Being lost or unintentionally walking away is a major problem for persons who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and families are naturally concerned. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 out of 10 dementia patients may wander. It can occur at any point in the condition, even if they haven’t done it before. Elderly persons who are lethargic, weak, or who require a walker don’t appear to be able to travel very far without being seen. But it does occur. Unsettlingly, some elderly persons who leave are unable to recuperate, and some pass away from accidents or exposure. Because of this, it is essential to ensure the safety of your senior loved one and take steps to prevent wandering.
An Alzheimer’s patient may wander for several reasons for Dementia From Wandering including:
They might not be aware of their surroundings, the environment can be excessively stimulating, or they might experience fear or stress in response to a loud noise or a difficult situation. Finding food, a bathroom, or even just some fresh air are basic needs.
- Searching: Looking for someone or anything could make someone feel lost.
- Boredom: They may be looking for anything to occupy themselves or attempting to stick to their previous routines, such as going to work, performing their duties, or running errands.
What to Look for in a Dementia Patient Who Might Wander?
- They could not recognise their house anymore.
- Reminding children where their bathroom or bedroom is necessary.
- They may pace more and become more agitated.
- They forgot to enter the house after being outside.
- They struggle to concentrate, and they regularly forget where they are and what they need to do.
How to Prevent Dementia From Wandering?
Carers can reduce dementia from wandering or stop it entirely by taking the following actions, among others:
- Creating a secure environment
- Locks on the doors
- Door or window alarms
- Keeping the car keys secure
- Protective door knob covers for children
- Never leave the person alone at home or in a car.
- Get a tracking gadget to find out where the person is
Calming agitated behaviours by:
- Activities that keep a person busy
- Exercise regularly
- Getting enough rest
- Notifying the patient’s doctor of any behaviour changes or a rise in confusion
How Do You React When a Loved One Wanders Off?
The time is running out. It is imperative to respond right away. You can take a few short actions for dementia, including:
- Make a safety plan and a phone tree to alert friends and relatives.
- Before a wandering event occurs, alert neighbouring businesses and neighbours about your loved one’s health and behaviours.
- Utilise social media as necessary.
- Several states employ Silver Alert systems.
- The State Police in Pennsylvania oversees the Missing and Endangered Person Advisory System. Contact the nearest state police barracks as soon as you can.
Alzheimer’s patients and those with other forms of dementia commonly wander. Also, once they begin to display wandering behaviours, the person is at a serious risk of walking off or getting lost. This behaviour can be quite upsetting for both the care recipient and the carers.