Jane: (A new resident) Can I get someone to take me home.
Caregiver: You are home.
Jane: This is not my home. I want to go home.
Caregiver: This is your home.
Jane: No, I mean "home".
Me: Good, Jane, don't let them confuse you.
I had no business intervening in the caregiver's business. But I thought she was mixing Jane up, even more than she was mixed. Jane thinks we all in a ski resort and that her family is out on the slopes, and that they will soon come and get her and they will all go "home". The caregiver was trying to make Jane understand that this is where she will live and be "at home". But she was contradicting Jane, and telling her that her thinking was wrong. Jane could only resist and fight...to keep her "sanity".
I wish the caregiver had said, "Sorry, Jane, there is no one who can take you home. But we will make you comfortable here. Stay with us. We need you." Jane would feel a loss, for certain, but not a loss of frame of reference. Home means "home". An old folks home is not a "home". Home is where the heart is.