You mentioned not to say 'you live here now". sometimes when I bring my dad back to his facility after having a meal with me at my home, he says he doesn't want to stay here, but wants to go to the other place. I'm not sure where he means. He sometimes says he wants to stay at my house, and I'm not sure what to say, other than I want him to sleep in his room here tonight and I'll be back to see him soon. What else do you recommend? Peggy Heisler

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Hi Peggy, thanks for writing in! I have a strong feeling he’s talking about a place that no longer exists. For example, most of the people with dementia that I’ve heard talk about “home,” or, “the other place,” are actually referring to the home they grew up in, or perhaps the first house they bought as an adult. My best recommendation is to “push it off,” like to say, “Let’s eat here first,” or, “I want to make sure you see the doctor here.” The key is to make the stay at the community feel temporary instead of indefinite. I think you’re doing the right thing by telling him to stay there and you’ll see him soon.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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