Imagine the guilt and disappointment in your heart as you hear your older loved ones beg to go home. You feel bad and sad and the next thing you want to do is move them out.
However, that does not always work, any older adults in memory care communities will at one time say this. Below are a few things to do when you find yourself in this situation:
Offer them a Reassurance
Home is where everyone feels happy and safe, so anytime we find ourselves in a strange situation. The only desire in our minds is to return home. An older adult with memory issues deals with this a lot because they forget things easily.
What you can do when this happens is offer reassurance. Reassure them of their safety verbally and also hold their hands to further help the situation.
Most times, they don’t want to leave, they want to know that people still care about them.
Understand Whether They Are Happy
The desire to go home can be birthed by a lot of things in older adults. It can be depression, insecurity, or fear of a thing.
When your loved one request to go home, start by knowing whether they are happy or unhappy. A couple of things from team members or residents might be upsetting them. Once you identified they are not happy, the next thing is knowing why? Ask questions from the team members or residents to understand why they are sad.
People with dementia are easily irritated so mood swings are common to them. Simply having a bad day can prompt the desire to go home.
Or your loved ones are not getting enough visitation and therefore want to go home as a result. You can ask the members of the memory care community what happens when your loved one request to go home.
This will help you easily ascertain why they want to go home.
Do Not Argue With Them
In all you do, ensure you avoid an argument with your loved ones living with dementia. Reasoning and arguments will only complicate the matter and upset them more.
No amount of explanation or argument can help them get over the fact that they have been in the community for years.
Further arguments and explanations will make you appear like you don’t care or even understand their situation. At that moment, moving to a new home is important to them. So trying to reason with them will look as if you are trying to stop them from doing that.
Requesting to go home is how older adults express their discomfort or let you know they are tense. You can address this situation through validation and redirection. Validation is an acknowledgment of their request; you can do this by responding calmly.
Your manner of approach must be relaxed and soothing. In this way, they feel supported and cared for. Your disposition will also determine theirs.
Once you have done this successfully, the next thing is getting them to focus on a different thing. Redirect their attention to another topic of interest to get their mind busy. You can go over a family photo album together or ask them how their day went.
Lastly, visit your loved ones often to help them feel more loved.