Mum in law is convinced she has another house that is her home and wants to go there. Any suggestions on how to handle it please? - AgingCare.com

Mum in law is convinced she has another house that is her home and wants to go there. Any suggestions on how to handle it please?

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I agree with the Redirect approach. "Oh by the way, have you heard from.." and take the train of thought on another track. It works.
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And I'll bet at her "real home" MIL is not confused, infirm, or disabled.

It is surprisingly common for persons with dementia to want to "go home" even if they are at home. When my husband first did this I spent a lot of effort trying to convince him that he was home. I reminded him of the origins of furniture and pictures. ("We bought this together in that antique store we like on the way to the apple orchard.) I told him stories of our moving in, decades ago. I showed him family albums on the shelf. I can tell you this about that approach: It doesn't work.

I didn't know it then, but I quickly learned: it is not productive to reason with people who are losing their ability to reason. Logic does not convince them or change their minds.

It is more helpful to be sympathetic and reassuring. "I'm so sorry we can't go to your other house today. At least this is a very nice place to stay while we are waiting. Let's go into the kitchen and see if there are any cookies. Would you like tea?" If they need a reason why you can't go today, tell them something plausible and temporary, like the street in front is torn up for laying new pipes, or you can't drive you car until you get the brakes looked at, or the bug fumigators were there today.

If MIL gives a reason she needs to get to her other house today, solve the reason. "Oh, I'm so sorry we can't go and look at your mother's wedding album today. But there is a nice wedding album here, too. Let's look at it together."
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The lady I caregive for says the same thing... of course it is her home and has been for 50+ years..... I just tell her that we have to stay here for awhile and some really nice people (she never asks who) has let her and her husband stay at this house for awhile..... she accepts that answer, but is usually not happy about it.... but settles down after awhile.... she comments that things in the house are JUST LIKE at her house.....sometimes I tell her that the nice people let us move her stuff in so she would feel more at home....I do not consider it not being truthful with her, just trying to make her less anxious..... this is very common with folks with Alz/dementia.... just have to use your imagination and be reassuring.... good luck...
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