Trailing, following, checking and dementia

A person with dementia may follow someone around, check that they are nearby, or keep calling out or asking for them.

Why a person with dementia might be shadowing you

Living with dementia can make people feel insecure and anxious. This is why they may look for reassurance that they are not alone. They may also have forgotten where you are and follow you to check you’re still there.

A person with dementia may ask for family members who have died, or ask to go home when they’re already there. This can be due to time-shifting, which is when a person believes that they are living at an earlier time in their life. If this happens, try to understand and acknowledge their feelings. For example, wanting to go ‘home’ may be due to a need to feel safe and secure, so supporting them with this can help.

If the person is calling for someone from their past, try talking to them about this period in their life and respond to the feelings the person is showing.

When a person in care says 'I want to go home'

Read about ways to approach the difficult question, 'What do I say to someone with dementia in residential care who wants to go home?'

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