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Leaving people with alzheimers on their own

Jan Maria

New member
Apr 20, 2021
3
0
Hi - my mum has recently been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. Has anyone else experienced whereby I can be with mum and she is fine, leave her on her own say for 5 minutes and she is moaning and saying that she doesn't know what to do and constantly saying" oh dear oh dear." If you go and sit with her she then goes back quite often (not always) to being ok. Is this common or is a form of attention seeking do you think? Thanks everyone Jan
 

PatRayH

Registered User
Aug 16, 2021
110
0
My limited understanding is that some prompting is required to motivate a PWD to plan what to do.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,279
0
N Ireland
I don't think that this behaviour is attention seeking.

When you are with your mum you most likely represent the familiar and give her a feeling of security as a result of that. When you move away the confusion of dementia may kick in and the "Oh dear, oh dear" starts as a result of that.

Anxiety and depression are common bedfellows of dementia(my wife is medicated for these conditions as well as her dementia) and a chat with the GP may be useful.
 

Cazcaz

Registered User
Apr 3, 2021
176
0
Hi - my mum has recently been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. Has anyone else experienced whereby I can be with mum and she is fine, leave her on her own say for 5 minutes and she is moaning and saying that she doesn't know what to do and constantly saying" oh dear oh dear." If you go and sit with her she then goes back quite often (not always) to being ok. Is this common or is a form of attention seeking do you think? Thanks everyone Jan
Mum was diagnosed in February.
She is exactly the same, my dad sits in the same room with her and all is well. If he goes to the bathroom or bedroom etc, after 5minutes mum is up calling for him or will react with surprise when he comes back and first question is always “so, what are you (meaning ”we”) doing now?”
I can’t decide if this is a memory ‘thing’ and she has so little short term memory that she forgets he was with her only a few minutes ago, or an attention/reassurance ‘thing’.
Her very short term memory is not too bad normally.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,076
0
South coast
This sounds like the stage in dementia when they cannot remember what to do and need someone within eye shot all the time to reassure and direct them. Often they will follow their carer around - known as shadowing, although I have also heard it referred to as the "velcro stage" - and will become distressed if they are on their own for even a minute or two. Some carers cant even have a private wee!

Anti-anxiety medication may be the way to go. I would also try people like Age UK or Tu Vita (previously called Crossroads) for a sitting service for when you need to go out.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,626
0
Kent
When I used to go into the kitchen to make a drink, my husband thought he was alone in the house.

When the concept of time goes and the awareness of surroundings, it`s too difficult for people in your mum`s condition @Jan Maria to understand someone could be in another room in the house or at the end of a phone call

It must be the biggest feeling of isolation ever, especially if they don`t feel there is a way out.
 

Knitandpurl

Registered User
Aug 9, 2021
58
0
Lincolnshire
My poor husband woke in the night moaning to himself that he was cold, I told him to come and get a cuddle and warm up. He was convinced we were in separate beds, and very forlorn about it!!! Sometimes he just has no idea where he is. It must be very scarey . Maybe one of those Robbie dogs or cats might help your Mum. (Wouldn’t work for my husband, he doesn’t like pets).
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
1,611
0
Newcastle
Hi @Knitandpurl I would not rule anything out on the basis of a person's preferences before dementia. Your husband may have not liked pets but that may change as so many things do. Whether it is preferring tea (with milk) over coffee or finding comfort in a doll, I have learned to stop being surprised about how things that I 'know' about my wife have changed as her dementia progresses.
 

Jan Maria

New member
Apr 20, 2021
3
0
Hi All

Thanks to you all for your comments which were very reassuring and helpful. Mum is already on anti-anxiety medication , however, I will remember what you have all said as I move forward. Thanks again Jan
 

Knitandpurl

Registered User
Aug 9, 2021
58
0
Lincolnshire
Hi @Knitandpurl I would not rule anything out on the basis of a person's preferences before dementia. Your husband may have not liked pets but that may change as so many things do. Whether it is preferring tea (with milk) over coffee or finding comfort in a doll, I have learned to stop being surprised about how things that I 'know' about my wife have changed as her dementia progresses.
Hi northumbrian-k. Thank you for your reply. Hadn’t thought about that, but you are right his favourite food is now Pizza, but he has always hated cheese, and he will even eat cheese on toast as long as I don’t tell him it’s cheese. We are having his son, wife and the grandchildren to stay for a few days, plus his sister and husband for lunch on Sunday, first time anything like this since Oct 2019. He is excitedly, but very anxious about it. I am trying to keep his mind of it, and occupied but not too busy…..
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
566
0
Hi All

Thanks to you all for your comments which were very reassuring and helpful. Mum is already on anti-anxiety medication , however, I will remember what you have all said as I move forward. Thanks again Jan
It might be worth asking the GP if the dosage can be adjusted, or the medication changed. Mum has just had the 3rd increase in her medications, as we are back to constant crying. Sometimes it's a bit trial and error to find what suits, and then further adjustments as symptoms present.