when she IS in her home of 51 years. My mother gets confused and agitated and wants to go home. My parents built this home and have lived there for 51 years. She doesn't remember it. Then she gets upset with dad or one of us when we try to tell her she is "home". What can we tell her to calm her down? I thought she was suffering from Sundowners, but today this started around 2 pm. Her dog is there at the house with her, but even that doesn't faze her. Pointing out familiar items in her house will sometimes work, but usually only for a moment . I am afraid she will wander off in search of home. Dad doesn't want to put deadbolt locks on the doors yet. She still has days of clarity, and she gets irate when she feels she is being treated like she is crazy. Any suggestions?
"You can go home tomorrow, or in an hour." "Tell me about your home." I once told a newcomer at the nursing home that no one could pick her up today because of the snow. I reassured her that she didn't need money to pay for the "hotel room" because they would send her a bill. It worked for a while.
My husband's "I want to go home" started very early in the dementia and lasted a few months. I was new to caregiving and tried to convince him he was home. Lost cause and just frustrated me without comforting him. For delusions later, when I was more experienced, I found it much more effective to go along with him and find a way to either distract him or give him what he needed/wanted but wasn't able to articulate.
She is on medication for anxiety, taken in the morning. I'm thinking we may need to increase the dosage, but she is on so much other medication, I hate to do that. We've been giving her an extra dosage when she will be doing something out of her routine. We have a big day coming up in two weeks that has us all nervous. It's a benefit ride for cancer in memory of my brother who passed away in December. Not sure how we are going to get through that day with her. I am SO THANKFUL for family and extended family who are willing to help out. I can't imagine going through this alone. Thanks to everyone for your comments and encouragement.
You probably have read all about redirecting, staying positive, etc. I think it works to a certain extent, but nothing can really stop that kind of behavior. It can be very disconcerting and living in that environment 24/7 can be very stressful. I suspect that is one reason that caring for a person who has advanced dementia can be difficult to do in the home.
Of course, you might discuss medications with her doctor, since, undue anxiety could be causing your mother's distress. My loved one had good results with medication.
My Dad has what appears to be sundowner. Dad's starts around 4pm unless it is storming out then it will start sooner. I understand how rattling it can be when our parent doesn't understand they are home. I ran into that with my Dad when he first started this sundowner journey couple months ago. Dad thought he was in a motel and he would be checking out tomorrow. Even with me saying does the furniture look familiar? He said yes, but his mind kept looping that he wasn't home. It's hard to play along and tell them "maybe tomorrow we will go home" as this is so new to us.
Last night my Dad was sent to the ER as he fell in his senior living facility and had a cut on his head. I met him at the ER. Everything checked out fine and he could be discharged. Dad told the doctor that we had a long ride ahead, we were driving to Iowa..... (we were in northern Virginia only 15 minutes from his senior facility). The doctor looked at me, so I glanced at my watch and said "it's 9pm, Dad is in Iowa".... then she responded "got ya". Apparently she wanted to make sure there wasn't further injury due to Dad's strange remark.
Do not try to straighten her out by correcting or arguing with her. That will onky cause agitation.
Sundowner's doesn't necessarily begin at sundown. It can be at any time of the day or night when someone regularly becomes agitated.
I know it's an automatic impulse to want to familiarize your mom to her surroundings when she becomes agitated and is wanting to go home but what she actually wants is probably out of reach. Try to soothe her instead by fixing her a snack or looking through a photo album with her, you can read to her if she's a book lover, anything to distract her from her anxiety. Try to calmly redirect her until her anxiety passes.
Does your mom take anything for anxiety? That might help as well. And I too urge you to look through all the posts on this subject. There's a lot of great information here from people who have been where you are now.