Wandering is a common and dangerous issue for people with dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60 percent of people with dementia wander. When someone with dementia wanders, they may become lost or injured. In addition to being harmful to the older adult, it is also a stressful behavior for caregivers. Having some tips for how to prevent wandering can reduce some of the strain of dealing with the behavior.
1. Understand the Trigger.
Understanding what is causing your aging relative to wander is a key part of preventing wandering. There are several things that may cause the behavior. The senior may be confused and frightened, looking to fulfill a basic need, like going to the bathroom, or they could be bored. Once you’ve identified the trigger, you may be able to solve the problem at the root of wandering and stop it from occurring.
2. Use Locks.
This one seems obvious, but it’s not just about using locks, it’s about how you use them. Locks placed above or below eye level are more effective at keeping older adults with dementia inside because the senior isn’t likely to see them or look for them. In addition to changing the placement of locks on doors, it’s also important to lock all the windows in the house. If simply locking windows and doors doesn’t do the trick, you may want to install motion sensors at the doors.
3. Provide ID.
Although having ID won’t keep your family member from wandering away, it can make it easier for them to get back home. Simply having ID in their wallet or purse may not be enough since they may not take it with them or may lose the purse or wallet. Medical ID jewelry is often a better option. You can also sew an ID label inside of their jacket or use temporary tattoos placed on their hand or arm. You can purchase temporary ID tattoos online.
4. Plan Activities.
If you notice that the older adult is prone to wandering at certain times of the day, it can help to plan things to keep them busy during those times.
5. Use a GPS Device.
There are several kinds of GPS devices designed for keeping track of people with dementia. There are devices that clip to clothing, slip inside a shoe, or can be worn as jewelry. Some sound an alarm if the senior goes outside of a certain area and others connect to your smartphone so you can locate the older adult.
6. Hide Doors.
If your aging relative cannot see a door leading outside, they can’t open it. Often simply hanging something over a door will prevent the older adult from opening it. For example, you could hang a curtain over the door.
Home care can also help to prevent your family member from wandering. Home care providers can supervise the senior, making sure they don’t leave the house. A home care provider can also distract them during times of the day when they usually wander by involving them in activities, playing games, or doing a craft.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Seal Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Easy Living Home Care today. Providing Non-Medical Home Care Services in Orange County, CA since 2009. Call for Assistance: (949) 282-5017 or (949) 842-6831
At a very young age it was always Ms. LaPorte’s passion to work with the elderly. She was a caregiver at a nursing home in high school and college and volunteered in senior centers and senior events held by the city in which she grew up. After graduation, Ms. LaPorte became a special education teacher for sixteen years.
She put her teaching career on the sidelines to raise two wonderful children, during which her passion for the elderly inspired her to start Easy Living Home Care in 2009. Ms. Laporte wanted to help people, especially seniors, find competent, qualified, and caring in-home care at reasonable rates.
Ms LaPorte takes an active role in conducting and managing all operations of her business. She is patient, compassionate and listens. Ms. Laporte is always available to her clients and staff.
In her spare time, Lori volunteers for the American Red Cross and Leashes of Love canine rescue organization.
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