If anyone has a family member in a Memory Care facility and heard these words, “I want to go HOME” may be the 5 hardest words to find an answer for. I went through this personally and let me say finding a response to help my loved one not get upset and agitated is hard, but you WILL find the right thing to say to your loved one.
I also had my loved one say, “Call my doctor and tell him I want to leave now, and let me know what he says.” Each time you hear this plea to go home, your heart will break in a thousand pieces, tears will fall down your face when you leave, and driving home will be challenging. But, you WILL get through this each time your loved one wants or demands to go home. My best suggestion is to answer them in a way that they won’t get too upset or agitated. Every person with Dementia will respond differently so you WILL know the best answer WHEN and IF the time comes with your family member.
Remember this: YOU are the reminder of HOME for them.” So it’s natural for them to see a family member and ask to go home. How we respond and manage to hold back the tears knowing they will NEVER come home again is SO HARD, and full of raw emotions. Some days will be more challenging and you will think NOBODY understands HOW YOU FEEL. Just take one day and step at a time and remember to keep going back to visit. It’s OKAY to cry even when doing mundane tasks. Your heart will forever be broken for the realization this loved one is NOT the person you remember who now has Dementia and a progression of this disease is inevitable.
Look for the one friend or family member who will ALWAYS be there to listen to you and share your concerns. Open your heart up to share HOW you feel and try as much as you can to decompress. Find the hobbies or things you enjoy most even if it’s a cup of hot chocolate, baking cookies and sharing with your neighbors or just taking a long nap.
“I want to go HOME” will NEVER get easier nor will seeing your loved one decline but do what you can to make time for yourself and those who need your visits to help them have a bright moment in their days. It will change your heart as well as theirs and YOU will forever have a memory to cherish when they are gone.