Home.

4

Have more questions and don't know where to turn?


Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.

I used to look after a woman with dementia in her own house. By the time I had met her, however, she had forgotten it was her house. From what I could ascertain, she believed that we were staying at a hotel.

“What do you think they’ll have for breakfast tomorrow?” she’d ask me. “This is a nice place, but I didn’t expect to stay overnight,” she’d add.

The human brain is very pattern-seeking. By that I mean, when things don’t make sense, our brains seek to make sense of them. Elizabeth* didn’t recognize her house, and there were always people staying overnight with her, so she assumed it was a hotel.

I think most people would agree that “home” is more than just a physical space: it’s made up of the people and things that bring us comfort. For Elizabeth, her comfort was with her husband and her children, but her husband was dead and her children were grown and had families of their own. So, in turn, “home” wasn’t home anymore.

When your loved one with dementia says “I want to go home,” he or she is really just searching for comfort. Provide your loved one with comfort by talking about people and things that they love. “Home” is a lot more than just a location.

Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.


When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!