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When a Person With Dementia says "I Want to Go Home" 

When a Person living with dementia feels scared or threatened, you often will hear them repeat the phrase, “I want to go home”. This can occur anywhere, but often, it occurs when the environment they are in is overstimulating for them. This could be a store, restaurant, or a family party.  It can occur when they are unfamiliar with the surroundings. If the issue is not addressed, the behavior can become louder and more aggressive.
1. If they are in a new residence, such as a family member's house or a new care community, it may be because the surroundings are unfamiliar. Asking them questions like, “tell me about your home, or “what your favorite room at home is, will help them get calm, and you then can redirect them by asking if they would like to share a cup of coffee or tea with you as you visit a few minutes.
2. If this happens out in public, know that they may be overstimulated and need to leave the setting. Remove them from the room, stay with them, and try to distract them with conversation or offering something to eat or drink. You may want to think about taking them to public places on off times, when the environment is not as busy (such as an early lunch instead of the height of lunch hour).
3. If you’re bringing your loved one living with dementia to a family party, know that this also may be overstimulating. Ask the host if there is a room with a chair they can rest and sit in quiet for a few minutes. This provides one on one visits also which is more engaging. A person living with dementia cannot process their senses as well as those without dementia can, including sounds, lights, temperature, and amount of people in the room. While you might feel good that they are “out”, just keep in mind, that at some point they may need a “time out” to feel comfortable in their surroundings! The point of any visit with a person living with dementia is to engage them in pleasant conversation, or just being with them!
How you handle each situation may make the difference in their quality of life. Here are some simple solutions.

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