Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Dawn, Community Member, asks

Q: My Mom always wants to "Go Home" How do I understand what she is really trying to say?

My Mom has Alzheimers, she was diagnosed in 2004, I read that you usually Die anywhere from 4 to 6 years after being diagnosed. If this is true My Mom is in her last stages, I sometimes find myself just as confused as she is, I dont know what she is thinking, I dont know how I can understand how she may be that paticular day, She doesnt talk very much, and she always wants to "Go Home" even though we are home. And it dosent matter how many times you may tell her "Mom we are home" She will say, I know I just want to Go Home. What is she really trying to tell me? How do I understand how she thinks, Help me please
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Answers (5)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
8/20/09 7:56am

Hi Dawn,

Your confusion is normal, so please don't feel guilty. People's life span with Alzheimer's differs. Much depends on their age and health before diagnosis. But it does sound as though your mom is in later stages. The home she wants to go to is likely the one where she grew up, so she doesn't "get" that she is home.

 

Most people weather this by distraction, though it will not go away, and so you'll have to resign yourself to compassion and just keep trying to make her feel better. If you can make it work, maybe saying, "We'll get you back home soon, Mom. First, we need to go (say your kitchen or another room if she is in a nursing home)." Then try to distract her with something else. It may work for awhile.

 

My own feeling is that people often want to join their parents, spouse or siblings who have died. It's thought that the childhood home is what they want, and that is likely true. However, I've seen instances where people almost seem to be drawn out of their bodies, searching for their loved ones who have passed away. We don't have true understanding about what is going on in their minds, and that would never be the same for every person anyway.

 

All I can tell you is to realize you are doing your best and that it's likely no one could do better. Your mom, in her mind, isn't home. So, saying you will get her home as soon as possible and then distracting her may be your best hope.

 

You are not alone in this. Remember that, please. You are doing a wonderful job and your compassion shows in your question.

 

Take care and please keep checking in. Maybe others will have some ideas.

Carol

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Dawn, Community Member
8/20/09 1:00pm

Dear Carol,  Thank you so much for your advise, My Mom is still with us at home we dont want to put her into a home until we have to,  My Dad feels the same way, he is 80 years old and he has no hands he ( a double amputee) So I do take care of him to.  But anyway I have a book that I have been reading called "The 36 Hour Day" and in it, it says that people with Alzheimers usually dont know that they have lost a loved one, My Sister passed away in 2001, Her and my Mom were very very close,  My Mom has not yet talked about her death, and when I bring up her name she has no reaction, now when we go to her grave site, there has only been 1 time where my Mom had a reaction and I saw her crying,  I tried to tak to her about it but I got nothing.  I have even took my Mom to her parents grave sites just to see if I could get a reaction, I couldnt even get her out of the car.  I know there is no way I can tell what she is feeling or thinking,  but I really wish someone or somehow I could have an idea on how or what or where she is in this awfull diease. 

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Kerry, Community Member
10/12/09 1:56pm

My mother-in-law is staying with us because she can't take care of herself anymore. She is stage 5 to 6. When she wants to go home, we get a box of pictures of her and her family from all different stages in her life and go through them. It seems to help most of the time and some pictures even seem to jog her memory and she will have a story about them. She is mainly bedridden and if I don't have time to go through them with her, I will leave a small stack on her nightstand. Her home is with us now, though, but like Carol said, distraction seems to work the best.

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SteveEllis, Community Member
5/13/12 10:13pm

Your resolve is one of the best that makes total sense. In the beginning of every conversation, Mom wants reassurance that she will go home. I personally cannot get her to move beyond her emotion to "take me home." I will take this to heart and try my best.

 

Thank you love,

 

Steve

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terri, Community Member
4/ 4/13 10:48am

My mom says this also and we kept saying you are home also.  She imagines that her and my father went to the movies and they stopped where they are living now on their way "home" sometime she gets very angry at my father when he says they are home.  It is very difficulty for us because we dont know what to say to her.  She also always calls me to see where my daughter is and make sure she is safe, she is 17 and used to live with them so I think her brain is going back to that.  It is so, so, sad.  My mom is at the stage that sometimes she knows somthing is wrong with her thinking and then she gets scared.  She told me that my father is lying to her and thinks that it is funny, which is not true.  

 

Terri

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
4/ 4/13 11:13am

I'm so sorry, Terri. This is really tough. "Home" to most people means safety - a refuge - so it's not always possible to know what home our elders are referring to when the want to "go home." The best you can really do is not argue and try to distract her. Your father is doing his best, too. There's really no way to avoid disturbing times when someone has Alzheimer's. However, doing what you can so your mom feels safe and cared for will help.

   

I understand when you say that sometimes she knows there's something wrong with her thinking. I witnessed that with my dad and it's so painful. It's go to be so frightening to know you can't understand what is happening to you. You're right, too, that she's likely going back in her mind to when your daughter lived with her.

 

Again, it's about not arguing. You can say, "Tell me about that" and maybe she'll tell a story and then you can distract her. You're obviously trying your best.

Best wishes,

Carol

 

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terri, Community Member
4/ 4/13 11:39am

Thank you for your suggestions and responding to my situation.

 

Terri

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NC, Community Member
4/ 4/13 1:04pm

Terri,

My experience with my late FIL was that he forgot he came home from the appt. outside in the morning. At sunset, he thought he was in the hospital/cinic and wanted to go home. This only happened once and I think he was disoriented by the appt. and our visit and the caregivers. But he didn't say it in the morning but suddenly said he wanted to go home and was like he wanted to cry if he didn't go home. So we decided to have early supper anyway since the caregiver cooked already. I took my FIL to passy the dining room and go to the kitchen for light supper. However, he didn't buy that it was his kitchen. He ate quickly and cleaned the table with his fingers and he wanted to go home quickly. Anyway, we ate and went back to the living room. He sat down to his usual couch watching tv and forgot all about going home! He was relieved that he was home and he thought he made us go home!!!

Sometimes he thought it was not his home. So when we told him it was his home, he was happy to know that he owned it. It depends on the mood. Sundowning is also common so turn on the lights and draw the curtains so Mom can feel secure.

Distract her and do something with her so she can forget about going home. Sometimes she is thinking of her childhood home. In this case, Dad has to pretend that they are going home from the movie in the house. Take a walk around the house and etc.

 

Hugs,
Nina

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carol, Community Member
8/20/09 11:35am

My mother has had alzheimers since 1993. In the beginning she was living with my son and his wife(they were  like 25 years old) and she was always trying to escape. I think she felt disconnected living with them. She has been living with me for the last ten years. She is 88. Forget about what she is thinking....imagine she is like a baby and make that baby feel safe. Touch her a lot. Kiss her. Wrap your arms around her . Tickle her. Tease her into liking where she is. Sing to her. Put on the music of her youth. Dance with her. If she can't sleep at night..get a spray melatonin and give that to her at night. Check out the blood type diet or genotype diet. Make sure she isn't eating foods that are distressing her.  Never give her potatoes.Potatos have aluminum in them and are inflamming just by their nature. Alzheimers is all about inflammation of the brain. Find foods that are not inflamming. Google that or give her one of D'adamo's diets.

 

Don't talk about her in front of her as if she cannot hear. Don't let others talk about her in front of her saying things like..."oh, this is so sad". ASSUME that she is in there...even if she can no longer think or the thinking comes and goes..she will have an emotional body for a long long time. And there is an intelligence to the emotional body. You're the parent now. She is the child. 

 

I've never given my mother any drugs except for aspirin now and again...I would touch her head and the pulse was so strong...part of that inflammation.  Rub your mother's feet if she lets you. That helps to calm and ground the body. 

 

Another possibilitiy if you're open to it is to find a homeopathic doctor where you live and get some help that way. There are many homeopaths but few who are doctors. See if you can find one. I know enough about homeopathy that i treat my mother myself.  You or anyone else can e mail me if you want more information about homeopathy. 

 

 

 

 

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
8/20/09 1:26pm

I love what you say about not talking in front of her. She is not a child and she is "in there."

 

Everyone has different approaches to care, and what works for one may not for another, but respect for the person and loving care are always a good thing. Sometimes we have to experiment to see what works best, even on a particular day. There are many alternative therapies that work for some people, and medications that work for others.

 

Thanks so much for commenting.

Carol

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Dorian Martin, Health Guide
8/20/09 3:52pm

Hi, Dawn,

 

I know how difficult your situation is. Also, I agree with what the others have written. I'd just like to share that in my own interactions with my mom, I learned to live moment-by-moment and tried not to read too much into or try to decipher what she was saying. At that point, Mom was living at a nursing home, but at various times she thought she was at the airport, the store she used to manage, and in a hotel.  I decided that I needed to embrace her reality instead of trying to get her to fit into my reality. That eased the stress on me and, I believe, made my time with Mom more enjoyable. And she, too, asked to "go home." At that point, I followed what Carol advised about redirection. It seemed to work well, but I did have to use this strategy on multiple visits.

 

Take care and keep us posted!

 

Dorian

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
10/12/09 3:28pm

Good advice, Dorian. Sometimes going with the moment and not trying too hard is best. It's all gut feeling, I swear. We never know for sure, but just have to do our best.


Carol

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Janice, Community Member
2/11/12 2:01pm

why she want go home. how i say to her

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
2/12/12 8:20am

She is most likely trying to get to her childhood home, which of course she can't. It's heartbreaking, I know. The best thing you can do is say something like, "I understand. Soon you should be able to go home" (therapeutic fib), and then distract her by taking her for a walk or drive, or watching a DVD or TV she likes with her. Anything to take her mind off the thought for awhile. It will come back, but keep telliing yourself "this too will pass." She'll eventually move into a different phase.

Take care of yourself, too.

Carol

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ashely12, Community Member
7/30/13 1:38am

i recently contacted a doctor named GBOCO i find his email: gbocotemple@yahoo.com on the internet so i decided to contact him for help in my relationship he ask me to send him my details which i did after that he told me that the gods reveled something to him and he told me everything that was reveled to him and he told me what he was going to do that after three days my relationship became sweet again and the person that was behind my problem came to begin me for forgiveness which my mother in-law now i and my love are happy again including my mother in-law.... thanks to Dr. GBOCO.

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By Dawn, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/04/13, First Published: 08/19/09