What should I say to a dementia patient who asks to go home?
Agree with them by saying something such as, “Alright, we’ll go soon” or “That’s a bright idea. We’ll leave right after the dishes are done.”
Such words can calm the situation down since you’re not pointing out that they are mistaken. After accepting their request, delicately distract their attention from the situation with words like “OK, we’ll be on our way soon.” Then, take their elbow down the hallway towards the kitchen or a big window. Show the view outside like birds and flowers or offer them their favorite snack. Afterward, casually switch to something in their daily routine. You can also try saying, “Alright, but let’s find your sweater first before we go. It’s cold outside.” After that, start chatting about something pleasant as you’re walking together to get the sweater, then engage them in their favorite activity or stop for a cup of tea.