Caregivers of people with dementia often hear the phrase “I want my home”. It is a weird situation for them, as the patients are probably home and they can not recognize it. Caregivers find difficult to handle their patients’ desire and explain them that they are already home, even if they are professionals. It will be very helpful if they understand the real causes and the meaning of the message that patients try to give them.
If they pay attention to this message, they will understand the reason why the patient repeats the phrase “I want my home’’. It does not necessarily mean that he wants to leave the place. The patient probably feels uncomfortable due to his condition and he asks for something familiar. The term ‘’home’’ indicates something that he remembers clearly from the past and it offers him the security that he asks for.
When a person suffering from dementia repeats the phrase “I want my home” probably might:
- Be hungry or thirsty
- Want to sleep
- Want to use the bathroom
- Feel warm or cold
- Feel pain
- Be tired or bored
- Be scared or shy
- Be depressed or angry
Useful advice to help the patient who wants his home:
It is important to remain calm and accept as reasonable his desire to go home. You have to avoid logical arguments that might confuse more his thoughts. You should give him excuses and reassure him that you will leave the place you are and go to his home as soon as possible.
Turn his attention into something else. You have to make him forget the fact that he wants to go home. You should try to make him focus on other things or conversations.
Our aim in DEAL project is to enhance the skills and knowledge of caregivers of people with dementia and make their work more productive.