Senior Health

When an Alzheimer's Patient Asks To Go Home...

When an Alzheimer's Patient Asks To Go Home...

There are good days and bad days. An Alzheimer's patient asking to go home is a clear sign they are seeking comfort. The goal is to avoid confrontation and to reduce the patient's feelings of anxiety and fear. This way they can let go of the idea that they need to go home.

In the instances where patients are asked to be brought to their homes, it is essential that the caregiver knows what to do in order to avoid these instances. Also, it is important that the caregiver should be creative because apparently, not every activity will work effectively on the patient. If it does, it will not work every time.

A Difficult Time for Patients and Caregivers

Mental deterioration is the most common symptom of Alzheimer’s, and often, the patient will be confused. This is especially true if he or she is placed in an institution or assisted living facility and is experiencing memory loss. The bed they are lying on is not theirs; it's not their room (at least not the one they remember). Their overall surroundings are unfamiliar. While they are trying to figure out where they are, other strange movements or sounds are startling. Just when they start to understand and get comfortable, the cycle begins again. It can be truly heart wrenching when a patient cannot be comforted and just insists they want to be at the home they know. 

It is as if they are experiencing a nightmare--they have vague recollections and then forget again. Some things are familiar and suddenly they aren't. Everything about their current life is confusing.  Waking up in the middle of the night can be terrifying. They often break down. And this is usually when they search for their home. Home does not necessarily mean the place they grew up with or their family members' abode. The patient will search for a place to find comfort. Sometimes it is their home from childhood, or the last home they recall. Sometimes it changes. Caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s is not an easy job.

The following are 6 tips given by an Alzheimer's Support Organization, that we hope will guide you, the caregiver, on what to do when an Alzheimer's patient wants to go home. They may seem to be minor distractions, and that's exactly what they are meant to be.