Having a loved one with dementia comes with many challenges. People with dementia often exhibit behavioral changes that are disturbing and difficult to manage. One common behavior is asking caregivers to take them home or saying that they want to go home repeatedly when they are at home. Understanding the behavior and how to respond to it can make the behavior a little less challenging.
The Reasons Behind the Behavior
First, it’s important to know that “home” may mean different things. They might mean their childhood home, a home they recently moved from, or it could just mean a feeling. Sometimes asking to go home is a sign that the person is feeling frightened and confused. Asking to go home could be an expression of their desire to feel safe.
Because a person with dementia gradually loses their ability to communicate effectively, the words they say may have nothing at all to do with going home. Instead, they may mean that they need something else. Perhaps they need to use the bathroom, but can’t remember how to tell you that.
Regardless of the reason for the behavior, try not to let it bother you or make you feel like they don’t want to be with you. Remember that it is a symptom of the disease and is not personal.
Strategies for Managing the Behavior
When your aging family member repeatedly tells you they want to go home, there are several things you can do to deal with the behavior, such as:
Tell the Truth: If the person has recently moved and you believe they are asking to go back to their old home, gently explain the situation to them. There’s no need to include a lot of complicated details. Instead, keep the explanation simple and assure them they are safe.
Provide Familiar Objects: Having items around that the person is familiar with and enjoys can reduce the behavior.
Redirect: Sometimes it can help to distract the person by doing something with them that they enjoy. Engage them in a favorite activity, go for a walk, or enjoy their favorite snack. These distractions can make them feel calmer and stop the behavior for a while.
Reminisce: Try identifying with the feeling behind the behavior, such as missing something from their younger days. Invite them to reminisce about their past and tell you their stories.
Another strategy for reducing the behavior is to hire a homecare provider. Having a homecare provider they can count on will help them to feel safer, which can be a remedy for many of the dementia behaviors that are associated with anxiety. A homecare provider can also do meaningful and enjoyable activities with a dementia patient, which can distract them or prevent boredom, making them happier in general.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Homecare Services in Floral Park NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales.
1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002.
In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies.
Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.