Help, everything's normal here...

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
Help help help help help! Everything's normal here. But the "When are we going home?" conversation has gone on longer than ever today, a bit like a long rally at Wimbledon. I know the same conversation is taking place in hundreds, even thousands of homes where there's someone with Alzheimer's.If only there was some way of distracting them from that delusion that they can go home.

All I can do is suggest a cup of tea first.
 

Patricia Alice

Registered User
Mar 2, 2015
179
Help help help help help! Everything's normal here. But the "When are we going home?" conversation has gone on longer than ever today, a bit like a long rally at Wimbledon. I know the same conversation is taking place in hundreds, even thousands of homes where there's someone with Alzheimer's.If only there was some way of distracting them from that delusion that they can go home.

All I can do is suggest a cup of tea first.
I know, it's so sad. My mom is exactly the same. We have to use the same distraction tactic with the cup of tea. We take a newspaper and get her to read to us from it. I played snap with cards the other day as she had forgotten how to play and hold the cards. She used to like to do word searches but even that concentration has gone now. Have you tried playing a cassette with songs she knows on. We do chair hokey cokey, left arm in, right arm in etc etc.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,012
Scotland
I was visiting a care home today and found the constant refrain very disturbing. Staff of course tried to distract but the idea that you have multiple people all longing to go home just floored me. We really, really need to find a cure for this nightmare.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,243
65
Toronto, Canada
It is very unsettling to hear this all the time. Just remember that the home your mother is asking to go to is probably not her last home. I once asked my mother which home and she promptly gave me the name of the street where she had last lived with my grandparents in the early 50s in Montreal.

I also think they are looking for a place where they will feel safe. That's home.
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
Homing instinct.

At his more aware times my husband actually understands that his wish to go home isn't real, and when we examine it together he agrees that he just wants to go to a place where he feels comfortable and knows his way about.

It's a sunny morning here, his best time of day, and I just asked him where he is, and he said " Home". And I asked him who I am, and he said "Anne". But most days, after around 3pm he will start asking when are we going home, because he wants to get back to Anne...she'll be worrying about him.


We have moved more than thirty times, but when I ask him to describe the home he wants to go back to, it seems to be the one where he lived between age five and nineteen, with his family.

Weird, isn't it?
 

Skyrim

Registered User
Jun 19, 2015
37
Where is home?

Oh, I do feel for you all with this thread. I have worked in care homes and it has been so sad to see people trying to get out the door to "just catch the bus home" or, worse, going on a short walk with an elderly gent who then did start to "go home". Fortunately I had my mobile and was rescued by colleagues but only after he'd trekked 2 miles down the road toward the station!! Quite scary - nobody told me he was a highly fit ex-soldier!

So, with experience, I no longer try to distract people away from the subject entirely. I try to balance the "here and now", to reduce any immediate attempts to get to the place in their minds - and people are correct, home often isn't the last place they lived, its more frequently a place from child or early adult-hood. Aim to find out where that place was and divert into reminiscence because this is obviously a really important need in their minds and you need to understand the why of it, if you can Also, please do think how you would feel yourself if you had these thoughts and were constantly being prevented from "going home"?

I have also found two main and pefectly rational reasons for wanting to be "at home"; either its where they felt safe, often because their parents are there or, because there is something they either had a responsibility for or something has been left "undone"...locking up, turning off lights, looking after siblings and so on. Sometimes the reasons for wanting to be in that place are unfathomable, but i have found that talking it through and trying to enter into their minds often removes the anxiety or need to be elsewhere....wherever that may be. And then, once we have examined thoe thoughts, then I will distract with music or another activity. But the main aim should be to dig out these feelings and then you will be able to identify the best way to reassure them that "here" is best after all.
 

Long-Suffering

Registered User
Jul 6, 2015
425
It is very unsettling to hear this all the time. Just remember that the home your mother is asking to go to is probably not her last home. I once asked my mother which home and she promptly gave me the name of the street where she had last lived with my grandparents in the early 50s in Montreal.

I also think they are looking for a place where they will feel safe. That's home.
AW, this reminds me that when my poor dad was in the regular hospital and they told him he was going home, he got really upset. He came over to the UK from Ireland in the 1950s and he thought he was being sent back to Ireland! He said, "There's no one there now! They're all dead! My mum is dead!" Breaks your heart.

LS
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
AW, this reminds me that when my poor dad was in the regular hospital and they told him he was going home, he got really upset. He came over to the UK from Ireland in the 1950s and he thought he was being sent back to Ireland! He said, "There's no one there now! They're all dead! My mum is dead!" Breaks your heart.

LS
Oh dear! That just shows how carefully we need to tiptoe round those words " going home"
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
Oh, I do feel for you all with this thread. I have worked in care homes and it has been so sad to see people trying to get out the door to "just catch the bus home" or, worse, going on a short walk with an elderly gent who then did start to "go home". Fortunately I had my mobile and was rescued by colleagues but only after he'd trekked 2 miles down the road toward the station!! Quite scary - nobody told me he was a highly fit ex-soldier!

So, with experience, I no longer try to distract people away from the subject entirely. I try to balance the "here and now", to reduce any immediate attempts to get to the place in their minds - and people are correct, home often isn't the last place they lived, its more frequently a place from child or early adult-hood. Aim to find out where that place was and divert into reminiscence because this is obviously a really important need in their minds and you need to understand the why of it, if you can Also, please do think how you would feel yourself if you had these thoughts and were constantly being prevented from "going home"?

I have also found two main and pefectly rational reasons for wanting to be "at home"; either its where they felt safe, often because their parents are there or, because there is something they either had a responsibility for or something has been left "undone"...locking up, turning off lights, looking after siblings and so on. Sometimes the reasons for wanting to be in that place are unfathomable, but i have found that talking it through and trying to enter into their minds often removes the anxiety or need to be elsewhere....wherever that may be. And then, once we have examined thoe thoughts, then I will distract with music or another activity. But the main aim should be to dig out these feelings and then you will be able to identify the best way to reassure them that "here" is best after all.
Thankyou very much for that insight, Skyrim. There's so much we need to know about this Dementia business, and it helps so much if you can understand a little what's going on.

I have an elderly neighbour looking after her ninety two year old husband, and she doesn't have computer access. She had never even heard the term Sundowning, and has no support at all. The doctor's nurse found her husband had a urinary infection and the doctor said he wasn't going to prescribe antibiotics. The husband is now very poorly and more difficult for her to help. Surely...? ( yesterday a junior GP arranged for the district nurse to visit them.)
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
Yesterday was a fairly good day, but this morning my husband has woken up totally confused and already wants to go home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that after a second cup of decaf tea and a shower he may be less confused.
He's been oscillating between sitting downstairs and saying he's cold and uncomfortable, and going back to bed where he says its " like a morgue".

This morning he's definitely not at home.....
 

Risa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
483
Essex
I think the wanting to go home is one of the worst aspects of the illness. It's so hard to see Mum getting upset and agitated. Whatever we do we just can't comfort or distract her as we can't give her what she wants - to see her late parents. It's so unrelenting - even if Mum has had a good day we know at some point "going home" will be raised :(