Help stop a person with dementia wandering by following these simple steps.
Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of degenerative brain diseases that affect a persons memory can leave a person totally unaware of their actions. This can cause real anxiety for the carer if the person goes missing or wanders away from the place of care.
Wandering tends to take place in early to mid stages of dementia because the person has more mobility than a person who is suffering with the later stages of the disease.
We take a look at ways to stop a person with dementia wandering away from a home or place of care.
An individual wandering with dementia can be serious
Individuals may suddenly walk away from a place of care such as a day centre, their own home or from a residential care home. They then can become lost and confused about where they are and do not even know where they may be trying to go.
This can be very frightening for the person with memory problems and for carers at the place of care. Many of these people can’t identify themselves or can’t explain where they live to somebody. This can lead to a dangerous situation if the person is not identified as being lost and confused.
There are may reasons that may lead a person to wander. It could be a persons medication, fear or anxiety, stress due to moving home, disorientation with their surroundings, restlessness or un-awareness of a situation.
Help to stop a person with dementia wandering
To help stop a person with dementia wandering you could consider these 6 points.
- Always try to make sure the person is comfortable and doesn’t need to use the toilet or bathroom. You may have to ask the person on a regular basis. Try to always ensure that the person is not hungry or thirsty. This stops the person going in search of food, the toilet, or a drink.
- If the person is capable, try to let the person help with daily chores such as cleaning, laundry, simple cooking or basic house keeping. Try to make sure they receive regular exercise if they are physically able to, this helps to reduce restlessness and boredom the person may feel.
- Reassure the person frequently that you are there to help them with anything they require. Make sure they understand that they are staying with you and they do not need to be anywhere else.
- Try to keep the environment quiet and relaxed so not to upset the person. Try to avoid loud or unfamiliar noises and confusing situations that may frighten the person into trying to remove themselves from the area.
- If it is possible, try to keep all doors locked or alarmed with a home monitor or door alarm system such as an alarm mat to prevent the person wandering with dementia out of the place of residence and getting lost once outside.
- Work out a plan of action in the event that the person does go missing. It may be advisable to keep at hand any information that may easily identify the person if the person does wander out of the home, like a recent photograph. You could also keep a list of places and contact details of where the person has wandered to on previous occasions or places they may have an association with, like a friend’s house or shop they like to visit.
Additional help to find the person if they do go missing
There are a several personal monitors that are available to buy with varying prices that can help with tracking a person with dementia if they do go missing. These are in the form of GPS tracking devises. They can be used to pinpoint the location of a person via a mobile device or a computer if the individual is out wandering with dementia.
There are third parties that will also monitor the system for you at a price to be paid monthly or annually. You can simply phone the organisation and they will locate the device for you. Assuming that the person is still wearing the device they can be found easily or their location can be given.
These kind of GPS personal monitors can be incorporated into may products including wrist watches, mobile phones, ID tags worn around the neck or waist and even placed inside a persons shoe.