Trailing, following and checking
A person with dementia may follow someone around, check that they are nearby, or keep calling out or asking for them.
- How does dementia change a person's behaviour?
- What causes changes in behaviour in people with dementia?
- Reducing and managing behaviour that challenges
- Repetitive behaviour and dementia
- You are here: Trailing, following and checking
- Dementia and hiding, hoarding or losing things
- Dementia and losing inhibitions
- Agitation and restlessness in dementia
- Social withdrawal and dementia
- Behaviour that challenges - looking after yourself
- Changes in behaviour - useful organisations
A person with dementia may follow you or someone close to them around, keep checking that they are nearby, or keep calling out or asking for people.
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.
Supporting a person who is experiencing time-shifting
Read tips about dealing with difficult questions if someone is experiencing time-shifting.