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Packing clothes to go home

Jacques

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
17
Good morning
My husband is convinced that he doesn't live here and this morning has packed his clothes etc ready to leave. I have tried various ways to distract him over the past few months but at 7.00 in the morning it is not possible. My question is, do I just let him carry on or do I try to stop him. When he is like this he is quite confrontational and doesn't believe anything that I say. Many thanks for any advice.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,142
Kent
I`m so sorry to read this @Jacques because my husband was the same only with him it was usually during the evening.

I hid all bags and suitcases and he even used supermarket bags instead.

I had to allow it and when the worst came to the worst followed him at a distance and enlisted the help of our son who luckily lived nearby.

I would allow your husband to continue to pack and just see how far he will be able to take it. Now winter is on the way he might be persuaded to wait until it is lighter, better weather etc. With the clocks changing this weekend it will be lighter in the evenings and darker in the mornings.

Are you in contact with the Mental Health Team? If not this may be the way to go. They can suggest medication which however frowned upon can be the lesser of two evils to prevent your husband putting himself at risk.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
871
Devon
My wife did exactly that and it was my tipping point. At its baddest point she brought to the front door 12 bags of random items ready to go to her long dead parent’s insisting i take her to the bus stop. It all very normal in dementia apparently and is very distressing for the carer.

I took the precaution of fitting a lock to the door so she couldn’t get out. illegal i’m told but what the hell, i didn’t want her going to the bus stop. The driver will help me she said!

After that i found a home for her as she didn’t want to live with me anymore. I think your tipping point will come when he becomes so aggressive or at least agitated with it that it’s not controllable any more. My wife was doing this at 2 in the morning. She kept saying please help me, you’ve got to help me, you must. No amount of persuasion, reasoning, lies, pleading calmed her down. I put up with all her behaviour but this was too much to cope with.

You cannot continue with someone who doesn’t want to be in the same house as you. Of course, with constructive treatment from the doctor and immediate advice from SS you may find this behaviour lessens and is controllable. I really really hope so for both your sakes.

Get SS / doctor involved and ask their advice. Get support quickly. You cannot carry on like this and I found that no matter how many times you put the bags back the behaviour returns. They’ve seen all this before. They will know what to do and advise you and get things in place. Are you on their radar?

Sorry if i’m being direct but what’s happening to you was the last straw for me and for many people and is heartbreaking when being experienced. I feel for you because i know what you’re going through.

Best wishes, Peter
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
423
I know it is tempting to lock the doors but.can I just remind everyone that you should always think about how you would escape in a fire. Could you open the door without searching in the smoke for the key? A fire might not be likely but a PWD might do crazy things that could cause one so is more likely than in a house without that extra risk. In the end the different considerations have to be balanced but fire risk should never be overlooked.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
871
Devon
Well pointed out. The other way round it is to have alarm fitted to the door to indicate its being opened. Trouble with my situation was that Bridget was aggressive in the end and strong and would hit me out of the way. Now she’s a lamb in the home and quiet. Back to how she used to be.
 

Jacques

Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
17
Many thanks for your replies and advice. I took the advice to just allow my husband to pack. He only packed two shopping bags with a selection of items. He doesn't want to leave me but just wants us both to go to where he believes we live. I told him that I would take him but needed to confirm that the address I had was correct. I then gave him our address which he was happy with. We got in the car and I drove to our local high street where I made one purchase then drove home by a different route and asked him to confirm the address by the plague on the wall. He entered the house and was delighted to be home!

I'm sure that this problem will reoccur and may have to be resolved in a different way but I thought that I would relate this experience as it may help other careers. Once again thank you for all your support.
 

PalSal

Registered User
Dec 4, 2011
924
Pratteln Switzerland
Well pointed out. The other way round it is to have alarm fitted to the door to indicate its being opened. Trouble with my situation was that Bridget was aggressive in the end and strong and would hit me out of the way. Now she’s a lamb in the home and quiet. Back to how she used to be.
Hi Dutchman
Your Brigette is calm in the home and my Nick is getting into fights with other patients. Never! He was always so sweet and a gentleman in everyway. Six foot three and fit, the others are no match even for his diminished self.
Everything is different
 

Brumsteve

Registered User
Feb 12, 2019
26
Hi Jacques,

I went through the packing phase with my mother too. It can be heartbreaking when they pack and say they want to go home. We just let her do it, bring her bags downstairs and leave them in the hallway ready for us to go home. Slowly we would just take a bag back upstairs and unpack it ready for the next time. She didn't seem to notice we were doing it. one word of caution I would give you is to make sure you check what has been packed. Don't just leave the bags full. We found all sorts of things in the bags Mom packed including kitchen stuff. We lost her front door key one day and couldn't find it anywhere and had to get another key cut only to find it in one the bags after she moved to the care home.

One distraction technique you could use which we did is just to get in the car with your husband and drive round the block, only has to be a 2 minute drive, and arrive back home. Most of the time she didn't realise we had only been out 2 minutes.

Stay with it, it does pass with time.
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,514
South of the Border
This makes sense to me now - my OH made a long list - which he ticked off, even though he never packed them. All the things he would need to take with him when going - included a toast rack, a fly swatter, an old fashioned cotton serviette, a contraption for taking the air out of opened wine bottles - but no clothes!
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
515
Mid Lincs
My OH never wanted to go home but did want to go back to his old place of work 30 yrs before. It was a military base and there was no way I could allow him anywhere near it.

So one day when he was really insistent I let him pack and said I would take him. Thinking I could drive for 20mins and end up back home, because at the time he couldn't navigate his way out of a paper bag, we got in the car and he knew exactly where he was going, he gave me directions down to the minutest detail telling me what lane I needed and which exit on the roundabout to take.

Well my plan went completely awry, 60 miles later I managed to convince him I was feeling sick and needed to go back home. When we arrived back home 2.5 hrs later he said 'I'm go to the loo then I'll set off by myself'. I quickly rang a neighbour who trains carers in dementia care, and asked him to call round to help distract him, that took another 3hrs.
The next day I took him to Doctor because one of us would have ended up in a home and I wasn't convinced it would be him. He was given medication and I never had another problem of the same sort.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,142
Kent
We got in the car and I drove to our local high street where I made one purchase then drove home by a different route and asked him to confirm the address by the plague on the wall. He entered the house and was delighted to be home!

Well done.