When Someone With Dementia Says, "I Want to Go Home"
Don’t argue, “But you are home!” For one thing, the “home” being spoken of may not be the same place you’re thinking of.
Hear “home” as a feeling you need to read. When people with mid- or late-stage dementia who live in a facility or are hospitalized say, “I want to go home,” what they’re really saying is, “I’m uneasy,” or “I’m scared.”
Don’t be overly distressed. Hearing “I want to go home” can provoke lots of emotions in family members: Worry that “she hates it here.” Guilt at having placed her there. But remember that by mid-stage Alzheimer’s, the person is not very capable of manipulating you, if for no other reason than within a short time they will have forgotten what was said
Go along to get along. Underlying emotional need goes unaddressed. The person grows more distressed—and then is often medicated to calm down.