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Mom keeps asking to go home


Question: My mom asks to go home but she is home with me. What do I tell her?

Dr. Amy: It is very common for people who are suffering from dementia to ask to go home, even when they are in the house they have lived in for many years. When this happens, it’s best not to argue or try to correct your mom. Logic does not apply, since her brain does not work the way it used to. Correcting her may lead to further confusion and argument.

I encourage you to try to redirect your mom. Ask her a question about her home. Share memories of favorite rooms, the features of certain rooms, special events that took place at home, meals cooked, funny events and so on. This type of conversation will be calming and familiar to your mother. You can also redirect by asking if you can play her a piece of music first. Some people find listening to music calming. The point is to shift the  conversation or activity to something she has enjoyed in the past.

I am sure you must find it stressful when your mother asks to go home. Take a few deep breaths when this happens. Turn to her and smile reassuringly. Then gently shift the conversation. The moment will pass and you will both feel better. Good luck.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. December 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Posted by Mitch

    Read this great story on caring for a man with dementia. Its called Ten Acres in Malibu, and it is quickly gaining popularity in the care giving community. This is not an ad, just a suggestion for those who are interested. Available on Apple, Kobo and Amazon Search for it on google, its available as a ebook.


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