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Why Seniors with Alzheimer’s Shadow Their Caregivers


Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can become challenging when he or she starts to exhibit intrusive behaviors such as shadowing. This particular symptom is generally noticed during the latest stages of Alzheimer’s. Las Vegas home care experts offer their views and observations on shadowing.


Understanding Shadowing

As Alzheimer’s progresses, seniors may have a difficult time understanding the world around them. Trying to interact with new people or managing new situations may feel nearly impossible. Aging adults with Alzheimer’s often shadow their caregivers because a caregiver is the only familiar thing in their life. A caregiver’s actions and words may be the last thing that makes sense to seniors, and, as a result, they may do everything in their power to maintain that connection. 

Recognizing the Warning Signs

This type of behavior is first recognized in times of stress. Seniors might stick by their caregiver’s side as soon as they step out the front door or leave their bedroom. As Alzheimer’s progresses, seniors often have a difficult time sleeping or eating unless their caregiver is nearby. In some cases, shadowing can become so severe that the caregiver cannot leave the room without the senior having a panic attack. 

Addressing Intrusive Behavior

Shadowing is the result of fear and anxiety. To break these habits, find ways to reassure your loved one that he or she can manage anxiety for a short time. Giving aging adults an egg timer set for a few minutes is a great way to help them step out of the room for a short time without them having a panic attack. Seniors may also benefit from handling comfort items such as a soft blanket or robe. Other professional caregivers in Las Vegas have found more creative ways to manage shadowing, such as by making voice tapes that can be listened to whenever a caregiver has to leave the room.

When it comes to Alzheimer’s care in Las Vegas, local residents rely on Home Care Assistance. Our tailored care plans can include mobility support, meal preparation, companionship, and several other services for seniors with Alzheimer’s. To learn more about our senior care programs and how they can help your loved one manage Alzheimer’s, get in touch with one of our Care Managers today at (702) 550-3185.