• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Mum just wants to go home

Zcat

New member
Aug 30, 2019
9
0
My mum has mixed dementia. Recently she has developed a new obsession about wanting to go home, even though she is home.
I now realise that trying to convince her she is safely home is the wrong thing to do.
Can anyone offer me any advice on what to say to her?
Im going to try delay tactics and make excuses as to why I simply can’t take her now but will do in a couple of days. Is this wise? I’m really struggling with this as it’s a new development in her condition.
Any advice is welcome 🙏
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,513
0
Suffolk
Yes, that’s fine @Zcat .
Home is rarely where they live, it’s an often mythical place where they felt well, not worried, no problems and everything was done.This development is very common and eventually it will go.
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
97
0
My mum is the same. It’s so difficult. My mum went into a care home a month ago and says repeatedly that she wants to go home. The problem is even when she was at home ( her home of 53 years) she also said “I want to go home” I have since learnt that what she actually means us “ I want to go back in time to my old life where I was well and dementia free”. Now I understand it makes sense. It also ties in with how she thinks I’m her mum. It’s heartbreaking.
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
97
0
When mum was still at home I would show her familiar things in the house to reassure her and talk about how she moved into the house when I was a baby etc and talk her through the generations. She is still very good at memories from 40 years ago, yet can’t remember where she woke up today bless her.
 

Loopyloo40

New member
Jul 1, 2020
9
0
Kent
My mum has mixed dementia. Recently she has developed a new obsession about wanting to go home, even though she is home.
I now realise that trying to convince her she is safely home is the wrong thing to do.
Can anyone offer me any advice on what to say to her?
Im going to try delay tactics and make excuses as to why I simply can’t take her now but will do in a couple of days. Is this wise? I’m really struggling with this as it’s a new development in her condition.
Any advice is welcome 🙏
 

Loopyloo40

New member
Jul 1, 2020
9
0
Kent
As we speak my dad is glaring at me wanting to go home, his family will be worried , he and my mum have been married 50 years and she is his carer, I have moved in to help but watching this is breaking my heart a little piece each day , it’s so cruel xxx I have really tried everything he doesn’t give up ❤
 

bazza.g

New member
Jul 1, 2020
1
0
Although she uses the word " Home" it is in my experience the nearest word she can find to what she truly means it could mean anything from what Sarah suggests to Heaven or to a Holliday destination...only you can really understand in time, it's not going to be easy, you need more clues, the one thing I have learnt is don't speak to her- sing your message.. tune and talent unimportant repetitive notes and words are good luck...
 

Archiesmum

New member
Jul 1, 2020
1
0
Hi Zcat. This is really common and, as others have said, is frequently more of a metaphor for wanting to feel safe, well and reassured everyone and everything is ok. I found that by asking my mum what her home is like, she’d begin to reminisce and that calmed her down and lifted her mood. it also helped me to know what era she was in and also what might make her feel more secure, e.g. at one stage it was a video of a certain comedy she remembered, then it went on to black and white films. Right now it’s music xx
 

Zcat

New member
Aug 30, 2019
9
0
Thank you for all the advice, my head is in a whirl!
She thinks I’m going today to help her pack as she has run out of bags, goodness knows what I’ll find when I get there.
We went through old photos on Monday and I’m not sure if this made it worse. She loved it at the time but seems more frustrated now.
I guess that’s because she cannot go back to revisit those times.
From her description, this house ( of 40 years) is a holiday home and her real home sounds like where she grew up with her parents. Which is still in the same small town so I’m quite concerned she will turn up at their door. Any ideas?
 

Zcat

New member
Aug 30, 2019
9
0
As we speak my dad is glaring at me wanting to go home, his family will be worried , he and my mum have been married 50 years and she is his carer, I have moved in to help but watching this is breaking my heart a little piece each day , it’s so cruel xxx I have really tried everything he doesn’t give up ❤

oh crikey! What an angel you are. I’m sure he’d thank you from the bottom of his heart if he could.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
895
0
Hi @Zcat, welcome to the forum. What you describe is very common, and tends to occur when the person with dementia is sun-downing (when the brain becomes tired at the end of the day). I am guessing it is late afternoon early evening that this confusion starts. Sadly it can become quite a frequent occurrence and is a manifestation of anxiety and confusion as to her surroundings. You need to find out what works in calming Mum. I found that the actual root of my Mum's anxiety was that she thought the 'owners' were coming back, so rather than explain it was her property I just said they were friends of mine who were away and had asked if she could look after the place by staying there - that worked more often than not, but it took a long time before I understood that and got to that point. It is certainly one of the most difficult things to deal with - I found that.

I am assuming that Mum lives on her own? If so the one thing that you have to be aware of is that the next stage can be trying to 'get home' i.e. packing up some things and just leaving the property - which you have alluded to. I don't know whether you have any door sensors, trackers or external cameras installed that can help you monitor Mum for her own safety. Do you know Mum's neighbours very well? It might be worth asking them to keep an eye out. The problem is if she did go looking for the property she may well get lost. If you know the people living there currently it might be worth making contact and giving them your details.

Also if this is recent increased confusion Mum may have a UTI or other infection which can increase confusion - it may be worth getting that checked out.

It's a very challenging time for you for sure. Stay strong. All the best.
 

Zcat

New member
Aug 30, 2019
9
0
Hi @Zcat, welcome to the forum. What you describe is very common, and tends to occur when the person with dementia is sun-downing (when the brain becomes tired at the end of the day). I am guessing it is late afternoon early evening that this confusion starts. Sadly it can become quite a frequent occurrence and is a manifestation of anxiety and confusion as to her surroundings. You need to find out what works in calming Mum. I found that the actual root of my Mum's anxiety was that she thought the 'owners' were coming back, so rather than explain it was her property I just said they were friends of mine who were away and had asked if she could look after the place by staying there - that worked more often than not, but it took a long time before I understood that and got to that point. It is certainly one of the most difficult things to deal with - I found that.

I am assuming that Mum lives on her own? If so the one thing that you have to be aware of is that the next stage can be trying to 'get home' i.e. packing up some things and just leaving the property - which you have alluded to. I don't know whether you have any door sensors, trackers or external cameras installed that can help you monitor Mum for her own safety. Do you know Mum's neighbours very well? It might be worth asking them to keep an eye out. The problem is if she did go looking for the property she may well get lost. If you know the people living there currently it might be worth making contact and giving them your details.

Also if this is recent increased confusion Mum may have a UTI or other infection which can increase confusion - it may be worth getting that checked out.

It's a very challenging time for you for sure. Stay strong. All the best.
Oh, thank you Pete.
Yes today I have confirmed she has a UTI. You have a really good point about the root of cause and I think it is paying the person who owns the “holiday home”.
You are so right in that when I arrived today she had packed the cats bed full of her clothes to ensure both her and the cat would be ok for going home. It’s breaking my heart!
Thank you I will work on all your tips.
I hope you are doing well and staying everyone safe x
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
895
0
It’s breaking my heart!
I certainly does that @Zcat, I still remember that phase vividly with much sadness. I did find it was far worse with a UTI, so hopefully the antibiotics will kick-in and reduce that confusion, I really hope so. You can always share and offload on the forum, there are many good people on here that have walked (or are still walking) in your shoes. Stay strong.
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
515
0
Mid Lincs
Hi @Zcat, welcome to DTP.

The one thing I found helped during this phase was constant reassurance. Telling my OH he was safe, I would watch over him, everything is sorted and under control and I loved him.
I would touch his hand gently when I walked past him, give him a kiss, always told him where I was going when I left the room, I still do now even if it's only to the loo or the dustbin. It seemed to settle him somehow. It may not work for you but nothing to lose giving it a try.