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Dementia Wandering Prevention Tips

Man behind locked door

Try these tips to aid in dementia wandering prevention.

Out of all the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease, probably one of the most concerning is the individual’s tendency for wandering, together with the potential dangers which could arise in the event that the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Wandering may occur when the older adult is:

  • Frightened, confused or overwhelmed
  • Searching for someone or something
  • Bored
  • Attempting to keep a familiar past routine (for example, going to a job or shopping)
  • Tending to a simple necessity (such as searching for a glass of water or going to the bathroom)

As a dementia caregiver, the purpose is twofold: to help keep the senior safe, and also to be certain that his / her needs are fulfilled to attempt to stop the desire to wander to begin with. Try the following dementia wandering prevention tips if a senior in your care is likely to wander:

  • Utilize any locks that are in place which the senior is unable to master, such as a sliding bolt lock above his or her range of vision, as well as alarms, even if something as simple as placing a bell over doorknobs. It’s also a good idea to advise the family to register the senior for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program.
  • Disguise exits by covering doors with curtains, positioning temporary folding barriers strategically around doorways, or even by recommending the use of wallpaper or paint on the doors to match the surrounding walls. You can also try placing “NO EXIT” signs on doors, which can sometimes dissuade people in the earlier stages of dementia from trying to exit.
  • An additional hazard for individuals who wander is the elevated risk of falling. Look over each room of the home and take care of any tripping concerns, such as removing throw rugs, electrical cords, and any obstructions which may be blocking walkways, ensuring sufficient lighting is turned on, and utilizing gates at the top and bottom of stairways.

It’s important to keep in mind that with guidance and direction, wandering is not necessarily a problem. Go for a walk outside with the senior anytime weather allows and the person is in the mood to be on the move, providing the additional benefit of fresh air, physical exercise, and quality time together.

For more dementia wandering prevention tips, or to explore how you can become a member of a team of top providers who specialize in dementia care in Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas, call Hillendale Home Care at 925-933-8181, or visit us at www.hillendalecnaschool.com.