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How do I talk to her?


New member
Feb 3, 2019
So my gran was diagnosed with short term memory loss and mixed dementia about a year ago. She has gradually got worse.....we take care of her as a family but we all have different ideas on what’s best for her.
No one knows how to respond to her for example when she says “are you going to take me home?” When she is already home?
“I need money to give to family on special occasions” she’s always done this but as she loses money now she is given less than she asks for.
So many questions I want to ask?!


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Have you heard of compassionate communication? There's an excellent article here:

The wanting to go home is very typical for dementia. It's sometimes a childhood home but more often than not a hypothetical place of safety. People with dementia feel scared a lot as the world had become so confusing. So instead of trying logic or correction ("You are home already"), try reassurance and distraction: "I'll bring you there in a minute. Will you help me fold these tea towels first please?"

With regards to the money, try Monopoly money or reassure her that you have taken care of it already.


Registered User
Sep 1, 2016
An idea for you to distract the "going home " thing.

This is just an idea about how you personally can talk to your Gran. I discovered this almost too late with my MIL, but my last conversations with her were...special...

Try silly little things like : (Go back about 40 or 50 years ...seriously )

'What time did you have to go to school when you were little?"
"Did your Mum wait for you or did you just walk home on your own?
" What kind of dinners did your Mum cook for you?"
"How did you get your clothes dry without a tumble dryer?
"Did you have a fridge? How did you keep things cold?"

Refrain from saying "....oh well, it's better now because......" at all costs! Just listen and I'm sure you will be interested and fascinated

It's for your Mum and Dad to look after her really , be that financially, or making decisions about her future I'm afraid. Beates link to Compassionate Communication is excellent, and if you could get any of your family on here, I'm sure it would be helpful.

I'm glad you have found us here - what a caring Granddaughter you must be...


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
Hello and welcome from me too @MrsPeaspod1.

I wonder if you may find any local support services like a memory café to be of some use. You can do a post code check to see what's available to you by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

The full list of the very informative Factsheets can be found with this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc.

Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.


New member
Feb 3, 2019
Hello thank you all for your replies and advice. It’s very difficult to get everyone on the same page when it comes to her care and best interests. My dad is the main carer, not out of choice but because he lives with her. He has no idea how to cope and deal with my gran and I feel like he is robbing her of her independence. He is currently emptying her house to make it “safer” for her but I feel like this will not help things. She has already had to stop work, driving and sewing due to this illness. I hate to see her living like she is


Registered User
May 28, 2017
Hi @MrsPeaspod1 - it's so good that you're trying to find ways to communicate with your gran. I know from experience with my mum that it can be really difficult - she also used to talk about going home, and say she wanted to go and visit her mum (who'd been dead for years). I think the best approach is to say whatever will make her feel reassured, safe and happy - even if it's not strictly true. And try to stay cheerful and upbeat (not always easy!) - apparently people with dementia will often remember how you make them feel, even if they don't remember exactly what you do or say. Also good to use distraction, as people have said earlier - for example, 'We'll go home later, but let's have a cup of tea first', or 'We'll go and visit X another day when the weather's better'.


Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
We had to deal with the 'going home' question with my gran. We were at my grandparents' house having tea, and my gran suddenly stood up and said to my grandad "Right, let's go home". None of us knew what to say, but my OH said "you are at home gran - look, here's your chair, here's your table, these are your cups and saucers" etc. My gran looked around the room and said "Oh yes so I am. How lucky I am." And she settled back down. I know that this does not by any means work for everyone, and distraction is often the best option, but it could be worth a try.

You could try printing out the link Beate gave to compassionate communication, and giving it to your dad. It might help him deal with your gran more comfortably.

Re your concern about your dad taking away your gran's independence - it could well be that it is the disease which is doing that, not your dad. When you visit you only see a snapshot of her behaviour, it's only when you live with the person full time you see the full extent. Unfortunately your gran will deteriorate and your dad can't stop that, so he is probably genuinely trying to keep her safe.
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