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Leaving the Home: To tell or not to tell your LOWD

Uncategorized Sep 08, 2019

Hey there Careblazer, welcome back!

There were some common questions that came up in my most recent round of my care course- my private course where club members get access to me and can ask me live questions during weekly live Q & A sessions. The question was basically about whether or not to tell your loved one that you are leaving the home for a while. 

If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here

For many people with dementia, when you say you are leaving this can strike up a lot of anxiety and questioning and it can make it difficult for you to leave the home. 

“Where are you going? Why are you leaving? Can I go? Don’t go. What am i supposed to do here. Leave, I don’t need anyone to watch me" and on and on and on. 

This can sometimes even make you question whether or not you truly need to leave the house or whether you should just stay home. Maybe that’s the easiest thing to do to avoid confrontation, minimize anxiety, and avoid the 20/20 questioning.

You need to get out every now and then and if the opportunity arises, it is absolutely okay for you to take that opportunity. The question is do you tell them you are leaving or do you not? 

Here is what my Care Group discovered. The majority of the people found that not telling their loved one they were leaving resulted in less anxiety and stress for both themselves and their loved ones. When they did tell their loved one they were leaving it led to a bunch of anxiety and questions as already mentioned.

Typically, the most successful approaches involved the person who is providing the respite to show up to the house. The careblazer didn’t mention anything about leaving the home. They stayed and visited a bit with the respite worker and then at some point, without saying anything at all, they left the home. Of course, the respite worker was aware of the plan the entire time and that worker would do what was possible to get the person with dementia to engage in an activity, conversation, tv show, or any other thing that captured their interest. At some point during the respite care, the person with dementia would ask about where their loved one was and the respite worker would offer a simple response, say they would be back shortly and then try to redirect and distract again. Sometimes this was more difficult than others, but it still allowed the Careblazer to leave the home without the added stress of anxiety of the anticipation of them leaving the home. It may be something for you to consider as well. 

In order to set up the respite worker for as much success as possible, you want to fill them in on your plan. Let them know that your loved one gets a bit anxious when you leave. Give them hints and ideas of how they could distract or get their interest by letting them know your loved one’s favorite shows, movies, music, and other activities that may work. Even telling them about their favorite snacks that can be given to help soothe is an option as well. 

What do you do in these situations Careblazer? Does your loved one get a bit anxious when you need to leave the home? What approaches do you use to help make the home exit as least stressful as possible? 

I look forward to reading your comments below. In the meantime, if you are interested in getting alerted to the next time I offer my Care Course with live access to me- click here. I expect to start having some announcements of the next offer in several weeks. 

I’ll be back next week, Careblazer. In the meantime, keep up the good work!


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