MIL has location confusion. My MIL lives with my SIL at SIL house after two strokes. My MIL is wheelchair bound but my SIL tries to take her out when she runs errands, etc.

But my MIL is having these spells of "location confusion" while she is in the home. On different occasions, she's thought she was at the airport, at various neighbors houses, in a creek, in a landslide and various other places. Most of the time as a last resort, my SIL has to take my MIL to the car and drive her around the block and once she sees the house and goes inside, she recalls where she is correctly.

But this location confusion can happen at any time and can run on for hours and hours. And all she wants to do is leave and go home.

No discussion between SIL and MIL can change her idea that she is at another location. She just wants to go home right away.

She's been tested for UTIs but the results have been negative.

It's very difficult for my SIL to get my MIL packed up and wheeled to the car (especially during rainstorms) just to "reset" her mind at being at home.

Except for these spells of location confusion, her mind seems to be real sharp and she has good short term and long term memory. One other unresolved issue is that she doesn't sleep very well at night.

I haven't been able to find any discussions relating to these type of location confusion spells and would appreciate any insight others might have.

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Thanks for the insight/comments.

I was thinking along the lines of early dementia - in fact I got a book called "Thoughtful Dementia Care: Understanding the Dentia Experience" by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller. I've just started reading it and it has really helped me better understand the effect dementia has on the person and how families can try to work around issues as they come up.

My dear SIL is the sole care giver (we support them financially) but I'm going to visit them in Alabama at the end of this month and stay a couple of weeks to give her a bit of a break.

While I'm there, I'm going to try to adapt the "live in my MIL's world" and try to redirect her when these spells happen to see if it helps.

My SIL has mentioned the problems with sleeping to my MIL's regular doctor but right now he's trying her on something for depression to see if this will help her.

I'm in contact with my SIL daily and try to come up with "fixes" to the issues she encounters with my MIL.

We're trying to find somebody in their small town that could come in for a few hours, a couple of days a week just to give my SIL some time of her own. Hopefully we can find somebody my SIL will trust to "take over for a few hours".

Thanks again for the comments.
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Early in my husband's dementia he thought our house was a railway depot, a bus station, a hospital, a high school, or, most often, a motel. I would try over and over to convince him that it was home. "See this lamp? We bought this together at Dayton's" As your SIL found out, this is not possible. Logic and reasoning have no impact on this kind of delusion.

As I became more experienced, I went along with his identification. If he was standing at the door waiting for a train, I'd say, "Oh, I am so sorry, but I just got word that the train has been delayed because of bad weather in North Dakota. Let's just go sit in the cafeteria for now, and have some tea and cookies while we wait." Things worked a lot better when I tried to get into his reality, because I sure could not force him into mine.

I hope SIL is discussing the sleep problems with MIL's doctor.
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She may have dementia. My mom has these spells where she sits alone and can go into a trance yet her eyes are open and she seems to stare right thru you. She is confused and can even talk to imaginary people and it seems very real to her.

I used to be scared, but now I just engage and ask "where she is" what she sees, etc. she's even handed me the imaginary phone and asked me to talk to the imaginary person --it was creepy, but I played along. Then I would gently try to redirect her or take her to another room, fix a snack, etc and she would quickly resume to normal.

I don't think this is unusual as they lose interest in TV, books, papers, etc as their memory makes it harder to focus and they start to daydream more. I'd let it go unless she gets agitated or fretful with the confusion over where she is. It's more frightening to you or SIL to observe.
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