• 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.