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Mom is around mid stage Alzheimers. I have learned so much in dealing with AD and her but now I am up against still another. Recently I had to go out of town with my daughter getting ready for college and my husband and a hired caregiver came in and took care of mom while I was gone. She was well cared for but she was obviously stressed out that I was gone. I notice that when I am even gone for a couple of hours from the house she tends to get stressed. it's like she doesn't like it when I am gone as she is depending so much on me now. I am about to have to take a 4 day trip with another daughter of mine and I am beginning to wonder if I should not even tell her that I am leaving and just pretend that I am around town. Of course my husband and a caregiver will be here with her but tell her I am around just out of the house a lot with my daughter. Would that cut down on her stress level or create more when she doesnt see me? The only reason she knew I was gone last time I had marked it on her calendar and left her a note explaining who was there with here to help her and that she could still call me anytime on my cell. She has a cell phone and she will use it.

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Let me clear something up incase I gave a different message than intended. Above where I said 'she was pissed when she noticed my purse gone - but later she didn't care since a new pattern was set'. -- To clarify= I wouldn't fib to her - she just became more comfortable with the gal that relieved me the same days each week and no longer felt abandoned by me or hurt/confused when I left-this probably took about 3 to 4 weeks.
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I agree with waddle and add: how will YOU feel the whole time you are gone knowing that you didn't level with her and wondering what she might be going through. At least you will be able to rely on your own honesty.
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I think it's fine if you test the waters with various approaches. But, I would not lie to her. She trusts you and if she catches you lying, it may break that trust. Not telling her something so that she doesn't needlessly worry or fret over it is one thing. But, I wouldn't "pretend I'm around town." She may remember that the last time your husband and a caregiver were there, and you weren't, was when you were out of town. When she doesn't see you for 4 days and does see your husband and a caregiver, from previous experience she could figure out you're gone, especially since it was a big thing to her before...she may very well remember that. I would not tell her in advance that you're going to be gone. But, if while you are gone she asks your husband or the caregiver about you, they should tell her the truth. Upon your return, if she asks you about where you were...tell her the truth.
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Hi Deej. I experienced the same with my mom. She basically had old age symptoms and luckily no other illness. However, dementia and/or Alzheimer's effects everyone differently. The 'on-set' seems more confusing for them since they are partially aware.
You appear to be her 'life line'. She feels secure and safe with you. My mom did the same. After 7 or 8 months alone, I encountered a gal that would relieve me 2 days (or 3) per week for 6hrs a stretch. Sometimes my mom would sit and just watch the front door for my return. Dementia and 'sundowner's" exploit Bi-polar moods in the sense that they can change on a dime. She displayed this w this gal and it just took time. Once mom became comfortable - and this gal would do her nails, read to her, watch TV with her, get her ready and put her to bed - etc. -- she didn't feel abandoned by me so much.
Also, I personally felt the later stages of dementia make it easier mood wise. Now they are even more child like - and you can only read them by the different moods they display, such as crying, anger, worry, fear - etc. since their speech becomes so impaired it is no longer audible. Once you 'think' you've got them wired, they move to a different stage of dementia.
The biggest change I saw in myself was that I learned to adore her and humor replaced anger. Follow your instincts.
My mom would look for my purse. If it was gone, and I didn't say I was leaving she was pissed! Later on it didn't matter because I started a new 'pattern'. 4 days is long. You might set up a time 2 or 3 times a day to touch base with her and tell her what's going on. Make it the same time each day so there 'is' a pattern. Remember you can control her moods - make her laugh - keep it short, tell her you miss her bla bla- bla - and don't feel guilty. Also know that you will always be her umbilical cord.
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Yes, they do get stressed when anything familiar is changed... only you can decide what to do, but maybe if you called a few times to talk to her she would ease out some just hearing your voice....but very proud of you for going on with your life... She may need some meds for anxiety ... but mostly just reassurance by those with her while you are gone..... as long as she doesn't do some serious acting out while you are gone, she will be ok.... sounds as if you are taking amazing care of her, so let your heart be your guide... hugs to you..
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That is a good one. I have my mnl where at one time if I went outside or the backroom all she would do is holler, "Debbie where r U at?" It would drive me nuts. I finally told her if she saw my car in the drive-way that I was somewhere near the house and that I would not just up and leave her. Of course, I had to take a trip to see about my dad in another state so my hubby, her son had to take over and I explained what was going on. She starting crying and I re-assure her that she would be okay. That it will not be the same but she would be okay and that if she needed me to just call me on my cell-phone. She did fine but she was happy to see me. It took a few months to reassure her that she is okay if I am not right in her sight. She still will look for me sometimes but she is not as worry anymore. She should be fine and just reasssure she will be as well. Being around her in sight 24/7 I think has a lot to do with her feeling not at ease when you have to leave. As you go spend time with your daughter she should settle down a bit. Of course, every person is different. I have also learned not to tell her until that day I had to go for my mnl would ask me 20 plus times when was I coming back and I told her that it was going to take of care of my dad. She understood at the time and I answered those 20+times up until AI pull out of the driveway. I would not put it on her calender except maybe when you were coming back and not really sure about that one. For that may stress her knowing you R going to be away for a few days. Every person is different so it is up to you and how she did while you had someone at the house. Good luck.
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