My mom is 82 years old and is in early stages of Alzheimer’s…and what I need help with the most is some advice on what to say when she goes to the door wanting to go home, when she’s already home.
We go through this at least twenty times a day, from the time she gets up till the time she goes to bed, and sometimes she becomes very angry.

I try to explain to her she is at home and that makes her that much madder, so my question is, what can I do or say to her to calm her down? (I’ve even taken her to her old home to show her it’s not there and it still doesn’t do any good.).

I’m at my wit’s end.

I’ve had many family members tell me they are at their “wit’s end!” Let’s see if we can help you restore some sanity to your life!

First, it may help you to understand that your situation is common. Because of the profound short term memory loss of persons with dementia, they often repeat themselves.

It almost never works to explain and argue. I applaud your creativity in driving her back to her old neighborhood but this often fails too.

The best approach seems to be to address the underlying anxiety that may be beneath this question. Try to draw her out. Ask her about the home. Does she live in the city or country? Ask her to tell you more about her garden, her housekeeping habits, and her decisions about home decorating, etc. Sometimes I find that if you let them talk about the subject it satisfies them.

You can then try to redirect her by offering her a favorite beverage, listening to music, taking a walk or doing some simple chores together (folding towels, drying dishes).

If you cannot break the pattern, consider looking for a nearby adult day center. Keeping her engaged and busy may prove distracting. This may also be the time to hire a good in-home caregiver who can spend time with her and give you a break.

Speaking of taking a break, you may benefit from a support group or doing some simple things for your own wellness. For example, take a walk with her (or get her into a wheelchair for a short trip around the block) or sit outside with her on a nice day to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Her obsession with this topic may gradually go away on its own. Good luck and I hope these ideas have helped.

6 thoughts on “My mother always wants to go home, but she’s already home!

  • Cheryl Rawding

    My mother gets very angry and annoyed a lot, especially when she’s not the center of attention, or also when she realizes she has forgotten something. She is also making up a lot of stories now, most of them about someone who did something hurtful against her.

  • Carol

    I go thru this with my mom, not as much as you do…first I try to distract her. If that doesnt work, I ll tell her in a little while. Also I have had to take that famous roadtrip aound the block with her. I know it is driving you crazy right now but as time goes by she will decrease in this wish. Now i only see it if my mom dalily schedule is upset or change in anyway.

  • Ana Ayala

    My mother has mid to late alzheimers as of now she shares a room with my great aunt . In a few months my great aunt will be moving out and I am nervous at the fact that my mother will be sleeping alone in her room, my room will be next door, but I sleep with my husband.
    Whenever my aunt even goes out and takes out the trash my mom looks for her. My mom is very use to my aunts company any advice of what can help when my aunt is not around my mother follows her every move and I’m more than sure she will do the same to me.

  • Gene Tolbert

    My Mom started this about a month ago. It normally happens doing sun downing. She can get very upset if you don’t take her home. At first I tried to make her see she was at home but she kept saying “this is not my house, I want to go to the other house down the road.” She pack things and gotten very angry with my sisters and I. If she sleeps well it’s like her mind resets, she has no memory of doing that and she will say in the morning “I know this is my house you all sound crazy for saying it isn’t”. Seems like when she get a good night sleep this behavior stops.

  • Shelly B

    My 77 ur. Old mother has Alzheimer’s and constantly”wants to go home” but she is home, same home for 53 yrs. I’ve tried asking her about where it is, gardening, etc. But she gets angry and swears it is the same exact address as this house. I’ve tried redirecting her, reassuring her, agreeing, making excuses why we can’t take her “home” yet. I’m exhausted beyond belief. I’ve run out of creative ways to deal with her constant need/desire to go home. Please help!

  • REED

    I work with a elderly couple and the mother always wants to go home when she is already at home, they can walk very well, but has alzheimer’s, when she ask me to take her home i tell her let’s go, we get in my car and I driver around the neighborhood and return to their house after about 15 minutes, it seems to work sometimes. Good luck.

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