Every six out of 10 people with dementia wander at some point in their lives. This is why, as a caregiver, you play a crucial part in ensuring your loved ones’ health and safety. It can be difficult to accept that your less physically able family members could walk off into unknown territory. This is why it’s necessary to keep a lookout for your loved ones, ensuring that they remain within arm’s reach at all times. Get to know four different ways to prevent Alzheimer’s wandering.
Alzheimer’s Patients Want Company
When you are younger, you are more energetic and this means that you build a social network more easily. The more people you meet every day, the less likely you are to get lost. As your loved ones age, company can be harder to come by. This is because our circumstances greatly dictate the friends we make. When we move through the years, events change more rapidly, from getting married to changing jobs, to even moving to a new country. These progressions can be daunting and often result in seniors losing friends. As their nostalgic memories grow, your loved ones might start drifting off to unknown places in search of old buddies. You can prevent this from happening by spending more time with them so they don’t feel so alone.
Alzheimer’s Patients May Be Bored
According to the CDC, more than 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s in 2020. As a neurological condition, Alzheimer’s can cause your loved ones to become bored more easily. Their shorter attention spans can result in them switching activities every five minutes. Wandering is a very real risk of boredom as your senior family members continuously look for things to do. Try to engage them actively using bright facial expressions and a loud, but nurturing tone of voice. This will help them stay alert to what you’re doing and prevent them from feeling bored so easily.
Wandering to Find Necessities
Your loved ones might wander off in search of something they think is necessary to their routine. Perhaps they woke up this morning and remembered that they need to brush their teeth. Unfortunately, your loved one’s Alzheimer’s makes it difficult for them to connect location and desire. Oftentimes, they know what they have to do, but don’t know where to go in order to get it. You can help your loved ones by keeping items like toothbrushes in easy-to-find places. Consider keeping hygiene items by their bedside, where they have easier visual access to these basic needs.
Old Habits in Alzheimer’s Patients
You might be surprised to learn that many Alzheimer’s patients continue to have strong neurological memories, allowing their brains to access old habits with ease. As a result, you should be prepared for your senior family members to wander off in search of old activities, like gardening or mowing the lawn. One way to prevent this is by installing a GPS device on their wrist, which allows you to track their whereabouts at all times.
The news of your loved ones’ Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be a heavy weight to bear. A living community is an ideal choice for senior family members to help them cherish the activities they enjoy in a safe and conducive setting. Call us, and get a free tour of the facilities today!