I live with my mother who has Alzheimers(I'm the caregiver)At times she thinks my father is still alive(he's been gone 7 yrs) and my 2 younger brothers live here-which they may call ( for 5 minutes)once a week or stop by once a month for a qiuck visit.
My mother every so often,is now saying she doesn't live here, and wants to go home. I tell her, she is home, but keeps insisting that she lives somewhere else and is not going to stay here. I'll call my brothers and tell them whats going on and they tell me- try and distract her into thinking something else-which for some reason she keeps bringing up about going home. Does anybody have that problem- which they found out how to handle it?
Yesterday, she said about going home-so I took her out driving for about an hour-and she said it's getting late we can find the place tommorrow.
This is driving me crazy-I've got 3 brothers and 1 sister and when I tell them I need help-they say your living there-your the caregiver-what a caring family I've got. I don't know what to do?

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Hi Jim - I have the same problem with my mother. Here is the thinking process I believe is going on. Once you understand - then the solution is easier to handle.

Your mother (and my mother) does not recognize where she is. Her next logical conclusion is - I want to go home where things will be familiar. It does not help to explain to her she is already home. You are pointing out that her memory is not working. She will continually deny that it is her memory problem and get defensive. Lots of back / forth - as you try to calmly convince her and then over time you get exasperated and tense. Your mom will feel your tension and react to that. She gets more stubborn and you get more tense. And the cycle continues.

Instead - just agree with her. Say something that she will accept - you will learn what are acceptable statements. For me - my mother was OK with " you are visiting Robert (my husband) and me". I found this work after much trial and error. For example - I tried "you are living with me" - she got upset. Anyways - the bottom line is - keep agreeing with her to keep her calm. When she says she wants to leave now to go home - say something like "No problem - will take you home right after I finish cooking (or some reasonable time that she will accept)".

This calms her down by confirming that she is right (she is not home) and that you will do what she wants (take her home). Once she is calm - then I try to distract her onto another topic. Meanwhile - each time she says I want to go home - I just go through the whole thing again - all the time agreeing with her.

Another thing - try and see if there is a pattern when she says this. I found out with my mother that if she was hungry (or tired) - she tended to get more "negative". Alot of times - I think of Mom as a baby - who is feeling something but unable to tell me in words. She is no longer able to tell me what she is feeling. Instead - I observe and then try to figure out patterns.

I hope that helps.
Helpful Answer (12)

I have talked to many people who cared for an elderly parent and the story is the same: they always want to go home--and they ARE home. Recently, my mom started saying this. She has vascular dementia, and I knew the day would come when we'd start this conversation cycle. I have a friend who drove around the block with her dad and said, Well here we are, you are home. But an hour after they went inside, he said, It's time to go home, let's go. So I agree with onlydaughter16.
Today, the hospice nurse told me the same thing, Just agree with your mom--enter her world. So, I tried, OK mom soon I'll be ready for you to go home.
This may seem weird, but I'm wondering if the "home" is a metaphor or some sign that they want to move on from the earthly life. I know it's just the dementia and confusion, but part of me feels like the elderly really have grown weary of living and partly living, especially when they live in nursing homes and such. When they can't see well, can't eat well, have pain, can't hear, who can blame them. So, I told my mom today when she asked about going home, When it's time for you to go home I'll be okay. And I'll miss you. She stopped asking. Tomorrow, we'll no doubt have the same conversation. Sigh.
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I don't think of it as lying. What good would it do to contradict the person with Alzheimer's or dementia? They get agitated and upset and no one wants that.

With somone who has dementia or Alzheimer's we have to crawl into their world, we can't expect them to be a part of this one anymore because they can't.
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I had a funny experience when visiting in a NH. A woman I didn't know started talking to me. She was probably new to the NH. She was worried about how she would pay for her room, because she didn't have any cash. I told her not to worry because they would send her a bill that she could pay later.

She also wanted to know who was coming to bring her home. I told her that the weather was bad outside, and it would be better to stay the night to avoid dangerous driving.

For some reason she believed me and calmed down. In later months, I saw her and she seemed to be settled in just fine.

What does it say about my character that I'm proud of the convincing lies I told to a poor old lady?

This is different from having your own loved one constantly asking to go home. That would be sad, painful and guilt-producing. But this is a case when the truth will NOT set you free.
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Dementia iniially impacts short term memory. Many individuals with dementia often talk about earlier life events. Sometime going home relates to thier child hood home ( I have seen this with my father). He sees my dog and relates to his childhood dog and talks about going home to Silk street where he has not lived in 60 years.

I also agree with sentiments expressed above going home especially for depressed, lonely, old and sick individuals means moving on to a better life or joining a deceased spouse or loved one.
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I definitely have this issue with my 89 year old mom who has dementia. My problem is my dad who is 90 and does not have the problem. He tries desparately to be "logical" with my mom and it simply does not work. the worst "I am not home" times are after sleep (night or naps) sometimes I just laugh and say "there goes your memory again" you will remember in a miinute...sometimes things work and other times do not...i strongly believe in distraction as well....i agree with humor and "lightness" there certainly is no talking them into this being their thing that worked with her is I try to make a connection with her bed (which she loves) and "home" whereever she sleeps is home...that has actually worked many time.
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Same thing here.

My Father wants to "go home" everyday, usually starts getting anxious early afternoon. What I did that seemed to help was take him for a hubs and I live about 40 mins away. I called my hubs, told him we were stopping by, told Dad that my house was the 1/2 way point and I needed to pick up a few items for the rest of the trip "home" and he thought that was a good idea.

He thinks he is living in Louisiana, but we are actually outside Houston Tx.

While on our drive, in his mind the purpose switched and all of the sudden it was about my brothers car not working and Dad and I were going to pick him up and Dad was going to give him money to fix his car and so on. We had quite an in depth conversation about a plan to get this taken care of the best way possible and Dad was in charge, and he felt really good about that.

We got to my house...Dad said what a nice "facility" it was, met my hubs, they met in 2005 before we married but of course he does not remember.

Asked if hubs was "manager" of the "facility" and oh hell yes...hubs is the BEST manager that this facility has ever had!

Dad and hubs talked a lot...not about anything that made sense, but Dad was happy. Next he wanted a tour of the facility, so we walked him around and showed him our home, again..he'd been there on several occasions but did not remember. He moves slow these days and shuffles his feet so we are very careful with him.

He decided that the facility was "a damn good one" and hubs obviously knew what he was doing running the facility.

On the way "home" Dad wanted to look in to buying an apartment in the facility, and I told him that next time we do a tour, we well have to ask hubs his opinion about checking out an apt in the facility, and Dad loved that idea.

Finally I drove him back to his house and it took us about 3 hrs round trip, so he was more than ready to get back to his house.

It worked that day. The next day he had a really horrible time, but that is another story that I'll share soon.

Love and Hugs to all :)
Helpful Answer (7)

I am experiencing the same thing with my mother. She has ask me where Howard (my dad) is for over two months now. She has just started within the last few wks about wanting to go home. She wants to sell the house that she lives in now and move "home". She doesn't realize that she is already in her home town that she ask to move back to every day. She get's much worse in the evening, which from what info I have gathered, this is sundowning [sundown syndrome]... I found what works best for my mom, is to tell her that her mom is already in bed, and we will go see her first thing in the morning. And, when she ask for my dad, I tell her that he is still at work and will be home soon. I'm not really fond of lying to my mom, but when it saves her a lot of grief, you do what you have to do... Hang in there! God Bless you!!
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I get that a lot from my mom too. I usually say something like "Can we go in a few minutes because I have to......" or "Let's have dinner first then go, okay?" My mom usually is okay with that and then by the time a few minutes goes by she has forgotten about going home.
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ohmeowzer, did you read the other comments? just go along with her - my mom used to see things - that is, and I don't think this will happen with her, unless she knows it's not real but that was a different situation with my mom - my dad was the one who wanted to go home; the reality approach won't work
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