Separation Anxiety advice?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Lladro, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Lladro

    Lladro Registered User

    May 1, 2019
    49
    I read a thread recently where a lady said that she had told some friends that she couldn't even go to the bathroom without her husband asking where she was. My wife, even though sometimes she doesn't know who I am, clearly feels safe with me to the extent that she won't let me out of her sight and becomes anxious even when I go to the bathroom. as much as I love and care for her, having her shouting "where are you?" every time I seem to go to the loo, becomes anoying , I'm almost ashamed to say. Does anyone have any advice or tips for dealing with this separation anxiety? Thank you
     
  2. Sarahdun

    Sarahdun Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    393
    i think this behaviour is very very common in dementia - sadly. I developed a trick with my OH where I could say "Just stay there, I just have to go {do whatever} I will be back in a tick" and I made sure that he had the TV on or was looking at a picture book or had a cup of tea - some distraction - and that sometimes bought me a few minutes. So reassurance, hugs and kind words worked a bit. Otherwise - endless patience and make sure you find somebody to care for your wife occasionally so that you get a break.
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,402
    Kent
    Hello @Lladro

    My husband wasn`t as anxious as your wife but even if I told him I was going to make a cup of tea, when I took it into the living room for him, he would ask if I`d had a nice time. He had no concept of time and thought I'd been out.

    Please don`t even be almost ashamed you find this behaviour irritating. With all the love in the world everyone still needs their own space.

    Have you considered getting carers in, just for a short while. If you had someone in perhaps on the pretext of helping you, they may slowly be able to gain your wife`s confidence and she may learn to accept them as an alternative support.

    I was caring for my husband 24/7 and resisted having help until someone asked what would happen to my husband if I was taken ill unexpectedly.

    It made me realise there was a need to wean him off his total dependence on me just in case, which was when I got carers in. They were so good they gradually gained his confidence and he was able to accept someone else as safe.
     
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,458
    Female
    England
    I had the same behaviour, never found a way to get any space between us. I understood my husband’s anxiety and his need but still found it annoying. With the visits needed to the bathroom I chose to use the upstairs bathroom and not the more accessible downstairs one. This gave me the longer ‘ journey’ to hopefully get more space between us as I hurtled up the stairs and on good days I could get the door closed and locked. Then we would have a short conversation through the door, it was always the same one. He needed to speak to me urgently so would I open the door so he could make sure it was me he was talking to. I can smile about it now but at the time .................
     
  5. lis66

    lis66 Registered User

    Aug 7, 2015
    253
    My mum follows my dad everywhere in the house even to the toilet ,and I know he is finding it hard to live with .
     
  6. Lladro

    Lladro Registered User

    May 1, 2019
    49
    Hi, thank you so much for replying to my question. I know that eventually I will have to enlist some help, for respite care and to keep me sane, however I am trying to reassure myself that I can cope and should cope. I know it is inevitable though and only a matter of time before I have to give in ! My good lady is at present driving me crazy and it looks like I am in for another long night - Hello early morning and bags under the eyes! it is a nice release to be able to talk with others via this formum and it does make you realise that you are not actually alone (even though it feels that way most of the time!) best wishes to you
     
  7. Lladro

    Lladro Registered User

    May 1, 2019
    49
    Hi, thank you for your kind reply. I actually locked myself into the bathroom yesterday, which seems funny now, but the door handle was worn out with all of the twisting from the outside!
    Not sure what the answer is, but we keep going... best wishes
     
  8. Lladro

    Lladro Registered User

    May 1, 2019
    49
    Hi there, thank you for replying to my exasperation ! You are right, distraction seems to work with lots of situations, although I run out of ideas sometimes - reassurance and hugs will work, when she is in the mood for them, but not at other times, when I am a stranger to her. I know that I will need some help soon, but in the interim, keep on smiling... Thanks again
     

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