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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 8/19/14


I have been taking care of my 91-year-old mom who has stage 6 Alzheimerís. I am doing okay except when she begs me to take her home or says, "I donít live here." I have tried everything from driving her around the block to calmly explaining that we should stay here. But lately, nothing seems to work and she gets really upset. I need some suggestions on how to handle this.


Shared by: Richard
Mount Horeb, WI

Ask her why she thinks that she should go "home". At stage 6, she is a child again in her mind. She may have had some traumatic experience when she was a child. Maybe she was punished for not being home on time. Maybe she was kept at someone's home without her consent or her family's permission. Whatever the reason, she thinks that this is real time in her mind. Find out the reason and then convince her that her fears should no longer exist. This is hard on the family members because they do not know what may have happened when she was younger. Knowing the situation may help you to alleviate her fears and accept her present surroundings as her present home.

Shared by: Donna
Collingswood, NJ

We have similar issues with my dad, age 85, also stage 6. It is really difficult. He wants to go to his childhood home and repeats the address again, and again. I tell him his mom/parents are in Ireland (grandmom's birthplace) visiting his cousins (whom he remembers sometimes) and he is staying with me for the day/night. It gets very repetitive and we try to laugh about funny Irish stories he remembers during the day. It is much tougher at night as he doesn't remember much of anything and gets very paranoid. I just keep repeating he's staying with me just for the night which he seems to be better with. Dr. also had us try a small dose of Melatonin, a supplement, an hour before bed to help Dad relax. It helps sometimes - when dad is less agitated. Need to ask your doctor before trying anything! It is tough and I know what you are going through.


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