My Mother in law 86 is living with my Father in Law 92. They have lived in this condo for over 20 years. They have aides come in for 8 hours everyday. My Father in Law has back problems so has limited mobility but his mind is fine. They live in Florida all three sons live in the Northeast. They try to visit once a month. My Mother in law has these episodes where she says she has to go home because her parents will be worried. She wants to call them and she wants help getting home.

When asked for the address she wants to go to she give her present address but is confused if you show her that that is the address on the door. We have tried arguing with her sometimes she backs down, other times she digs in. My father in law puts us on the phone with her and she hangs up if we don't agree with her.

She is having a bad episode right now. We are in Boston and told her that we would pick her up in an hour and that she should take a nap, as she usually is better when she wakes up. But she stayed awake and remembered. So we called back and said we had car trouble. She decided to call a taxi. According to my Father in Law she left with the aide a few minutes ago, with a bag she had packed a few things into. He assumes they will try to find a taxi and see what happens.

Any ideas on how to handle this situation better, in the immediate situation and long term would be appreciated. I think the recommended approach is to try to enter her reality as much as possible, but we can't actually take her home. My Father in Law is opposed to putting her in a memory care home because he feels that taking her out of her home will make her even more confused.


Thank you freqflyer, it helps to hear Similar stories. I will suggest checking UTI, but is believed this is the re s put of a few mini strokes.
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Reply to Renrel

Renrel, my Mom [in her late 90's] had the same issues with her dementia, that she wanted to go back to the house where she grew up to see her sisters, and her parents.

I had to become the master of excuses. "Your parents are visiting Europe and won't be back until next month".... "Your sister Grace is on vacation with her family".... "Your sister Betty is busy with church meetings, maybe you can see her this weekend".... "Your sister Ethel is busy with projects at the school", etc.

My Mom accepted all those excuses, but the next day it was rinse, repeat. Oh, my Mom was living in long-term-care which she thought was a hotel. She use to get upset with my Dad [also in his 90's] when he visited saying why did he go on the tour bus without her.

And as roscoerocko had written, have your Mom checked for an Urinary Tract Infection, as that can mimic dementia.
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Reply to freqflyer

Thank you for your suggestions. I will do some research into the areas you mentioned but we know she has dementia. She has been having serious issues remembering people for a year or two now. She sleeps most of the day and eats very little. We are looking for tips on how to redirect her when she get it into her mind that she wants to go "home." My Father in Law does not want to put her in a nursing home because he fears that will increase her confusion. He chooses instead to have aid come to the home to help. The next step will likely be to increase the time they are there till bedtime. Once she goes to bed she stays asleep. He may change his mind if this type of behavior increases and he finds he is unable to handle it even with the aids.
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Reply to Renrel

She may become difficult to handle with these behaviors. Assuming that she doesn't have a UTI that could cause the confusion, it appears that she is experiencing some type of cognitive decline. I'm not an expert except for seeing my father have the same behavior. Sometimes his was a UTI and other times we thought it was Sundowning ( but it was eventually diagnosed as Lewy Body Dementia.

The best thing that you can do is to go along with it until it dissipates. Take her for a ride (best to have her in the back seat with the child locks on). If it is Lewy Body Dementia ( you will probably need to start considering memory care.

I hope that you will find out that it is caused by something temporary like a UTI.
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Reply to roscoerocko

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