Follows a companion around; shadowing

  All Alzheimer's Symptoms

When it happens: Mild to moderate dementia

Why it happens: It's partly a function of needing you to answer questions and say what to do next. And it's partly out of insecurity. At a time when so much feels confusing and drifting, a reliable caregiver seems steadfast and concrete.

What you can do:

  • Try not to show your annoyance or impatience. It's important for stability's sake that you continue to be a social refuge.

  • Involve the person in useful activities (even if they're repeats of activities from yesterday or this morning, like raking leaves; and even if you have to redo the task later, like washing dishes that are left not quite up to snuff).

  • Establish set routines for eating, resting, exercising, and leaving the house to help build a sense of security.

  • Try not to go out of sight for long periods of time. People with dementia also lose track of time, so five minutes can seem like an hour. If you must be out of the room for a while (to do laundry, for example), periodically check in verbally.