People who suffer from dementia, often repeat the phrase “I want to go home.” Their desire puts their caregivers in a difficult situation, as they do not know how to reassure them. This happens because the person with dementia, who is already at home, does not recognize it. Even professionals caregivers are in a difficult situation trying to satisfy their request. The answer that could make the patient feel comfortable again, is the message that the person wants to transfer us
The phrase «I want to go home» indicates that the person who suffers from dementia feels uncomfortable, but because of its condition, he cannot explain exactly what is bothering him. In fact, he does not want to leave the place he is in, but he uses the word “home” to describe something familiar that brings in mind the necessary security he needs that moment.
So, the phrase «Ι want to go home» could mean that the person with dementia might:
- Be hungry or thirsty
- Wants to go to the toilet
- Feels warm or cold
- Is sleepy
- Is in pain
- Feels tired
- Feels bored
- Is scared or shy
- Is depressed or angry
How to help the patient with dementia
1. Remain calm and accept patient’s request as reasonable. Reassure the person with dementia by saying “We’re going to your house in a while” or “Wait for a while to finish the chores and then we’ll go.” Avoid logical arguments, such as “But you’re already home“, because they can bring irritation and confusion.
2. Turn his attention into something else! This tip is often capable to start a new conversation and make the person suffering from dementia, forgetting the previous discussion. You can mention about the weather or something on TV.
Dementia not only affects one person, but also his whole family. The aim of the following projects is the training of caregivers (professionals and non-professionals), by developing a new approach of care of people with dementia