Page 19 - Senior Housing Directory 2018
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RESPONDING TO “I WANT TO GO HOME.”Hearing seniors say, “I want to go home” over and over again is something the caregiver of a person with dementia often deals with. It can be frustrating, and sometimes hurtful, to hear especially when they’re already home.The big question is how to respond in a way that comforts the person with demen- tia, and in some cases calms them down. Try not to take it personally. You might be surprised to discover that it often does not mean what you think. Realizing this can help you to remain calm as well.So why are they asking to go home? Most often the person with dementia is trying to express that they need to feel safe, comfort, and control. “Home” signi- fies a place where they are comfortable, safe and accepted, and where they belong and can be themselves. Generally, they are not actually asking to go anywhere.They may repeatedly ask to go home because they feel:• Unsafe or scared• Agitated or upset• Physically uncomfortable or in pain• Tired• Have personal hygiene needs• Not familiar with their current environ- ment like a new room, new decor, or new peoplePay close attention to their body lan- guage and observe their reactions as you make your way through the possibilities. Don't get into an argument. Stay positive. Practice makes it easier.As a caregiver, the goal is to reduce your loved one’s anxiety and fear so they can let go of their repetitive need to say it. The best thing you can do is to meet them where they are, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request.Consider these types of responses to the request to “go home.”1. Comfort and reassure. Approach your older adult with a calm, soothing, and relaxed manner. If you remain calm, they’ll start calming down too. They’ll pick up on your body language and tone of voice and will subconsciously start to match you.2. Don't get drawn into reasoningwith them or creating long explanations. Avoid attempting to explain that they are home, or that they moved in with you years ago, or that they now live in an adult care facility, or... Your desire to make them understand often leads to making them more insistent, agitated, and distressed.They have the ability to share their distress but lack the same way to commu- nicate it as they once did.3. Seek to understand. Then use your words to agree, validate, redirect, and distract if necessary. Discerning the cause of your loved one’s distress can guide you in your choices to provide the comfortthat they need. Validating the request may provide the security they may be seeking. Sometimes, however, you may also need to redirect their attention to something new. Later, casually shift to another activi- ty that’s part of their daily routine.If nothing seems to be working be will- ing to keep trying. Recognize that they are not being stubborn for the sake of being stubborn; they are trying to communicate. Your goal is to figure out what they are trying to share.Battle Creek AreaA Hand Up, Not A Hand OutSenior Critical Home Repair & Wheelchair Ramp ProgramThese programs are available to low income seniors who have a need and an ability to repay a 0% interest loan.To Find Out More About These Programs Call269-966-2502Help us live out our Mission by donating your unwanted furniture, appliances and home furnishings at our ReStore, 545 North Ave, Battle Creek, MI.Pick-Up For Larger Items Available By Calling269-441-1038Quality Assisted Living Services: Hospice, Respite and Memory Care Available! 948-49211821 N East St, Hastings • woodlawn@leisure-living.com2018 | SENIOR HOUSING DIRECTORY 19

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