If a Senior with Alzheimer’s Says, “I Want to Go Home,” What Does It Mean?

Heritage Woods of DeKalb - If a Senior with Alzheimer’s Says, “I Want to Go Home,” What Does It Mean?

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 3 million people in the United States annually.

It is a progressive disease of the brain that impairs a person’s memory and depresses their overall mental functionality.

Alzheimer’s has many symptoms, and ongoing research reveals one of the most common manifests in the form of confusion, where the person suffering from it will often repeat things out loud, not remembering they just said it. Sometimes, however, there are apparent moments of clarity where they might say impactful or seemingly important things that sound like a plea or a rationalization.

“I want to go home” is a typical phrase during such a moment, and many seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s will say something like this even if they already are at home.

This is usually a way for them to express discomfort. Maybe they spent a long day walking or are irritated or restless. It could also be an expression of tension or anxiety and they want to be in a place or state of mind that’s more comfortable.

What You Can Do in This Situation

It’s important to respond with reassuring, calm expressions. Telling them things like “okay, we’ll leave soon” is just comforting enough for them during a conversation like this.

If the person with Alzheimer’s says this regularly, then it may be a good idea to test different responses.

Try to bring up a different subject or otherwise alter the conversation each time. Doing so should help with engagement and the positive stimulus can bring about better thoughts and words. Asking questions about things or people they remember, or sharing fond memories are also really helpful ways to divert them from asking about going home.

Another important thing to remember is that they may not be referring to a physical home, but rather a feeling of home. They want to be comfortable and supported. This is just one of many ways that an assisted living community is helpful, because the comfortable and inviting environments they provide are always there, giving the feeling of home the senior may be asking about.

For more information, visit our website or call 815-787-6500.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb

2626 N. Annie Glidden Rd

DeKalb, IL 60115