3 Steps To Take When An Alzheimer's Loved One Wants To 'Go Home'
When a senior has Alzheimer's, they often say things that are unclear and that they don't truly mean. In some cases, they may tell you that they want to go home and they may actually already be at home. This is something that you have to deal with as a caregiver. For that reason, it is very important that you know how to deal with this situation when it arises in order to calm them down.
Step #1: Stay Calm and Provide Reassurance and Comfort.
First and foremost, you need to remain calm and make sure that the calmness is conveyed in your voice and actions. More often than not, this will help them calm down automatically. When your loved one is telling you that they want to go home, it's their way of informing you that they are scared, anxious or tense. Depending on the person, you may start by giving them a huge, softly touching their arm or sitting down close to them. Another way to reassure and comfort them is to provide them with a stuffed animal, therapy doll or comforting blanket to cuddle with.
Step #2: Try to Avoid Logical Explanations.
The last thing that you want to do is tell your loved one that they are already in their home. Alternatively, if they have recently left their home to move into an assisted living facility, you don't want to tell them that their home is now assisted living. The same is true if they have moved in with you.
Now, your loved was a disease of the brain and trying to reason with them isn't going to help matters. In fact, it will only cause them to become more distressed and agitated. They will simply feel as if you are trying to stop them from going home, which they feel like is the most important thing at the time being.
Step #3: Agree with Them, Redirect the Conversation and Distract Them.
This is not an easy technique to accomplish, but it can be effective once you get the hang of it. First, you will want to agree with them by saying something like, "That's a great idea. We can go once I finish the dishes." This lets them know that you're paying attention to them and that you aren't disagreeing with what they want.
Next, you need to redirect the conversation and distract them from what they're wanting. An example of this would be to say that you'll go shortly and to walk to the kitchen and get their favorite drink and snack. Then, you can shift to an activity that is a part of your loved one's normal routine. When this does not work, you may want to consider going for a short ride in the car. You could stop for a bite to eat or a bowl of ice cream. For more information, visit websites like http://www.vvrconline.org.