Yearning for home

During this Coronavirus pandemic throughout the last 9 weeks, it has been both interesting and encouraging to see how we, as a community have all done our best to adapt to this time of dramatic change due to the enforced isolation and social and physical distancing. It really does show just how resilient and resourceful we are, or have had to become.

But the stress and anxiety people are experiencing continues, for example those living in nursing homes and their families worrying about their ‘care’, and the many thousands of people who have been stranded in other countries, and unable to go home (as they had planned, not forever).

On an ABC television program called The Drum last night, I heard it said that those people who have been stranded in other countries are ‘yearning for home’, and feeling distressed about being separated from their own homes and their family and friends. It is true that being stranded and unable to go home is stressful.

This comment on The Drum also reminded me of a blog I wrote some years ago about hiraerth and dementia, and I am once again pondering how it is that now the whole world is experiencing what people with dementia experience all the time, seems to be getting a lot of ‘air time’ and to be much more important.

So if not getting home as planned is stressful, how do people living in nursing homes feel – who are never going home?

How do people diagnosed wth demetia who regularly report they ‘miss the old me’ feel? I’ve written many times on missing me and missing my memory. Losing the ability to recall ones own life is tedious and foreign

There is no going back to the ‘old me’, just as there is no ‘going home’ once someone goes into a nursing home. 


The lockdowns that have been imposed by nursing homes are a major breach of people’s rights, especially when we consider they are HOME for the people living in them. On top of being forced to live in another ‘home’ – or rather, an Institution – or the changes to our capacity and functioning forced upon a person by dementia, the grief associated with having dementia or moving into a nursing home is profound, and that it is rarely talked about or acknowledged is also a topic that I have written about many times; it is a blanket of unbearable and invisible pain, that others simply do not see or want to talk with us about.

As I think and write about hiraerth again, and of the yearning for home, I have been drawn to past ramblings which have a lot of links to other blogs I’ve written, and have been re-reading (and also editing!!)… some may also be of interest to you.

And although I have grown use to it, or accepted there is no going back to the old me, I still miss me…

2 thoughts on “Yearning for home

  1. It is amazing to me as well, as you so beautifully and thoughtfully (and sadly) point out, that people with Dementia have been experiencing so many of the same things that people on self-isolation or lock-down, or quarantine are experiencing but on a much more difficult and long term level. It reawakens the ache in my heart for what Gregory went through and for everyone living with Dementia. Be well, my friend. Fondly, Michael


You are very welcome to respectfully join this global conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.