Mom has been living with me since 11-10-18. In March, my sisters, their husbands and I moved Mom's bedroom furniture to the guest room in my house, where she had been sleeping. She was furious. "My things need to be in my house." She did get past that but several times a month she wants me, or a sister, or a neighbor, etc. to take her back to her home to "get her things".
At this point, her home, which my husband and I bought from her about 10 years ago, so that she would have money to live on, has been divested of all her things (many of which are upstairs in my case she wants them). And her house has been sold.
I do know that even though Mom still knows my name and can still do some things, that her ability to be logical and to reason are gone.
But when she asks me if I'll take her back to get her things and I say let me know what you want. I will get them for you.
"No. I want to go to my house and get my things," she'll say. Then I say she can't. Then she asks why. Then I say all experts say she can't go back. Then she'll ask why. Then I'll say because you have an illness called Alzheimers. Then she'll ask what's that.
Well, you get the picture.
I try to change the subject at the beginning. Obviously I'm unsuccessful at that. I say Mom I always say no and I'm always going to say no. Then she'll say but I want to know why.
I will not let her know that her beloved home is no longer available for her to go to. The argument would be the same, just a sadder, madder conversation on her part.
Any tips on some words I can memorize to say to her when she asks again to be taken by her house to get her things?
Most of the time we get along great.....but this....!!!!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Sort of same “conversation “ my 92 yo mother with dementia & I have...she wants to go back to her “home” ...she’s talking about where she grew up & lived until my parents found their own apartment...hugs 🤗
Helpful Answer (0)

For the longest time, my husband kept asking me and anyone else who was around, to give him a ride to our home. Not knowing any better, I kept telling him he was already home. We have a split level house. He can’t walk, so stays on the main level. Our bedroom is upstairs. He was worried about his things. I told him all his stuff is right where it’s supposed to be. Here’s what finally helped. I made a little video showing him our upstairs, our bed, his closest with his clothing, his items on the dresser, etc. Since then, he has been satisfied that all is well.
I wonder if this would work before someone is moved to a new location. Make a video of their stuff and their surroundings. Then when it isn’t available any longer, they might not realize it if there are photos or videos.
Helpful Answer (1)
That's a good idea. Something worth doing even if it is never needed.

Unfortunately, I think it is to late in this particular situation.
Hello, your question is so much like my own situation with my 94 year old mother. My son and I had to move her out of her home as the house was in reverse mortgage. My mother lives with me in a small but very nice apartment. Her home had deteriorated beyond repair. It would have cost her thousands of dollars to repair the massive wear and tear from living there for 30 plus years. After my father died in 1992, she let the maintenance of the home completely go. Her age, health condition and having outlived her assets all contributed to the decay of the property. She too has dementia and at first would ask me everyday about the items in her home. She wanted me to drive her to her house and retrieve things that were really of no value except for her. We had to leave a lot behind because it was just my son and me. Of course I brought most things to the apartment or to a rented storage shed. Now I tell her the house has been sold and a family is living there. It took a very long time and much repeating until she finally ceased asking me. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (2)

Are the things that you brought to her new house kept in a way that she can get to it and go through it?

I would repeat you are at your house and let her go through her things.

I would also tell her that someone else that was in dire need of a home is living in the house since she now lives with you. Maybe making it about helping a family have a roof and loving the house will help her not be so fixated.

I would try to let her go through stuff, she is probably worried about her stuff and just knowing it is safely stored in her new home may help her feel better.

Hugs, this is such a difficult journey.
Helpful Answer (2)

Or, ask them to tell you about their home. After a while, guide the conversation to a neutral topic.
Asking about their home validates their feelings, encourages them to share positive memories, and distracts them from their original goal of going home. Open questions that encourage them to share their thoughts work well.
For example:
Your home sounds lovely, tell me more about it.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?
What is your favorite room of the house?
What to do if they refuse to let go of the idea
Sometimes, your older adult will refuse to let go of the idea of going home, no matter how much you try to soothe or redirect.
If that happens, you might need to agree to take them home and then go for a brief car ride.
Experiment with how long it takes before you can take them home without protest. Or, suggest a stop at the ice cream shop, drugstore, or grocery store to distract and redirect.
If it’s not possible to actually take them out or get into the car, even going through the actions of getting ready to leave can still be soothing. This will shows that you agree with them and are helping to achieve their goal.
Meanwhile, the activities of getting ready give you more chances to distract and redirect to something else.
Keep in mind that not everything you try will work the first time. And even if something works once, it might not work the next time. Do your best to stay calm, flexible, and creative – this technique gets easier with practice.

The other thing that often works with a woman is giving her a baby doll to rock and swaddle. You'd be surprised at how it may instantly calm her down and get her OFF of whatever subject she's fixated on!

Best of luck; hope some of these tips work!
Helpful Answer (6)
GraceNBCC Sep 2019
Excellent Advice. I hope others will use your 'go with the flow' concepts in dealing with ALZ & dementia. It also helps with psychosis brought on by other conditions.
3 tips for when someone with Alzheimer’s says “I want to go home”
Hearing someone say “I want to go home” over and over again is something Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers often deal with.
It’s especially frustrating to hear when they’re already home.
But when someone has dementia, it simply doesn’t work to use logic to explain that they’re already home or that they can’t go back to a previous home.
Instead, it’s necessary to respond in a way that comforts and calms your older adult.
We explain why someone would keep asking to go home and share 3 kind, soothing ways to respond that help them let go of the idea.
Why someone with dementia asks to go home
Alzheimer’s and dementia damage the brain and cause a person to experience the world in different ways. 
So, what we hear as “I want to go home” is often a request for comfort rather than literally asking to go somewhere.
The kindest thing to do is to meet them where they are, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request. The goal is to reduce your older adult’s anxiety or fear so they can let go of the idea.
Helping them to calm down also gives you a chance to check if discomfort, pain, or a physical need is causing this behavior.
3 kind, calming ways to respond to “I want to go home”
These suggestions will put you on the right track, but it’s a good idea to get creative and come up with responses that are tailored for your older adult’s history, personality, and preferences.
1. Reassure and comfort​ to validate their needs
Sometimes saying “I want to go home” is how your older adult tells you they’re tense, anxious, scared, or in need of extra comfort. 
By responding in a calm and positive manner, you’ll validate their needs and feelings. This helps them feel understood and supported.
Approach your older adult with a calm, soothing, and relaxed manner. If you remain calm, it often helps them calm down too.
If they like hugs, this is a good time for one. Others may prefer gentle touching or stroking on their arm or shoulder or simply having you sit with them.
Another way of giving extra comfort and reassurance is to give them a soothing blanket, therapy doll, or stuffed animal.
2. Avoid reasoning and explanations
Trying to use reason and logic isn’t recommended when someone has a brain disease. It will only make them more insistent, agitated, and upset.
Don’t try to explain that they’re in their own home, assisted living is now their home, or they moved in with you 3 years ago.
They won’t be able to process that information and will feel like you’re not listening, you don’t care, or that you’re stopping them from doing something that’s important to them.
3. Validate, redirect, and distract
Being able to redirect and distract is an effective dementia care technique. It’s a skill that improves with practice, so don’t feel discouraged if the first few attempts don’t work perfectly.
First, agree and validate
Agree by saying something like “Ok, we’ll go soon.” or “That’s a good idea. We’ll go as soon as I clean up these dishes.” This calms the situation because you’re not telling them they’re wrong.
Next, redirect and distract
After agreeing, subtly redirect their attention. This redirection should lead into pleasant and distracting activities that take their minds away from wanting to go home.
For example, you could gently take their elbow while saying “Ok, we’ll go soon” and walk down the hall together to a big window or to the kitchen. Point out some of the beautiful birds and flowers outside or offer a snack or drink they like. Later, casually shift to another activity that’s part of their daily routine.
Another example is saying “Ok, let’s get your sweater so you won’t be cold when we go outside.” Then, while you’re both walking to get the sweater and chatting about something pleasant, stop for a cup of tea or get involved in an activity they enjoy.
To be continued....
Helpful Answer (4)

Remember, you cannot reason with Alzheimer's. There is no point in trying to explain it is only frustrating for you and her. She does not understand.

Instead try telling her, maybe tomorrow. She will keep asking just try to be patient and tolerate it.

Give her a box or two of her things for her to sort through, over and over and over.
Helpful Answer (2)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter