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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Dawes

What Stage of Dementia is Wanting to Go Home? Understanding Dementia Stages in Cambridgeshire

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Living with dementia in Cambridgeshire, or anywhere else for that matter, can be a challenging journey for both the individual and their loved ones.

One common behaviour exhibited by people living with dementia is the persistent desire to go home. This can be confusing and distressing for families, especially when the individual is already at home. So, what stage of dementia is wanting to go home?

Understanding Dementia Stages

Dementia is a progressive condition that affects cognitive function over time. It's often divided into three stages: early (mild), middle (moderate), and late (severe). The symptoms and behaviours exhibited by individuals can vary greatly depending on the stage of dementia they are in.

The desire to go home often surfaces during the middle or moderate stage of dementia. At this point, memory loss becomes more severe, and individuals may start having difficulty recognising familiar places, including their own homes. This confusion can lead them to express a desire to return to a place where they feel safe and secure – often a home from their past.

Why Do People with Dementia Want to Go Home?

The phrase "I want to go home" is one that many caregivers will hear when caring for someone with dementia. But what does it really mean?

1) Seeking Comfort: Often, this statement isn't about the physical location but rather an emotional state. The person may be feeling scared, anxious or uncomfortable due to their cognitive decline and are seeking comfort in something familiar.

2) Memory Loss: As mentioned earlier, as dementia progresses, it becomes harder for individuals to recognise familiar places or people. They may not recognise their current environment as 'home' due to memory loss.

3) Longing for Past Memories: Sometimes, "home" refers not just to a place but a time - a time when they felt safe, secure, and in control. They may be longing for their childhood home or a period in their life when they were free from the confusion and fear that dementia often brings.

Dementia Care Cambridgeshire: Managing the Desire to Go Home

If you're living with dementia in Cambridgeshire, or caring for someone who is, it's important to know how to manage these situations. Here are some strategies that can help:

1) Validate Their Feelings: Instead of correcting them or arguing about where home is, validate their feelings. Let them know you understand they're upset or confused.

2) Create a Comfortable Environment: Make their current living space as comfortable and familiar as possible. Personalize it with items from their past, like photographs or favourite books.

3) Distract and Redirect: If they become fixated on going home, try to distract them with an activity they enjoy. This could be listening to music, gardening, or even taking a walk.

4) Seek Professional Help: If managing these behaviours becomes too challenging, consider seeking help from professionals who specialise in dementia care in Cambridgeshire. They can provide advice and support tailored to your specific situation.

Living with Dementia in Cambridgeshire

Living with dementia can be challenging but remember that you're not alone. There are many resources available for those living with dementia – from support groups to professional care services. By understanding more about the stages of dementia and how they affect behaviour, we can better support our loved ones on this journey.

In conclusion, wanting to go home is not tied to a specific stage of dementia but rather an expression of discomfort or confusion stemming from the disease's progression. It's essential for caregivers to approach this desire with empathy and understanding while providing comfort and familiarity where possible. With the right support and care strategies in place – whether at home or through professional services like those offering dementia care in Cambridgeshire – individuals living with dementia can continue to lead meaningful and comfortable lives.

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