1. NorthBankDave

    NorthBankDave Registered User

    May 10, 2017
    I don't post on here very often. I know that my problems are nothing compared to other peoples & I apologize in advance, but today has been a stressful one and I need to have a vent and ask for a bit of advice!

    Mum no longer seems to know who I am. Today she was extremely adamant that I was NOT her son and nothing I could say or do would convince her otherwise. She still wanted to speak to her son though and so she asked me to call 'him' (i.e me) on his mobile so that she could speak to him - and she wanted me to speak to 'him' too!

    What I don't know how to deal with is Mum is absolutely insistent that she wants to go home. She wants to see her Mum. She needs to see her now and wants me to drive her there. She believes that the rest of her family and her son (i.e. me) are there too. Sadly, this is not true: her Mum died over 40 years ago & she has no surviving siblings. I have tried distracting, reassuring or putting it off - anything short of telling the truth, which would break her heart, but its having only limited success now. Tonight she was crying and pleading with me to take her to her Mums and in the end only going outside for a walk round the block at 9.30 p.m worked. She stopped a passer by and asked for directions to her own street.

    Tomorrow she's in day care but I know this will all start again tomorrow afternoon/evening. Any ideas how I help her (and try to stay sane myself!)
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Sadly, it sounds like your mum does not always recognise her own home now either. Walking her round the block can sometimes work, but not always.

    This compulsion to "go home" is almost universal as dementia progresses. It actually represents a state of mind - a desire to leave behind the anxiety and confusion of dementia and find a safe place that makes sense to them. Does your mum live on her own? I think she now needs 24/7 care. Wandering out looking for home was high up on my list of reasons for mum to move to a care home.
  3. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    South Northwest
    Two years ago I could have written what you've just said. It doesn't last forever, but it lasts far longer than you'll think you can stay sane. Here are a couple of threads I've contributed to before...



    ...but I'll repeat that this is when our loved ones are most lost and most distressed; it's heartbreaking, but it's when they need our love and patience most. I wish you -- and your Mum -- the very best of luck finding a path through this incredibly tough time. And don't be afraid to resort to medicinal assistance if you can get it (and get your Mum to take it!) Everyone needs a break, especially those in distress.
  4. Lyd

    Lyd Registered User

    May 27, 2019
    we have a similar thing with my MIL not recognising her sons. wanting to go live near her son (one of them lives 2 minutes away). i think the first thing would be to manage your emotions about it. that is the hardest thing. then you can help her with her emotions.
    why not try calling her son his phone will go to voicemail and she can ask him to call her back. perhaps you/ he could even call her back later? you could try something like "he's such a busy sucessful man never the less he loves you very much and he always calls you back as soon as he can".
    we always introduce ourselves. big smile and wave when we arrive and introducing ourselves. sometimes helps sometimes not. if she doesnt recognise and talks about being far away we usually say something like i love you very much and will always be here. i use physical touch a lot big bear hug on arrival, depature, when upset a hug like you would give a little girl. touch really helps her.
    im going to steal your going for a walk. on asking for directions so my view is slightly different from canarys.... variety is the spice of life and all that! it could be because we have interpeted you differently. my MIL does this sometimes, it is a risk, which we currently assess as small on balance with her desire to be independent she continues to be really clear that "i will never go to sit in a circle to eat a buiscuit, have a cold cup of tea and talk to old people". i make sure she has our details in her bag little card with a photo and name and contact details and am building a network of neighbours and the local shop etc. who know her and go the extra mile. I make sure to thank them for every little thing and let them know how much small gestures mean and make sure they have my mobile number. so far its working but i know we will in time come to the point we need to think differently, for now we are trying to drag it out.
    i cant help you with the wanting to go to her mum/home. we've always managed to distract her earlier before she gets really distressed. dont know if talking about mum and then moving on to this is someone else i was thinking off or a favourate funny memory... i would probably try attending to the emotion that's driving the demands (shes scared, shes abandoned and shes alone with a stranger) in responce to that i go for calm voice, hug and cup of tea in that order.
    hope some of this is useful. let me know how it goes!
  5. Lladro

    Lladro Registered User

    May 1, 2019

    Hi, I sympathise with you greatly on this, as my wife "must go home" almost every evening - to the extent that I now dread every evening. Some days are not quite so bad as others, but some are bloody awful! She constantly wants me to ring "me" and accuses me of holding her prisoner . I try very, very hard to remain calm, doesn't seem to help, I find my self becoming very angry and shouting at her, certainly doesn't help. Putting the TV on and trying very hard to ignore her standing over me, seems to make her give up berating me and go wandering around the house in an anxious state moving and hiding things. Eventually she will go to bed and I remain downstairs until the early hours. the next morning I am shattered , she doesn't remember any of it and I spend the first hour trying to find things that she has moved around! This seems to be our life at the moment. I see from another reply to your thread that this behaviour may eventually stop, so I guess we both have that to look forward to! I console myself with the fact that tomorrow, she will wake up and love "me" again. There are some great times still and I try very hard to concentrate on those moments. Difficult doesn't even come close to describing how impossible it seems at times to deal with this behaviour, so like I said at the beginning , I really sympathise with you and the only solace I can offer is that this behaviour type would appear to be very common and may eventually cease. Tomorrow is another day of endurance and adventure! - Treasure the good moments as much as you can - YOU are making a difference to a loved ones life by continuing to care for them in their time of need. Best wishes
  6. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    #6 Champers, May 30, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
    Very useful thread - thank you for posting this.

    My mother also asks fairly regularly about ‘going home’ She still lives independently but will tell me that “next week I need to go home” or “ I was going to ask when you could take me home” When I’ve asked where she would like to go, she immediately says that she knows her previous home (60+ years ago) has been long demolished so it’s not possible. She also talks about moving away or buying another house as she’s “fed up with everyone interfering in my life” but if I say that she’s free to do whatever she wants, she replies with, “but I love living here - it’s my home!”

    Mum has always been contrary and confrontational throughout her life but we’re going through a stage of phone calls about how her knee is playing up and she’s in “agony” When I suggest I call her doctor to get it checked out - she’s adamant she doesn’t want any medical help. I suggest painkillers - “No, I don’t agree with taking tablets.” So, unless I immediately distract her to change the subject, we end up in this cycle of pointless verbal ping pong.

    She regularly complains about loneliness but then grumbles about anyone coming to the house and has rejected out of hand any arrangements I’ve made for her to go to the day centre and “that I’m quite happy doing my own thing.”

    Anything meals on wheels bring her isn’t good enough. I asked for a specific diet - that she requested - but now she’s “never eaten that sort of thing.”

    It’s always too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry etc to do anything.

    She complains that she feels like a prisoner in her own home so I’ve suggested as the weather is fine at this time of year, she goes for a gentle walk and that no one is preventing her from doing anything but there’ll always be an excuse why she can’t.

    Exhausting isn’t it?
  7. totallyconfused

    totallyconfused Registered User

    Apr 18, 2016
    We went through this last summer. Awful. She was crying so much her breathing was affected by it. She was looking to go home, for her dad, why wasnt her dad visitng, did he know where she lived etc. Awful.

    She didnt want visitors, we cut the siblings visits down to once each a week. We really just tried to steady the ship and keep going, supporting her whatever way we could. We got through it and asks very little about it now, rarely asks about or mentions her family.

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