Registered User
Dec 20, 2007
East Yorkshire
Hi all

Back again ! Dad's seems to be going through a stage of high anxiety, its lasted a couple of weeks so far and mum is due for a visit from the CPN today to discuss the matter. Each time we visit dad in the care home he tells us he is frightened, and (in his own way as he doesn't have much speech capability) that it's no good him been there (care home). He sits there with his head in his hands saying over and over again that he's frightened, we continually reassure him and he gets at least 2 visitors a day family or friends, but it is very distressing to see dad like this. At the end of the visit dad will either try to leave with us or just sits there and lets us walk out! There is talk of putting dad on a mild sedative to numb the anguish, is this a phase? is it dad fighting for just that little bit longer? is a sedative the right thing to do? All this illness does is raise question after question and with no concrete answers - it's horrible !!!!


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Rach :)

My husband gets very frightened and he is still living at home.

I don`t wish to upset you further but there could be many causes for your father`s fear.

He could be frightened of his own condition, what`s happening to him. My husband is often frightened of what is happening to his brain.

He could be frightened because he`s in unfamiliar surroundings and doeasn`t know where he is. This might have nothing to do with him being in a home, my husband often feels in unfamiliar surroundings and he is in his own home.

He could be frightened because he is with people he doesn`t know or is unable to relate to.

Has your father seen a GP lately? Perhaps it would be advisable.


Registered User
Jan 1, 2007
Newcastle upon Tyne
Hi Rach,

You don't say how long your Dad has been in the home. In my (Dad's) experience, there are lots of phases. He has been in his home for 5 months, and is still very up and down. He has been through an aggressive period when he thought "they" were trying to kill him and wanted me to get him a gun. They had to take his walking stick away as he was hitting people and he was subsequently put on antipsychotics, but they are withdrawing these and giving him a tranquiliser to help him sleep at night.

He still gets very irritable, he often thinks he is back in the office, and tries to organise people and papers and such like. Initially he thought he would be coming out with us when we visited, but now he doesn't know me and doesn't realise who I am when I go.

Yesterday, however, he was convinced we were going to go and see someone, and kept asking how we would get there, and did I have money for the bus. I am told he has good days but he does seem terribly sad. I don't know if he misses my Mum - he calls everyone else Mum, I think she is there in his own little world, which bears no relation to the one he is really in.

I have watched a lot of the other residents and they vary - most seem to have accepted their fate, although some fight against it. One poor lady constantly asks everyone how she can get out - I think she's been there for five years and saying the same thing over and over.

Don't know if this is any help.


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
Hi Rach,

My husband is in a CH and is also very often in a state of extreme anxiety and tells me he is frightened. In my own personal experience it has nothing to do with him being new to the Care Home (about 6 weeks now). He has felt this overwhelming fear for about 4 years. He was home with me for 3 of those years after first displaying this type of behaviour and at some time in the day (usually afternoon/ evening) rocked himself to and fro, wringing his hands and telling me he was 'frightened'. He could not sit still, could not relax and could not be comforted. I used to ask what he was frightened of but he could never explain. This fear cripples him both mentally and physically and has tortured him for such a long time.

Having tried soothing, talking, a great deal of TLC, ignoring, also I am ashamed to say shouting, none of these have helped to get him out of this state. Once he starts in this state, only medication can ease his suffering. He has also for these long years, been living in his own world for periods where he has no grasp of where he is and has his obsessive worries, always about; crashing the car or damaging it, not finishing a job at work, lost shoes and trying to find something.

Anyone who has witnessed their loved one in this state, as I have and I am sad to say you are now experiencing, would cry out for medication to help ease this terrible suffering. It is the only sure fire thing which does ease him a little. Just as you say, when it is time for me to leave him, his anxiety increases and he follows me to the door. It is just awful to walk out and leave him and what keeps me sane is the knowledge that he is being cared for by kind, compassionatge people who do not get as distressed as I do when I see him in this state.

Having said all of this, my husband's illness may not be following the same path as your dad. As others have said, this may be caused by external factors and it may be temporary. I hope so for your dad's sake and yours. The trouble with this illness is that it is impossible to generalise, every sufferer's experiences are different and can go in 'phases' which can change, or, like my husband, this can go on for a very long time.
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Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
Hello Rach,

As the others have said it's hard to be certain about these things because each persons dementia is different as they themselves are different.

My mum is still at home but she has been in an anxiety state for about 12 months. She can be very aggressive and even violent on occasion.

Mum is currently taking anti-psychotic medication but it does not work as well as we had hoped so we are undergoing constant reassessment. So, if they do try this route don't necessarily expect an immediate improvement - it make take a little tinkering with to get a result that both you and your dad can be happier with.

I hope you can work this out and get a calmer dad.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I think everyone else has covered all the bases. The only thing I would question is: why a sedative? It makes sense to help him sleep at night, but during the day what about asking about an anti-anxiety medication? If that doesn't work then consider the sedation route (I assume they are talking about something in the valium family) but there are medications available to address the anxiety that do not sedate as much.