1. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User

    I wonder if other carers can tell me how they have handled this situation. My Mother no longer recognises her home of 20+ years and wants to go to her own home and can become agitated

    How do we deal with this?
  2. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    This is sadly quite common. People often find it best go along with it, but say they can't take them today, because the roads are very busy/closed because of a bad accident/the car's being serviced/the trains/buses are on strike - basically anything you can think of that sounds good - but maybe you could take them tomorrow/on Friday etc. if someone's short term memory is already very bad they are unlikely to remember that you said the same before.

    I used these tactics when my mother was in a long phase of wanting to go and see her parents, both dead for many decades. Basically it was a case of anything that would keep her happy for the moment.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    All you can do is distract as much as possible, using whatever works; its too dark, too cold, we can go tomorrow, they might be out, will write a letter, anything which will ease a troubled mind.
  4. Anniebell

    Anniebell Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    Hi Lyds171 my mums the same lived in her house for 54 years constantly asking to go home packing bags with clothes, ornaments, food asking when they are picking her up to take her home !(Home being where she lived with her mum and dad)Worse thing for us now is that she has started to wander out of her house I tell her everyday that shes at home we look out of the window and she can tell me who lives in which house and for a while she accepts shes in her own home but its not long before shes asking to go home again, tell her we will take her tomorrow , tried changing the subject sometimes just take her for a run out in the car' when i'm at home she rings all the time asking me to come and take her home .We have rapid response team in at the moment monitoring mum sensors in the house cpn visiting three times a week, i'm pretty new to all this so don't know if i'm being much help but i'm sure some of the more experienced talking pointers will be along to help
    Take Care Annie x
  5. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    In the very early days of dementia, say, 10 years ago, we used to remind mum and be able to reason with her a little that this was her home now, and she would accept it or suddenly realise that it was.
    Then she got worse and would absolutely insist she was going, to the extent of walking miles to try to get home with dad trailing behind her or chasing after her in the car. So we would occasionally drive her round the countryside for a while, I never took her to her home, after half an hour or so she would often forget why we were in the car and all was ok. Dad did sometimes take her to her original home, where she grew up, and they would knock on the door (the house is now a student hostel) and find it was no longer her house. She did not retain this information and the same thing could happen later in the day again.
    This went on for several years and was the most difficult time.
    Then we became able to distract her with the idea that we would go later or we were just going to have tea here and then go, that worked for a few years too.
    Now she isn't capable of asking.

    So I am afraid my answer to you is that it is a very hard thing to deal with and you will find by trial and error what works.
  6. Anniebell

    Anniebell Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    Hi The more experienced ones beat me to it lol Annie x
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    As everyone says this is so, so common.
    You might find that the home she wants to go back to is her childhood home, or it might be a fantasy home, but whichever - what she really wants to do is to go back to a time and place when she was not confused and felt safe.

    It is so sad - and so hard to deal with.
  8. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
  9. #9 Petrina, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
    Dad never went walkabout over it, but he has often been concerned that he's not in his own home.

    I've found various strategies helpful. For a long time I found it was particularly a problem when he was sundowning and I would get him to look at furniture around him that he remembered from his youth (he has a couple of very distinctive items from his twenties).

    These days, if he is too confused to understand he's in a nursing home (which, when I explain it, he does mostly take on board long enough to stop panicking, albeit not long enough to remember the fact), I find an alternative is to imply that it's a hotel or B&B. Phrases such as "you're staying here" if used in a manner to imply the stay is temporary, can help to quell the desire to wander. Now he's in a home, he can then be diverted into reminder there's a mealtime coming up and how it's all included (i.e. don't worry about money) and how if he's not up to going to the dining room, the chef (not cook, it's got to sound hotel-y) will send up room service.

    However, although it never turned out to be necessary, I did brief owners and residents of his previous houses about him. I made sure they had my details and those of the local taxi company he used and that they knew that the taxis would take him home, call me, and trust me to take the money plus a bit extra to their office later.

    I briefly used the strategy of telling him he was staying with me (i.e. the house looked unfamiliar because it was mine not his) and appealed to his parental generosity to stay a few days because I was under the weather. It worked, but in his case not as well as the other strategies. Horses for courses.
  10. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User

    Care Annie

    Thanks for your response everything helps at the moment.
  11. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User

    Thank you.
  12. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User


    Thank you.
  13. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User

    Sister Millicent.

    Thanks sounds like trial and error is the way forward
  14. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User


  15. Lyds170

    Lyds170 Registered User


    Will try the 'staying temporary' phrase and see if that helps.

    Thank you for your help.
  16. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Twice in the last ten days I have picked my husband up from the house he lived in before we were married 50 years ago! When he stands outside he can see something is wrong. It doesn't look exactly as it did then and there is no family about. Today he said to me "That house is history". I hope it is but I doubt it. You just have to play each day out as best you can.
  17. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    Not their home.

    it sounds the same as my Mam. She has lived in her home fifty years but no longer recognised it she thinks it is a hotel and her cat is the hotels. Sadly, she wandered one evening in the gales a few weeks ago and waited in the garden for a bus for hours. I used to just listen to her when she said why does she live where she does, if I contradicted her ever she was more confused.
  18. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    My mum says she wAnts to go home daily...I ask her if she wouldn't mind staying to look after the cats and then she settles down...bit of a problem I guess if you don't have pets, but if you say something that maybe makes her feel like she's helping you out might be an idea

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  19. Lynne rob

    Lynne rob Registered User

    Nov 26, 2014
    This has made interesting reading for new too. My mum keeps doing this too and my dad is beside himself. Going to show him this thread.
  20. dumpygirl

    dumpygirl Registered User

    Nov 20, 2013
    I have had this problem for a couple of years most days. Seems to be worst at tea time which I believe is called "sundowning". My Occupational Therapist phoned me one time when he was doing this and suggested that I get him in the car and drive around for about ten minutes, then head home and very often this would work. I actually did as she suggested and lo and behold it worked. As we turned into our avenue he said "Oh thank God, we are home at last". Unbelievable. I have had to do this quite a few times and each time it has worked. If you are not a driver then just go for a walk around and then head back and more often than not this will have the same effect. I know it is very difficult to deal with,especially at the end of the day when you are tired and just want to settle down for the evening. I hope this will help you as it has me.

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