Mother wants to go home. Wants me to bring her car to her so she can drive home. Any suggestions? -

Mother wants to go home. Wants me to bring her car to her so she can drive home. Any suggestions?


She lives in her home, says it is not her home. Hasn’t driven in five years. Says she drove yesterday. Wants her car here and her grandson is using it. He asked to borrow it and she agreed. Then says she didn’t agree. Gets very angry and agitated can no longer drive as she failed the eye exam. This used to be a thing once a day, now several times a day. Says I don’t care about her or I would help her. I am primary caregiver for the last 2 1/2 years. Tried driving her around awhile and then back to house. Didn’t work. Suggestions?



Show: funny. I used to do that with my mom. Share false gossips...she would add her opinion. It kept her focused and entertained fir a couple of hours.

Momofsadie, you can just come to up with something like, "your house is having some repairs" or " there was a flood from the water heater and it will take a while to dry out" then redirect, "let's make some cookies". When she talks about the car..." Grandson is so thankful to have such an amazing grandma who would be so willing to let him use her car in his time of is so nice of you!" We become a master at making things up.
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Reply to Grammyteacher

You may not believe this, but dementia folks love to obsess over one thing or one person. It may take awhile, but it will redirect to a different obsession in time.

Try making up a fictional neighbor that actually does not exist. Gossip and trash talk that figment of your imagination with your Mom. Bound to entertain and take the focus off the car.

Theraputic fibbing. Good luck.
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Reply to Mincemeat

Ah, the famous Guilt Trip! “You don’t care about me. You don’t love me. Poor, poor little me. I am the Little Girl Lost. I hate everybody and I want to die.” We all become Vaudeville stars when we try to redirect a demented person who is obsessing. We do the most stunning tap dances ever. “So you think you can dance” First Prize winners. It’s ok to do that, really. You absolutely cannot reason with persons who have dementia. You’ll have a mental blowout yourself if you do. Validate, sympathize to a point then redirect. Tell her much-loved grandson needs the car for his work. If she’d like, HE will take her someplace; out to lunch, to a park, etc. Make sure he knows NOT to give her the keys. And hang in there. It’s frustrating and heart-breaking but not endless.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Does your mom take medication for anxiety? If she's getting anxious and angry on a regular basis a trip to her doctor might be in order. Perhaps the doctor can prescribe something for your mom to keep her calm. I'm sure it doesn't feel good to her to be angry and agitated.

When you sense she's about to begin with a tirade. distract her. Have distractions ready to go so she doesn't go off spinning while you're trying to figure out how to distract her attention. Is there a particular snack she especially enjoys that you can give her when she begins to become upset? Something special she doesn't get very often? Is there a show on TV she enjoys that you can turn on when she starts becoming agitated? if you have a DVR maybe record a bunch of episodes to have on hand. Does she enjoy reading the paper? Or books on tape? Does she enjoy talking about "the good old days"? Looking at old photo albums?

People with dementia frequently develop obsessions that can be maddening to their loved ones. Stay calm. If you're getting agitated she will become more agitated. As you begin to try to distract her always think of some new way to distract her the next time. Be creative! A game of cards or you can give her a manicure. And if she continues to bring up the car and driving counter with something else: "Oh, you know who I saw in the grocery the other day? Mrs. Hawkins!" Your mom doesn't need to know that Mrs. Hawkins has been dead for 2 years. It's a diversion. Talk about Mrs. Hawkins for a bit. Bring your mom through these obsessions on your terms, not hers.
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Reply to Eyerishlass