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What Do I Do When My Mother Says She Wants To Go Home?

Answered by Karen Garner

October 16, 2015

My mother lives in a senior care facility. She has been diagnosed with dementia. What do I do when she says that she wants to go home?

Hi Connie,

I am sorry about your mother's diagnosis, and I am sure you are still adjusting to this news. Each patient is so different which makes it difficult to come up with a perfect answer for all of the scenarios that take place daily while living with or caring for a loved one with dementia.

Two things to please keep in mind: 1) Your Mom is being cared for and stimulated and socialized on a level that probably couldn't take place at home which is very good for her. 2) Your Mom is not the same person she was just a few years ago. Both of these points are to help you remember to keep focused on the big picture: her health and her happiness.

Not knowing if you have tried a few things, I would also like to suggest bringing in personal items for her room (if allowed) and trying to get some of her friends or church members to visit. Also, are there activities at the home she is participating in? When she asks to go home, try re-directing her. When leaving her after you visit, try to have something to her to do right away instead of watching you walk out the door. Perhaps a simple puzzle or coloring book? Ask someone from the staff to lead her into the activity room where others may be doing something or even watching TV. Perhaps these little things will help and in turn, your mind will be eased a little.

Good luck Connie and let us know if any of these help.

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