Homesickness in Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Tips to Help
Like they say, there’s no place like home; but what do you do when a senior with dementia insists on going home – when he/she currently IS home? Regrettably, when caring for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, this is an all too common dilemma. And the confusion and plaintive yearning being expressed are simply heartbreaking – and, if we are truthful, aggravating.
At Home & Hearth Caregivers, our specially trained dementia care Illinois team helps family members handle challenging scenarios such as this, and we encourage trying the following to help restore peace to an unsettled senior with dementia:
- Instead of trying to rationalize, validate. Trying to reason or disagreeing with a person with dementia can actually boost agitation and unrest. Even if the senior is in the exact same home she’s resided in for the past 40 years, in her mind, “home” could signify the comfort she felt in her childhood residence with her parents. Her feelings of loss are genuine, and deserve to be acknowledged.
- Provide comfort. Keep a relaxed, soothing tone of voice and body language and sit beside the person, sharing comfort through a hug or a gentle touch to the hand, if these approaches are welcomed.
- Finally, redirect. After you’ve provided a calming presence and affirmed the senior’s feelings, redirecting to a pleasing, enjoyable activity may be helpful. Going for a stroll outdoors or in another area of the house, enjoying favorite songs, or browsing through picture albums are just a few suggestions; think about the individual and incorporate what works best for her.
For additional tips on helping restore peace to a troubled senior with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, call on Home & Hearth Caregivers at 800-349-0663. We help keep older adults safe, enhance socialization, and provide them with chances to strengthen both cognitive and physical wellbeing through services such as:
- Patient, sensitive help with personal care needs like bathing and dressing
- Participating in conversations and reminiscing about the past
- Assisting in getting involved in doctor-approved exercise programs and other activities
- Playing mind-challenging games
- Fixing healthy meals
- Running errands like picking up groceries and prescriptions
- Providing escorted transportation to medical appointments and other outings
- And so much more
Whether a couple of hours each week of the trusted dementia care Illinois family caregivers need, or full-time, seamless, around-the-clock care is desired, we’re on hand to partner with you to supply the highest quality dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Reach out to us to discover more and to arrange for a free in-home consultation.