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My brother and I take care of my mother (92) for the past seven years. I read your forum and always find helpful tips. Her question is "when do I go home," or "what day are we leaving?" We have tried changing the subject, I will take her outside, when it gets to much I will leave the room come back and she goes right back to it. You can tell her she is at home, and as soon as you finish the sentence she will say but when do I go back? If the answer is not what she wants she starts crying. This will go on sometime from the time she get up to the time she goes to bed. Non-stop. Talk to Dr. he has given her meds to maybe calm her down, doesn't work she won't stop talking long enough for it to calm her. Home is where she was born. Sisters, church members other relatives talk to her same questions. We are all at the ends of our rope. If she doesn't start as soon as she gets up at 2:00 pm the questions begin. Does anyone have any advice or solution. It will be appreciated.


Blessings to all.....

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You may want to look into an Alexa. I got one for my brother, advanced dementia, and he can ask her the same question day and night. She never gets annoyed and answers in her sweet voice. I believe you can program her to say things.
I got this electronic through Lynn Greater Senior Services ( our local senior advocates). It was a pilot study and it works wonderful. I don't know if it will work for everyone, but I programmed her to play certain music at certain times of day, set up games, Alexa can read her a short story from her favorite books, and she can ask her anything she wants. If Alexa doesn't have the answer she will tell you she has to look into that.
The one thing I learned from GLSS is to divert a negative conversation or action. If you can't divert the conversation try to go alone as best you can. She doesn't and can not help what she is saying or doing. God bless and hang in there. There is a ton of support for dementia caregivers. I strongly recommend reaching out to them. It will help you stay sane through this journey.
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cherokeegrrl54 Aug 5, 2019
Using alexa, imo, for these repetitive questions is nothing less than brilliant!!! My mom repeats herself a lot, but i deal with it. Asking the same question repeatedly, i would not be able to deal...
excellent idea!!
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Everyone is getting hung up on the question, the way I see it this is more of a verbal tic and the question itself is just an expression of some unmet need. Repetitive vocalizations are fairly common in dementia, anyone who has visited a long term care setting has no doubt heard with dismay the repeated pleas for "nurse! nurse!" or "help me please, help" or "take me to the bathroom". The lady across the hall from my mom "sang" the same pattern of sounds for hours at a time, I was surprised when I discovered she was actually still able to communicate with words!
With my mother it was "turn me over", which was initially a plea for just that since she couldn't reposition herself, but eventually morphed into an almost constant, nonsensical refrain. It no longer meant she needed repositioning, but it did mean she needed something and I often had to play 20 questions in order to discover what it was.
Your mother sounds crippled by anxiety, instead of trying to rationally meet her need to go home I would be looking for a way to alleviate that. My mom was given mirtazapine to help her sleep at night, it also helped to cut down on "turn me over". That particular medication may not be suitable for your mother but something else may be. Ad please don't think of it as "drugging" her, the constant need to go home is certainly as troubling for her as it is for you.
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Jannner Aug 5, 2019
Unfortunately there is still so much stigma attached with any mental illness or symptoms some attack meds for it instead of researching. My mother takes that as well and they just added an anti anxiety . When she started the mirtazapine she was more lucid and admitted she felt much better (4 years ago) . Those were the “ good old days” lol
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Dementia is a progressive disease that erases your loved ones one to two inches at a time. I took care of my Grandmother and now my mom.The repetition is a tuff one. I finally would change the subject which worked for a while, then I made an albin with all her relatives and immediate family writing in birth dates and deaths, which worked until she could remember to pick up the picture albin. I learned patience and compassion for how much she struggled to hang on to her mind. I also learned to live in her world and not to correct or bring logic into any conversation. I just learned to truly love her, both of them. Mom is now bed ridden and can't speak, she does speak with her eyes and some times I see her smiling at me. She was a great Mom and deserves the best I can give. Not every situation is the same and putting a loved one in a home for someone else to care for could be the best thing for you. I got very sick and had to put mom somewhere and found a group home. She was not happy at first, but when it was time to bring her back she didn't wat to leave! The group home only had 7 residents and she made friends and the staff kept them busy. I couldn't afford to keep her there. It was so nice. I got to be her daughter again instead of her caregiver.
This disease will progress and it can effect how her body functions- to changing her personality, sundowing etc. Hang in there, your not alone.
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Zdarov Aug 5, 2019
Gosh I love to hear a story about a small group home. So glad it worked out for your mom, and hopefully you’re all better too.
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I get the same question about why mom has not seen her sister and my dad because they died almost 10 years ago. This occurs every 2 to 3 minutes. My visiting son gets a different question. Usually I give the same answer and get the same response. My brother found a different tactic that slowed her down. He puts it back as a question to her and asks why? Or he may ask when was the last time she saw them?
You might give that a try to slow down the memory loop
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Wail!

Repetitive questioning is the one single aspect of dementia care that I know I could not handle for more than an hour or two a day. You must want to burst into tears.

Teepa Snow is a good resource, you can find her seminars online.

I don't know if this will help, but do adjust your expectations. Your mother WILL ask these questions over and over and over. Your response can try to divert her or reassure her, but nothing will make a difference to her asking, only to how she feels in the present. You can only work on containing or appropriately releasing the unbelievable frustration it must cause to you.

A huge shoulder rub of sympathy to you.
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She is not wanting to go to a physical home. When she says home she is using this as a word to mean "where I feel safe and not confused" because she cannot express those emotions. Sometimes medication is the only answer for this level of repetitive anxiety. Try redirecting by giving her a small repetitive job to do. For example, " Sure, we can go as soon as I finish folding these clothes, here please help me told them (and keep refilling laundry basket so it is never ending). Or after we rake the leaves, or sweep the floor, or wash these dishes.
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You guys are My People. Your insight and willingness to help this person you’ve never met! I learned so much. I find I can go months with redirecting or a sweet calm answer to my mother’s repeated worries about her money, her house, her bills. ... Then one day, I can’t handle it and get extremely irritated with her. Then a few days later, I can go back to being extremely kind. I feel pretty certain all of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Bless you all for taking care of your Loved One.
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I agree with other post from Plum and that your Mom is searching for a place where she is safe and not confused. How about music to try and calm her? Maybe a photo album of earlier years? I’d ask her Dr for another med to try to reduce this anxiety. I too like the distraction idea of folding laundry. I’ve been using that to keep my Mom busy and feeling useful. Good luck as this behavior must be exhausting for everyone.
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Our doctor took my husband off aricept and put him on Zoloft. What a difference. The repitition really slowed down.
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It will likely take some trial and error to find the right combination(s) of ways to redirect her focus. Certainly try them all, and even if one doesn't work this time, it might the next!

Although I am not a big fan of medication, sometimes something can help (some can make the issue worse too.) This also may take some trial and error. If it works, it IS useful and I would be on board! Mom has only needed Lorazepam for a UTI she had once - she was OFF the rails every afternoon, well into the evening, the whole time! Nice thing about that med (may apply to other anti-anxiety meds) is that it does not take time to build up in the system and there was no "weaning" off required. First and every dose took about 10-15 minutes, calmed her down and then she would head off to bed at her normal time. Downside is it can be a fall risk, but it never caused her a problem and was the minimal dose.

Mom's repetition of statements or questions was the hint I got that something was amiss. Initially we tried to manage the dementia while she remained in her condo, but refusing to allow the aides in (only a 1 hr med/sanity check!) resulted in looking for a place. It is puzzling how they get stuck on something and can't move past it - I liken it to a scratch in a record, which will keep repeating until you can "bump" it forward. Sometimes a "bump" can work for dementia, sometimes it might take several or different "bumps."

Thankfully all mom's requests to go back to her condo were directed at my younger brother. She never asked me (somewhere in the depth of confusion, I think she knew better!) Nine months after moving into MC, she caught me unaware with "Can you drop me off at Nana's on your way home?" Thinking quick, I looked at my watch, said it was a little late in the day and not exactly on my way, so maybe tomorrow? She said ok (this response leaves the door open - any kind of deferral, such as 'after I do xxxx' or tonight or tomorrow. Most have issues with dates/times, so tomorrow or 'later' is a "positive" response, Mom followed up the 'ok' with 'Do you have a key to the place in {town}, you know, on {street name}, referring to their previous home, which was sold about 23 years before that! She has never mentioned the condo since.

Sometimes when we go to appointments, outside the facility, she will mention going home but when we get there she might say 'Am I staying here tonight?' She has a very vague concept sometimes that this isn't really home, but doesn't often pester me about "home." She does pester the staff about calling her mother and has tagged her mother to that previous address for some reason (it was my parents' home, not her mother's.)

She still gets into the broken record skipping quite often. As annoying as it can be, you have to try to let it slide, tune it out as best you can, try giving a generic response, repeat your response as often as she asks or even just Uh-Huh and attempt to steer her to another task or topic. The "scratch" will reappear, so you just have to be diligent and "bump" it along! Hopefully many of the suggestions will work and perhaps her doc can find the right medication to at least tone it down (bad enough when it is during 'normal' sundowning times, but if she starts this on waking and continues all day??? EEEk, prepare the rubber room.... For ME!)
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Mjlarkan Aug 5, 2019
Great advice! Thanks
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