If you have been around Alzheimer’s patients for a while, then you might have heard them say time and again that they want to go home. Sometimes, they may be already home, but they keep on insisting that you should take them home. Well, they do not understand that, and it can be irritating for you to keep on hearing them call for home, yet they are already there.
How should you respond?
Understand why they are saying this.
You should start by asking yourself what they mean when they say they want to go home. Don’t try and take it personally because they are simply unaware of their surroundings. Sometimes, they are not referring to the actual home of stone and mortar rather they are asking for comfort.
Your response should reduce their fear and anxiety so that they can calm down and let go of the idea.
You should also check for any discomfort, pain, or physical need that may be causing that kind of behavior.
Reassure & Comfort
When Alzheimer’s patients start calling for home, don’t react dismissively or aggressively. Approach them in a calm, soothing and relaxed manner. They will easily pick up on the tone of your voice and respond in that manner as well.
It is common to find that their need to go home is from a feeling of tension, anxiety, and fear. They might need extra comfort. In such situations, hug them, stroke them, touch them or sit with them. You can also give them a comforting blanket, a therapy doll, or a stuffed animal.
Don’t Reason With Them or Give Explanation
Your natural reaction when a patient asks to go home and they are already home may be to explain to them that they are already there. Explanations really beat the purpose because you cannot use reason and logic with someone who has a brain disease. They will not understand you. Instead, they become more insistent, agitated, and distressed. They cannot process the information you are giving them, and they will feel like you are a hindrance to something they deem important.
Agree, Redirect & Distract
You need to be able to redirect and distract the patients. It is quite an effective technique. Begin by agreeing with them. You can promise to take them home. This will calm them down. Afterward, skillfully redirect their attention to other pleasant and distracting activities that will take their mind away from wanting to go home. At first, this may appear difficult, but you become perfect with more practice.
Take Them For A Brief Car Ride
If nothing seems to work, agree to take them home and then take them for a brief car drive. Be able to adapt to the circumstances.
Alzheimer’s damages a person’s brain and causes them to experience the world in a different way. Be patient enough to meet them where they are and focus on reassuring and comforting them.