Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Going home

When my wife was at the lowest point in her decline last autumn, a professional arrived just at the point when she had fallen down and was either refusing or unable to get up.  She kept saying: 'I want to go home.'  'I assume this is where she lives?', he asked.  When I confirmed that it was, he nodded sagely.  I have since learned that this is a common feature in the progression of the disease.

People ask why.  Some conclude that, as so often in the case of older people with the disease (and as often in the case of older people generally) the person is harking back to their early years, safe and secure at home.  They may be.  But to me, it seems more general than that.

Everybody seems to have some concept of 'home' that may have similarities to the home they first knew but may not.  Even people who have had awful early experiences usually pick up the idea of what home is supposed to be.  We all talk of feeling 'at home' in comfortable places and a host will say 'make yourself at home'.  And we have sayings like: 'Home if where the heart is.'

It seems quite understandable to me that when someone's world is falling apart, they would like to 'go home'.

The most important point to me is that I can't remember the last time S said this.  It must have been a long time ago.


  1. Can "home" also be back to the womb perhaps?! When I had severe flu a couple of years ago. I felt very relaxed burning hot and kept thinking of "going back" where I came from - ji=ust a thought.

    1. Yes, quite plausible. And probably for some people it has religious connotations.

  2. My mom kept saying it once she got to the nursing home. I thought she meant the assisted living center she had lived in. It was named Craig and she can't say Craig anymore, it's Colorado. and finally I just want to go back to that other place. But one day when she said she wanted to go home, I asked her where that was. She mentioned her house. I assumed she meant the last house she'd lived in and asked if she remembered what it looked like, and she replied no. I described it to her, and she said, "Oh, yes. I remember that." I think what she meant all along was she wanted to go somewhere where there was that home feeling, where dad was, where there was family, but sadly he is deceased, the house is sold, and those days are gone.

  3. Thanks for taking the trouble to make all your comments Judy - some interesting thoughts. It's always so good to get feedback from readers, and particularly from other carers.

  4. Yep, but I can't get people to comment on my blog. I'd love to hear from the ones from israel and urkraine as those seem unusual places for people to get this disease. I've really enjoyed starting at the back and working forward the last two days. Keep up the good work.