Dementia Care Tips: How to Respond When a Senior Wants to Go “Home”

dementia care“Home sweet home” as the saying goes; but if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s who insists home is somewhere other than where he or she is currently living, what do you do? Unfortunately, when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, this is an all too common conundrum. And the uncertainty and grief stricken longing being conveyed are nothing less than heartbreaking – and, if we’re truthful, annoying.

At CareWorks Health Services of Orange County, our uniquely instructed Alzheimer’s and dementia care team helps family members take care of challenging scenarios such as this, and we recommend trying the following to help restore peacefulness to an unsettled loved one with dementia:

  • Validate the senior’s words rather than rationalize them. Reasoning or disagreeing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s may actually escalate stress and unrest. Even when the older person is in the same home she’s lived in for the previous 20 years, in her own thoughts, “home” may well symbolize the contentment she felt in her childhood home along with her mom and dad. Her sentiments of loss are quite real, and ought to be recognized.
  • Provide reassurance. Keep a calm, comforting tone of voice and body language and sit down next to the person, presenting solace by a hug, hand-holding, or kindly touching the person’s arm, if these actions are accepted.
  • Then refocus. After you’ve supplied a calming presence and validated the person’s views, redirection to a pleasant, engaging activity can be helpful. Walking in the garden or perhaps in a different section of the home, playing favorite music, or browsing through photograph albums are just a handful of options; take into account the individual and include what works best for her.

To get more tips on helping restore peace to a distressed senior with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, contact CareWorks Health Services at (949) 859-4700. We’re able to help keep seniors safe, enhance socialization, and present them with chances to reinforce both mental and physical wellbeing through services such as:

  • Patient, sensitive help with personal care responsibilities such as bathing and dressing
  • Engaging in chats and reminiscing about the past
  • Help with doctor-approved exercise and activities
  • Playing mind-stimulating games
  • Preparing healthy meals
  • Running errands such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
  • Coordinating transport to health care appointments and other outings
  • And so much more

Whether just a few hours each week of respite care for primary family caregivers are required, or full-time, seamless, around-the-clock caregiving is desired, our Orange County, CA caregivers are available to partner with you to deliver the highest quality dementia care. Contact us to find out more and to arrange for a free in-home assessment.