According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 in 10 people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia will wander. Wandering is more common as the disease progresses to its later stages, although it can occur at any stage. Wandering happens for a number of reasons. Your loved one may be disoriented and confused, agitated, hungry, too hot, too cold, in pain, or simply seeking relief from boredom. Here are 10 Alzheimer’s safety tips to help prevent your loved one from wandering.
Create a Detailed Routine
A detailed daily routine and schedule can help to establish a sense of structure and repetition. These two elements are essential for fostering a sense of control.
Avoid Busy Places
Crowded and noisy places can stir up feelings of anxiety, stress, and disorientation. Try to avoid them. When visiting places such as the grocery store or a mall, avoid visiting them at peak hours of the day.
Use Devices to Notify When a Door has been Opened
Whether it’s an electronic device or even a simple bell, having something that will notify you when a door has been opened can help to prevent spontaneous wandering.
Ensure Basic Needs are Met
Being hungry, thirsty, or having to use the bathroom can be some of the more common reasons for wandering. Anticipate and ensure these basic needs are met to minimize the urge to wander.
In some cases, providing supervision for daily activities that take place outside of the home can be necessary for ensuring safety.
Hide Car Keys
Sometimes, keeping your car keys out of sight can be wise if the person suffering from dementia has a sudden urge to hop in and drive. Even if this seems unlikely, sometimes behaviour associated with this disease can be unpredictable. This can at least give you some extra peace of mind.
Install Passcode Systems
For some people, having alarms can sometimes trigger anxiety or panic, so having an electronic passcode system installed for entranceways can help to alleviate this trigger. This would require the person to punch in the proper password each time they wish to exit.
Place Locks Out of Sight
Whether high or low, consider installing door locks beyond eye level.
If night wandering is an issue, try to limit the intake of fluids before bed and have night lights placed so injuries can be avoided.
Identify Common Times of Wandering
Whatever the most common times are for wandering, try to make a plan during those times for daily activities to keep your loved one busy and pre-occupied.
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, use these tips to help reduce their potential from wandering away for better peace of mind for your loved one and your family.
Contact Qualicare Family Homecare for a FREE Alzheimer’s or Dementia care consultation in the comfort of your home. We are here to help the family navigate the stages of the disease and help you become an empowered caregiver.