Are you taking care of a dementia patient? You’ve probably heard a patient express their desire to go home a million times. Unbeknownst to some, dementia patients who voice out their desire to go home are one of the most common mental states of people with this condition.
Usually, a patient who asks to go home is feeling insecure, anxious, or depressed. Additionally, a loved one who has dementia and asks to go home might also be thinking of her childhood home. There are quite a few representations of “home” for dementia patients. What’s more important here is how you respond to it and provide excellent dementia care. Here are some tips:
Never Argue With Them
Do not try to argue with a dementia patient and tell them that they’re already home or their home doesn’t exist anymore. It’s best not to try to reason with them about their desire to go home. You have to understand that it’s okay for dementia patients not to feel at home in the most random moments of the day, which makes them blurt out their desire to go home.
Instead of trying to reason out with a dementia patient when they express their desire to go home, you must try to understand them. If you can, uncover the feelings behind their request. Why do they want to go home? You will be able to identify their fears or what they miss, and you can think of solutions to eradicate the fear or bring them closer to what they miss in their home.
Always Provide Reassurance
Another reason that a person with dementia might want to go home is that they don’t feel safe in the facility or your home. So, you must reassure the person verbally and in the most calming way possible. Let them know that they’re safe and console them that they’re still cared about.
Change the Topic
When a dementia patient starts talking about their desire to go home, try to distract them by bringing up a different topic that they’re interested in. You might also want to avoid showing them photos from their past, which could bring a feeling of longing that leads to the desire to go home.
Know If They’re Happy or Sad
As mentioned, a dementia patient may express that they want to go home because they feel insecure, anxious, or sad. That’s why you need to know if the patient is either happy or sad. If you find that they’re unhappy, it’s good to know the reason so that you can provide solutions to boost their mood.
Record the Times They Ask to Go Home
As part of your dementia care duties, keep track of the times that a dementia patient asks to go home. You’ll be surprised to see a pattern. That is because certain times of the day might be worse for them than others. Usually, near meal times is when a patient with dementia will feel down. There are also some cases when dusk makes people sadder. When you identify a pattern, you can come up with ways to lessen or avoid the triggers.
Dealing with a dementia patient isn’t easy, especially when they ask to go home. Therefore, you need to handle it well by following the tips listed above.
If you need more help, you can always talk to a dementia consultant in Houston, Texas. Get in touch with us to see how we can help.