Home Care in New Canaan CT
Shadowing is a common behavior in dementia sufferers in which they follow caregivers and other loved ones around the house. This kind of behavior is discomfiting for caregivers because they often don't understand why their loved ones are following them so closely. Developing an understanding for why this behavior might be manifesting can help you to come up with solutions.
Your Loved One is Anxious or Afraid
When your loved one is confused or doesn't understand what's going on around her, that can lead to general anxiety and fear about the unknown. As her caregiver, you help to allay her fears. That leads her to naturally start shadowing you around the house.
You're a Safety Net
Even if your elderly loved one isn't anxious or afraid, you're still her safety net. She may recognize you or you may remind her of a family member that she interacted with long ago. Regardless, she knows that she feels comfortable with you. You may also be the only person in the house. For her, you represent a safe environment.
Your Loved One Is Bored
Your loved one can easily feel bored but may not be able to convey that she is feeling that way. It's important to give her a distraction or a meaningful activity that she can do. One idea is to ask your loved one to help you with something mundane, such as folding towels or matching socks. The activity itself isn't all that exciting, but it's something that you can do together and it can occupy your loved one's mind.
Your Loved One Needs Something, But Can't Explain that Need
Sometimes your loved one may be thirsty, hungry, or need to use the bathroom, but she can't formulate a way to let you know. In those instances, she may start following you around in hopes that you'll magically know what to do to help fulfill that need. One solution is to keep track of when your loved one last ate, drank, and used the bathroom so that you can run down the list if she starts shadowing you.
Your loved one's doctors can help you to sort out your loved one's reasons for shadowing and determine solutions that can work for her and for you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in New Canaan, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.