I am not sure how to best deal with the saying goodbye thing.

One time I said I am going to my Alzheimer's parent. They became a bit distressed and said ok lets go then and tried to follow me out the door. A number of times. Was quite stressful.

So I have started to say I am going to the bathroom, then I go to the bathroom and then sneak off. But this I feel bad about doing. I hope that they don't remember I was meant to be coming back, but I don't know whether or not for sure. I'm worried that they might be upset that I don't go back. But their upset for me saying I'm going could be worse. So I am just not quite sure what to do.

What's the best way to approach this issue?

I always timed my visits to be an hour or so before lunch or dinner. The residents went to the dining room to eat, so I would take my mom there, get her situated at her table and if her other table mates weren't there yet, I'd sit with her until they arrived. As soon as they sat down, she was usually distracted enough for me to say goodbye and leave.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Tiredandweary

You can't spend your entire life worrying about whether you upset someone or not. You are not doing anything wrong, you do have the right to decide when and how you will leave. Don't over think this, just do what is right for you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to anonymous912123

My mother understands having an "appointment" with someone else. So if she wants to leave with me, I tell her I need to work or have a doctor's appointment
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to TNtechie

It's so hard! My husband is in assisted living and when I need to leave I ask one of the caregivers to take him for a walk and I just go. It works and the caregivers tell me that it is a really easy way for all of us.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to anonymous848366

Make sure your parent is comfortable and has something to occupy his/her attention, such as a mealtime or a tv programme or best of all someone else to talk to.

Say goodbye in your own mind by giving parent a hug or a kiss or a pat on the shoulder, whatever comes naturally, and then slip out of the room. If your parent notices your going, you can say that you're going to the bathroom (this is fine! and you ARE so it's even true!), or you can say "don't worry, I'll be back [on Sunday/tomorrow/very soon]" and keep going.

The crucial thing is to appear to take it for granted that your parent is staying there, at home, which is what it is now, and you are going but you will very soon be back. If you're not stressed or sad, s/he is less likely to be.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse

I don't think you should feel bad about this. Its harder having them being upset that you are leaving, than "sneaking" out. I unfortunately, have to do this with my Mom most of the time. In fact, there are times when she is involved in a activity that I just talk to the aide or nurse and go home. When she sees me she always thinks we are going somewhere. Its much harder on me than it is on her in the long run. You need to tell yourself you are leaving him in a safe place, were he is happy and cared for.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to VickieByrd23

Here is what I do with my husband. I say “I am going to the drug store, do you need anything?” (He always says no, but if he said yes you could say you will get it for him.) If he wants to come with me, I say he doesn’t need to bother to come, it’s just a quick trip and I will be back soon. Then I go. It is very unlikely he will remember. My husband always says “it’s been so long” when I arrive to see him, but he would say that no matter how long it has been!
The wife of my husband’s roommate once helped me greatly by telling me that when you come to see your loved one, you are entering the dementia world for a bit, then when you leave you go back to the “real” world. The patient is in a different world and you are just visiting.
Also this stage of my husband where he wanted to always go with me only lasted a few months. Now his disease has progressed a bit more and he really doesn’t want to come with me anymore. Sad, but a relief in a way.
The whole process is sad, but all you can do is your best! My best wishes to you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Cassidog

I did what tired did. My daughter would tell Mom she had to go to work. Mom would say OK.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29

Have you tried giving her a doll to look after and maybe a small blanket to wrap it in. She might not feel so lost if she has something to look after.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NannaJ

I’m so sorry that you feel badly about saying goodbye. Since she doesn’t get upset about you having to use the restroom and it is less upsetting to you then I wouldn’t be too concerned.

You could try saying what others have posted, such as having an appointment or going to work.

Best wishes to you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter