When a person suffers from dementia often repeats that he wants to go home. This phrase makes their caregivers feel uncomfortable as they cannot handle easy their patient’s desire. Probably they are already home, but even the professionals caregivers can not explain it to them. In most cases, patients are clear to the message they want to deliver us, if we pay attention to them.
If we take a closer look to their behavior, we probably understand the reason why they keep repeating «Take me home!». The phrase indicates that the person, feels uncomfortable at a specific moment. On the other hand, he cannot explain exactly what is wrong, because of the disease his is facing. In fact, by using the phrase «Take me Home» does not mean that he wants to leave. He is using the word «home» to describe something that he remembers clearly from his past. As we getting older, home becomes a familiar meaning that brings in mind the necessary security we all need in our lives.
So, what a person with dementia means when he is repeating the phrase «Take me home»?
- Is hungry or thirsty
- Wants to use the bathroom
- Feels warm or cold
- Wants to sleep
- Feels pain
- Is tired
- Feels bored
- Is scared or shy
- Is depressed or angry
Useful tips to handle a person with dementia when it “wants to go home”:
Try to remain calm and accept as reasonable his desire to go home. Reassure the patient that you we will leave the place you are right now, and go to his home when you finish the house cleaning, for example. Give them excuses, in order to avoid logical arguments that might confuse more his thoughts.
Try to turn his attention into something else! Focus on something that it will start a new conversation and make him forget about the desire to go home.
In D-care, we aim to train caregivers (professionals and non-professionals), in order to develop an approach and improve care services for people who living with dementia. Our project wants to improve the knowledge of caregivers about dementia, and make their work more productive.