My Mom with Alzheimer's has lived with me and doesn't recognize she's home. What do I tell her? - AgingCare.com

My Mom with Alzheimer's has lived with me and doesn't recognize she's home. What do I tell her?

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She has delusions and doesnt know she is even home and it is hard for me not to argue with her or tell her she has lived with me for 22 years. she says no i have to go home and cook and get ready to go to school. what should i say especialily when she wants to leave. I try and get her mind off of going home by changing scenary or going for a ride in the car but everytime we go out and come back home she doesnt remember her home and says she wants to go home. She thinks I am her sister most of the time.

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Nursebarb, My mother in law ruminates about wanting to go home. We have tried so hard to allow her to stay in her home, which is what she always wanted. It is frustrating to have abided by her wishes..... now she does not know she is home.
The only thing i can do is point out things in her room.... like the drapes ..... see Mom... those are your drapes. She says oh I am home. Sometimes she says if we don't take her home she is going to call a cab..... My husband says what address are you going to ask him to take you to. Or she will say I am going to drive myself home. I know it is so hard for you..... and she's been with you for 22 years.... you are God sent. There is not much we can do when they start ruminating. However, she was recently put back on Celexa 10mg. and she is doing much less ruminating. Hang in there!
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I do know that telling her that she is home, doesn't help. She is envisioning somewhere else. That is why it doesn't help to move them home, when they are already in a facility. Good luck. My FIL would try to wander off. It isn't good.
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Nursebarb, that sounds pretty typical for Alzheimer's. It sounds like in her mind she is a school girl. Obviously you can't be her daughter! You are a relative and it is not surprising she thinks of you as a sister. (Perhaps later she'll think of you as her mother.)

As you have discovered, you are not likely to be able to reason her out of these delusions. I congratulate you on trying to distract her by going for a ride, etc. Distraction is often useful.

Perhaps a combination of going along with her delusion and distraction would be more effective. "There is no school today -- teacher's conference. Why don't we cook together in this kitchen? Let's make brownies!" or "Oh, honey, I'm sorry I can't take you home today. There has been a gas leak in the neighborhood and everyone in the block had to go stay with friends. I'm glad you are with me! Should we go to the park and feed the ducks?" It is not your job to convince her of your reality, but to help her feel safe and loved within her reality.

This must be very hard for you, and I am sorry for your pain. You may find it comforting to join a support group for people caring for persons with ALZ. Reading one of the many books on the subject could help you feel less alone, too.
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Pretty soon she is going to wander off in search of home. You either will have to lock her in (and she may become violent) or you find her an appropriate memory facility. Talk to her MD about your options. If she is on Medicaid, talk to her caseworker.
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