1. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    My husband has recently started asking to go home, and gets very upset and agitated because I can't take him home. I've seen good advice on an old thread about COMPASSIONATE CARING, and have written about it on there, but perhaps it will be more prominent on this new thread.

    It happens in the evening, when he's tired, and I think it's part of SUNDOWNING. I've tried distracting him, changing the subject, serving a meal,; everything I can think of, but nothing works, he comes back to begging me to take him home NOW.

    I know it happens with some sufferers, so it isn't just us, but I'd be interested to know if anyone else has found a way to deal with it,

    I've asked him to describe the home he wants to find, and it seems to be his childhood home, but not all the details are accurate( I remember it too) and the people he expects to find there aren't the ones who were there then, but our children, and more recent friends.

    Some time ago, he was actually taken back to his childhood home, but barely recognised it, even though he was invited into the back garden and had his photo taken beside the tree his Dad planted.

    In some of his more aware moments he's said the place he wants to go to is where he knows his way about, and what's happening.

    Any suggestions would be very welcome...

    (Medication is another matter, but he'll be starting Citalopram soon.)
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Going home

    For the past month my husband has actually been going home - to the house he lived in before we got married 50 years ago! Although we have lived in many places since then including abroad we have coincidentally ended up only a few streets away from his old house.

    When he gets there he can see something is not right because of course it has changed over time so he seems to walk up and down looking at neighbours houses.

    This week however he was missing for a ten hour stretch with a big police search so I am trying hard not to let him out on his own and I have a GPS tracker on him as well as his
    Mobile phone round his neck.

    The whole going home thing and seeking out the past and the people there seems to be par for the course and hopefully a phase.
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    My husband wanted to go home to his wife. When asked where it was he gave our address but it was not home to him or me his wife. I think home is a place where they remember feeling safe, happy and leading a normal life, not the mixed up frightening world they are now living in.

    When he asked when his wife was coming to take him home I would tell him she was stuck in traffic, at the hairdressers, dentist etc and would he help me do something while we waited. It could be preparing veg., cutting the lawn etc. it did distract him for a while and so he was calmer. it became part of our daily routine.
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    We relocated from Manchester in 2002.

    From the beginning, even though he wanted to relocate to live nearer our son , having visited the area regularly for 10 years, Dhiren could not settle and begged to `go home`. It became so distressing I agreed we`d return and our new home was put on the market .......twice.

    Both times when nearing completion, Dhiren became very agitated and wanted to back out and I had the embarrassment of letting people who wanted to buy the house down.

    This is the situation which eventually identified his dementia.

    To try to `lay the ghost`, I arranged a trip back to Manchester just for a visit. We stayed in a hotel and the plan was to visit old friends and family to see if it helped.

    We arrived at our hotel, had dinner, went to our room , I went to the toilet and when i came out he’d gone.

    By the time he was found by the police he`d been missing for three hours. He had walked to West Didsbury from Piccadilly [ for those who know Manchester ] along the busiest of main roads, to a school where I once worked and where we had a flat. Once there he didn`t know what to do.

    The police asked if they could help and he handed over his wallet which fortunately contained his ID and an ICE card saying he was diabetic and had Alzheimer`s.

    He was brought back to the hotel, collapsed on the bed with exhaustion and the next morning we took the first train home.

    He was unable to learn from this and there followed a number of incidents when the poor man was desperately searching for home. I`m afraid it lasted until his dementia progressed and he lost his mobility.

    From then on he was safe and contented although I`d had to resort to residential care.
  5. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    Grannie G - believe it or not but your post has only now flagged up a memory for me of my husband some years ago when he actually went down to the local Estate Agent and put our bungalow up for sale without telling me. I didn't realise until the Agent - an extremely sensitive young man - phoned and asked me if I was in agreement with the sale - the first of the many surprises I had to survive during the next few years. Life had been difficult for a few years with him but I did not once think it might be the beginnings of the dementia which ultimately did for him - just put it down to aging. Reading your words have made me realise that the poor love was suffering with the dreadful confusion of mind which seemed to centre around his wanting to return "home" - to his childhood home in London with his Mother, Father and sister.

    So Raggedy Anne - I pinned a lovely photo I found of his family childhood home on the fridge and subsequently to the wall in his Nursing Home and would often find him looking at it - and for a short while he would be peaceful with where he was. WIFE
  6. Rathbone

    Rathbone Registered User

    May 17, 2014
    West Sussex
    Sending you a loving hug Raggedy and understanding. Hold tight, we are all behind you. X Shelagh:)
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello WIFE

    My husband went to our neighbours and asked them to tell him how he could contact an estate agent so he could put the house on the market.

    He said `the woman next door ` [ me ] was driving him mad and using too much electricity and he had to get home.

    Eventually I had to tell my neighbours not to answer the door to him. They were so uncomfortable about this but they had troubles of their own.

    The agony doesn`t bear thinking about.
  8. Not so Rosy

    Not so Rosy Registered User

    Nov 30, 2013
    Dad rattles out his childhood address with complete accuracy and conviction to everyone when asked where he lives. It was over 60 years ago.

    I have actually found his childhood home on RightMove and am going to take a printout tomorrow, he doesn't believe anything on an IPad has to be on real paper !
  9. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Begging to GO HOME.
    You've hit the spot there with me RA, home to my wife is apparently where all her siblings live even though they're all now living miles apart and have done for 40 odd years. Home is some concept in her head that she wants to go back to where she can be happy like she used to be. I see it less as a physical place she wants to be more a state of mind.
  10. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    I feel for you Anne - you know the issues we have here with 'home', and its so hard to see the distress and to deal with the agitation. We haven't found that distraction or love lies work at all, and invarably, we end up asking/telling Mil to go to her room to calm down - this often 'breaks the cycle', but not always. She always wants to go 'right now' and can get so agitated.

    I wish there was an answer, or a way to help when Mil gets like this - its just horrible :(
  11. Jenn

    Jenn Registered User

    Feb 24, 2009
    I think its strange, this `going home' concept, a longing to back in the childhood world. My Mum left her childhood home in 1948, and to my knowledge rarely visited since above about once or twice a year. Yet now (or until recently, she's gone down hill a lot of late) she could talk of nothing else. She would tell any stranger she lives in South Wales - its as if the intervening 50 years had been erased from her mind.
    I used to find it interesting in a way, talking about her childhood and the lost world she knew - she was bought up in a remote farm that could have changed little since 19th century. You could almost be transported back there from the way she talked and I liked to imagine it.
  12. goldie79

    goldie79 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2015
    I started a thread about this in another forum, Raggedy Anne, I wanted to know how to deal with my husband's obsession to 'go home' - we've lived here for over thirty years. His distress started with 'sun downing' but now occurs earlier and earlier in the day. Sometimes it is his childhood home, sometimes he wants to get back to his wife and children (both now in their fifties!). I have to lock the doors as we live on a busy road and he tries to cadge lifts. The worst part is seeing his distress and not being able to do anything about it. Sorry to be negative, but medication doesn't seem to help. We are on a waiting list for assessment, and I am hoping some expert will be able to tell me how to deal with the problem. I have read 'Contented Dementia', but it doesn't seem to have an answer for this behaviour - distraction certainly doesn't work in my husband's case.

    Hope someone can suggest something that can help, you are certainly not alone. Have a big hug!
  13. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    #13 Rageddy Anne, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
    It's truly weird...an hour ago an old friend rang, and my husband had a convincingly normal conversation lasting at least six or seven minutes, and yet the " ...going home" carousel suddenly started around twenty minutes ago and he's asked where we are, who's here, and who I am at least twenty five times already....

    The strange thing is he had a very good day yesterday, and a very good morning this morning, with almost normal exchanges and just a minimal amount of help with his showering.

    We must be up to forty by now....and he's asking to be taken to the doctor as soon as Anne comes home because he can't stand this confusion....
  14. PotterD15

    PotterD15 Registered User

    Jun 23, 2015
    #14 PotterD15, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
    Aricept & sundowning

    Although my father has been diagnosed quite recently he has been going downhill for a while. He can be alright during the day but gets very agitated during the evening, which I understand is called sundowning. I was hoping that someone might have some idea on how to help my mum cope with this but on reading the posts can see that it is an awful problem for lots and lots of people.
    He has recently started taking Aricept and we were assured that they would not make his sundowing worse and MIGHT help. Has anyone found that this medication has made matters worse, things are bad enough as it is.
    If you have found anything that helps this awful evening routine I would really appreciate your comments
  15. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    Sorry Potter, I missed this. Hope your father's sundowning has been helped by the Aricept. Your poor mum! Sad to say that my husband is worse, if anything, in spite of the addition of Citalopram and Respiradone. Sometimes I give him two Paracetamol in the early evening, but not very often. The most persistent and difficult problem is the insistence on going home when we are at home. A little drive in the car sometimes helps a little, but it's needed in the rush hour!:eek: walking outside and watching the fish in the garden pond seems to help a bit. Fish are very soothing....

    If anyone has any suggestions they'd be very welcome....
  16. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    Goldie, did you get an assessment?
  17. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    We're at home, and the questions started early this morning. The I realised my husband missed his Aricept and Respiradone and Citalopram yesterday; I thought overnight carer had given them, but it hadn't happened. So, that must mean they have been helping.

    He must have asked a hundred times where is Anne and when can he go home. I took him out in the car, had a nice walk, coffee in a country pub, all OK but back home it started again, and I want to scream.

    In a minute I'll give him a Repiradol and supper, and see what happens. Oh for some research for this!
  18. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    Hope you get a break from wanting to go home syndrome. My conclusion it's wanting to go to a place where dementia hadn't taken away so much. What can you do about it? I just don't know if something helps do it; if not try something else. It's all trial and error here and it is very early days. Good luck. G L
  19. Trebor100

    Trebor100 Registered User

    Sep 23, 2015
    It must be a recurring theme up and down the country!

    My mother now lives with me and over the last 2 years has declined slowly until recently where it seems to be taking hold quite rapidly. It was useful to read on here about Sundowning as she's definitely worst after around 4pm and each day "wants to go home". Today she was pulling on the front door, which I had locked for obvious reasons and she says I am keeping her held captive as she wants to go home! She's on Larazapame and then Zopiclone at bedtime but I notice all sorts of medication are spoke of on here. The GP to be fair to him is liaising with her consultant to see what else she can be put on. But all I would say is that it's like groundhog day every day with her at the moment. Counting to 10 has become an artform in this house!
  20. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    The going home syndrome

    I agree that it would be good to have some research into this particular oddity. It seems to be common to so many. John has never been able to memorise the address for this house since we moved in five years ago but believes he still lives in the house with his brothers before we married fifty years ago.

    Of course at 82 hardly anyone he ever knew or was related to is still alive. I don't do any of the glossing over of this fact anymore it is just too boring as I've heard it until I'm bored rigid. Strange thing is that once I started being brutally honest about the fact that no one was around for him except me he decided he didn't have to go back to his old house after all.

    I'm all out of ideas about this dratted illness.

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