What your father realizes is that life is not like his head tells him it should be. There are times Dad talks about his girls, but they are no in their 50's. They are children he needs to take care of. We have to be careful when he talks about Mom to determine if it is our mother or his mother. It is not the place that is the problem...
Mom is the one that sounds more like your Dad. Always wanting to go home, swears there is nothing wrong with her but the place she is in. She does repeat the same thing over and over... the same story, the same questions, the same comments. If that is where they are you just answer it until they are satisfied. It is what they need.
I do try to be cheerful when I am there. They do pick up on your emotions. I always bring some "gift". Dad loves cookies and Mom is a sucker for those little key lime pies. Mom adores flowers and thinks it is just grand when I bring her a new shirt or sweater. Underware for both even worked on one visit. There is a jigsaw puzzle on a card table. Mom's not very good at putting it together but it's a conversation piece when company is there. She will sit and finger the pieces while we put it together. When we are down to one or two pieces... we leave those out. Mom will put them in an proclaim that she did the entire puzzle
Music is wonderful. I have even gotten my Dad to dance with me a few times. We tease him about his singing and he sings louder. Sometimes I can get them interested in a story on TV or a newpaper article. You keep trying into you find something the spurs his interest.
And sometimes nothing works. On those down days when Mom is aggitated and Dad is aggitated at her there is not much joy..... during those times I affirm her feelings. It is difficult to be taken out of the life you have always know. I will say.... I know you are not happy today and for that I am sorry. Then ask her if she will take a walk with me. Perhaps some sunshine will make the day a little brighter. Yes, I can repeat something similar just as often as she can repeat her woes. Each is a new conversation for her.
It will get easier as time goes on. You will figure out what works and what doesn't. A question..... is he on any medication for depression? It might be helpful at least in the interim until he becomes more adjusted to his new surroundings.
Sorry you needed to find up but glad you did. Drag up a tall cold drink and stay a while
This is a great place for experiences, empathy, sympathy, and understanding. We are all there, been there, or going there.....