe?" (And write down the stories!)
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Elders' long-term memory will be very good. Short-term not at all so maybe you will have to trick her (hard as that is) and say you're going to the Olde time ice cream shoppe, say.
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