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My Momma prefers me to be in the same room with her always now regardless of what I need to do. Since last Sunday when she had a problem breathing, she is now wanting me to be in the same room with her. Her best friend comes sometimes and once she sees her I can then do up the dishes or laundry or make meals etc. But when her best friend doesn't come, then Momma insists I stay with her.

Other than going to the bathroom or going to lay down in her bed, she is mostly in the family room watching t.v. all day. She refuses to sit in the kitchen when I go wash dishes or make meals. She refuses to lay or sit in her bedroom while I do laundry.

Has anyone ever encountered this behavior before or heard of this behavior before? Is being clingy only found in the early stages of Dementia or is this behavior found in all stages of Dementia?

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This is often called shadowing. People with dementia can become very fearful, which is understandable considering theirlife as they know it has been turned upside down. You are familiar. You are the protector. So she wants to see you (her memory of you will fade when she can't see you). That doesn't mean that you have to give in to it all but it does help to understand that she is suffering from a type of separation anxiety.

Good answers on this thread! Keep reading comments from people who know and update us when you can about how you are doing.
Carol
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Yes, people with dementia can get clingy. It's because they live in a world that they no longer understand and they're scared. Sometimes it happens late in the afternoon as the person starts to sundown but not necessarily. Some people get followed right into the bathroom by a clingy loved one.

Reassuring your loved one that you'll be right back doesn't always help because they forget it as soon as you're out of the room and then they begin to panic. Like most dementia behaviors clinginess can get worse as the dementia progresses.
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Treat her anxiety before it blooms into outright anger. Stay ahead of the symptoms. Then go do your chores, set a timer for 15 minutes and assure her you will check on her when it dings.
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Absolutely Pam. Clinginess often comes alongside dementia. My Mums doctor explained it this way: Every little trait she ever had will be magnified. The good traits can become as draining as the bad and it is perfectly OK for you (Me) as the carer to feel angry. The trick is to walk away when you feel that way.

Mum has a personality disorder as well which just gets magnified and swings between clinginess and vitriol. It's like she is vile until I walk away then clingy in case I actually do. It is very much like having a child trying to get your constant attention and then when they don't they cling to your leg. The difference being of course that children learn, people with dementia don't.

If your Mum wants to be with you and she can walk then go about your chores and don't give in to the pressure....you will end up frazzled - and trust me on this one I really do know!
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Medication was the only thing that helped for my om. she was ALWAYS angry with me because I hadn't called or come to visit. The truth: I was there every day. fortunately, she had a neighbor who visited and heard the calls and saw me. Things just got worse and worse until she got the right meds, and enough of them!!! Now she is even-keeled, not dopey, and happy to see me. I pray my thanks to the Pharma-God.
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Oh another BIG HELP for me was the Caregiver's BILL of RIGHTS reprinted in the book "Caring for Your Aging Parents" that I found at the local library! 10 TIPS such as (to name a few that helped ME!)......I have the right: (1) to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my relative. (2) to seek help from others even though my relative may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength. (3) to maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things just for myself.
These are tools that I had NOT learned sufficiently in my 60+ years on this earth. And being a "Primary Caregiver's" Primary Caregiver myself........was an opportunity for me to finally LEARN, the hard way, that I DO have these rights!!! I can share this stuff now because both my sig-others parents are now in a NH and doing well. I am still "debriefing" this 7+ year process, however......and so is my sig-other. I'm feeling grateful that I survived this most difficult life-transition.....and relief and joy even.....that I learned so much about myself.....in the process. Hoping this helps even one of you on your journey......
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Yes, my mom gets very clingy as well. She would be happy if I sat there all day with her and watched her TV shows! She also does and always has been combative so she can get very agitated when I do my chores. I also go to a outside of the home job, which I think she totally understands, but she expects me home at the very same time each day. It is overwhelming a lot of the time and you do have to walk away to keep your sanity! Hang in there and know that you are not alone.
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My 88-yr-old healthy mother doesn't have dementia but she tries to keep me home whenever possible suggesting "you need to rest" or "we'll eat something in the freezer so you don't have to go out". When I do go out she's waiting for me to return and always says sadly "you were gone sooo long". I try to reassure her by telling her where I'm going and how long I'll be gone and I call her if I'm running later than expected but it's frustrating to have to be thinking about her and accountable to her even when I'm not with her.
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Carol shadowing is a perfect name for it. When Mum was more able she actually would stand outside the bathroom door and talk to me while I was doing what people do in a bathroom! Me and my shadow is absolutely apt. It as however yet another indicator for the geriatric psych as to the fact that Mum had actually had dementia long before we recognised it.

But she has always wanted to be 'close' to people - it's almost like aspergers in a way because she would mimic eating habits and eat what the person she was sat next to ordered if we were out at a restaurant. Now that she doesn't have that she doesn't want to eat at all. She wants to eat what I eat but doesn't like what I eat so it is a constant battle. Given free choice it would be nothing or sweets cakes biscuits and desserts!
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I can relate, as my husband now likes to watch my t.v. programs at night unless it really is something he doesn't like (I like to watch the autopsy show describing medical issues since I'm a nurse & the home improvement shows). We all get lonely, and it reminds me of the baby who when mother disappears they think mom is never coming back. My husband will come looking for me when he doesn't know where I am, or I make sure I tell him (but he will forget, so when I leave the house I write it out and put it on his desk). This condition worsens, so love her for the time she has left and be grateful having her near.
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