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Why do dementia patients say “I want to go home?”

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I saw a post from Bob DeMarco. He has a podcast called Alzheimer’s Reading Room.

It’s very good.

And he posted there about dementia patients wanting to go home.

Why do they want to go home?

Their long-term memory is intact and their short-term memory is gone.

They want to go back to their comfort zone. At the time of their comfort.

Their time of comfort was when they were young.

I’m Filipino, I grew up in the Philippines and my comfort is in the Philippines.

Even if I live comfortably here in the US, still, at the back of my head, my comfort is still where I came from.

My wife, sometimes she gets homesick.

That’s what our dementia patients feel. They want to go back to their place of comfort.

It’s because their long-term memory is intact. It’s like a filing cabinet. When you get dementia, you lose the later years.¬† What’s left is the later years.

So that’s why dementia patients always say that they want to go home.


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About the author 

Dr Michael Chua PT, DPT

Dr Michael Chua is a physical therapist practising in Home Health, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Acute Care Hospital. His clinical interest involves pain management, geriatrics and dementia management. He enjoys treating patients and bringing out the best in them using positive treatment approaches, his dynamic work setting in a rural area provides an opportunity to treat a wide range from geriatrics to orthopaedics.

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