Not recognising home

Greenpears

Registered User
Nov 15, 2016
9
Hi, my dad has started to not recognise his house (where he lives with my mum) and keeps asking when he is going home.

I thought at first that he was thinking he still lived in the house he moved from 30 years ago, but he said that that wasn't the house he was thinking of. He couldn't explain where he thinks he lives, or also where he thinks he is now. He can't find his way around the house when he is like this.

I'm not sure what to say to him when he is like this. I feel that when I tell him he is already at home he gets more stressed, but he is still too aware for me to tell him that we will go home soon (he will say "you said that 2 hours ago" or "you said that yesterday").

Does anyone have any experience with this? Most other things that he gets confused with don't stress him out too much, but this seems to be.

Thanks :)
 

Risa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
483
Essex
Unfortunately this is very common for PWD and my Mum has been asking for 'home' for the last 3 years now. We use distraction with Mum - saying things like, you can't go now as it's Sunday and there are no buses running/it's too late at night to travel/haven't got any petrol in the car etc and then offer Mum a drink, something to eat to try and break the loop. However if your Dad starts to get very agitated or upset, you may want to consider speaking to his GP/Memory Clinic about anti-anxiety medication.
 

Amethyst59

Registered User
Jul 3, 2017
5,749
Kent
My husband does this too..and he, too, is fairly lucid most of the time. I have been advised to say, we will go, but let's have a cup of tea first. Then get him to get the cups out ready etc...doing something familiar like this helps to 'snap back' to real time. So far that one is working for us.
 

Mulberry50

Registered User
Feb 5, 2015
10
Maidenhead, Berks
Ditto
My wife who has Early Onset, today stated that she had to go 'home'. I tried pointing out that the garden was her garden and endeavoured to distract her. Her speech now is so limited that she was unable to explain where or what home was.
I was trying to determine whether she thought 'home' was one of childhood homes but got nowhere.
Has anyone who has experience this bennable to determine where the person with dementia thinks home is?
Thanks in anticipation.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,345
Bristol
My OH went through that phase a wee while back and I tried to ask her whether it was her childhood home or the house she brought up her family. She does periodically talk about her mum who died over 25 years ago, as f she is still alive. I'm convinced by the theory it not an actual place, more of a sense of security or a time when the world made sense.

Best I can offer.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
It must be so frightening when they cannot recognise things around them, feeling so lost. Bringing out the photo album used to ease this one for my mum. My problem was that she had been living with me for some time when this started and so there was a little doubt in the back of my mind that she knew she was not in her own home, quickly dismissed my anxiety when I did take her to her own home for a visit and she did not recognise anything, same desperate pleading to go home.
 

Greenpears

Registered User
Nov 15, 2016
9
My OH went through that phase a wee while back and I tried to ask her whether it was her childhood home or the house she brought up her family. She does periodically talk about her mum who died over 25 years ago, as f she is still alive. I'm convinced by the theory it not an actual place, more of a sense of security or a time when the world made sense.

Best I can offer.
I had never thought of it as a sense of security - but that would make a lot of sense. He wants to go back to the place where he feels like he is at home, and when he is anxious he doesnt know where it is, but it doesn't feel comfortable enough to be home.
 

hrh

Registered User
Sep 16, 2017
61
We have the same scenarios everyday, sometimes several times a day. We had a chat with an Admiral nurse, who said that the cognitive function of the brain and its pathways become so distorted that although mum noes she's at home, her brain is telling her that there were other homes before the one she is in now. The brain will jump from which ever home she perceives herself to be in at the time she feels the safest, the most secure, happy memories. She also stated that her need to go home would be urgent to her, as she or her mother needs her to do errands for the family. Other times it will be an urgency to get home to get the children's tea or husbands tea. The nurse said if you can imagine the brains cognitive thought patterns as individual sections of the brain and departmentalising each section, it will explain with vascular dementia why what will work for a few days won't work on other days, the person with dementia and it's pathways will change the script each time. We don't have a working Admiral nurse here but their knowledge is outstanding.