Tips To Stop An Alzheimer’s Patient From Wandering

Tips To Stop An Alzheimer’s Patient From Wandering

Posted on August 19, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Alzheimers Care, Blog, Caregiver Education, Caregiving, Dementia Care, Memory Loss, Senior Safety

Ask the Alzheimer’s Expert! How Can I Stop My Mom from Wandering?

By: Elayne Forgie and the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center

Question: I’m worried about my mom wandering and getting lost. What can I do

Answer: A person with dementia is at risk for wandering and becoming list; many do so repeatedly. In fact, more than 60% of those with dementia will wander. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of wandering individuals will suffer serious injury or death.  It’s important to be aware of the risk factors for wandering and determine if your mother is at real risk:

Related: Tips For Hiring A Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Signs of Wandering Behavior in Alzheimer’s Patients

A person may be at risk for wandering if he or she:

Comes back from a regular walk or drive later than usual.

Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work.

Tries or wants to “go home”, even when at home.

Related: Caregivers: Learning The Ins and Outs of Alzheimer’s

Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements.

Has a hard time locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen.

Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but gets nothing done. (example: stands in front of the laundry basket but doesn’t fold anything).

Acts nervous or anxious in crowded areas, such as shopping malls or restaurants.

Related: Caregiver Help For Elderly Who Wander

Tips to Reduce Wandering

There are some things that you can do to help reduce your mom’s risk of wandering:

Provide opportunities for the person to engage in structured, meaningful activities throughout the day.

Make sure the person gets enough exercise, which can help reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness

Place deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors.

Ensure all basic needs are met (example: toileting, nutrition, hunger, thirst, warmth)

Carry out daily activities, such as folding laundry or preparing dinner.

Reassure the person if he or she feels lost, abandoned or disoriented.

Control assess to car keys. A person with dementia may not just wander by foot.

Avoid busy places that are confusing and can cause disorientation, such as shopping malls.

Do not leave someone with dementia unsupervised in new surroundings.

Last, consider getting your mother a Safe Return® bracelet from the Alzheimer’s Association, which assists in the return of those who wander or get lost.

Related: How to Prepare for Dementia in a Loved One

Publised by: Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center