Alzheimer's and Leaving

The person with Alzheimer’s often times will follow the person who has visited them or stand at the door and watch them leave. People with Alzheimer’s have a hard time processing what goodbye is and why the person would be leaving – or furthermore, what leaving or saying goodbye actually means.


When guests leave the house of a cognitive person they say goodbye and return to whatever else they need to do. People with Alzheimer’s are taking queues from people around them. Persons with Alzheimer’s will often try to follow their departing visitors not so much because they want to be with them, but because they feel like they need to be doing what they are doing.


You can assist in goodbyes by distracting the person with Alzheimer’s during the goodbye. You can take them by their arm (think father walking daughter down the aisle type arm holding) and ask them to help you with something. You can even keep them distracted while their visitors leave.


The simpler a goodbye, the better.


Written by: Jane Hale, Accolade Home Care Sales Executive

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