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3 Ways to Prevent Wandering in Seniors with Dementia

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Studies reveal 6 out of 10 seniors with dementia will likely wander at some point. Family caregivers in Oakville may be wondering how to protect their senior loved ones from the dangers of this symptom. Luckily, there are strategies to help prevent this behavior and keep your loved one safe.

1. Increase Physical Activity

Wandering is sometimes a result of anxiety and restlessness. Keeping your loved one busy with light tasks and exercise can reduce agitation and the tendency to walk away. Create a structured daily routine to keep your loved one busy, and focus on physical activities he or she enjoys.

2. Promote Better Sleep Hygiene

Wandering can occur because your loved one has poor sleep hygiene. Focus on reasons that may be leading to a lack of sleep. Reduce napping in the daytime to allow for a deeper sleep and greater relaxation at night. Give your loved one less caffeinated drinks in the hours before bedtime. If your loved one sleeps well at night, he or she may wake up in good spirits and may be less likely to wander.

3. Address the Reasons for Wandering

The causes of wandering can vary considerably. Observe your loved one to find out what triggers this behavior. Loud noise, ringing bells, or banging doors could cause restlessness and the desire to walk away. Your loved one may forget the way to the toilet or miss a family member who has passed and wander off to look for this person, or uncomfortable clothing may make your loved one walk away to seek out comfort. If you want to provide the dementia care Oakville seniors need to remain safe, help your loved one avoid things he or she dislikes to discourage wandering.

This behavior can also be a result of your loved one’s personality and past life. Your loved one may wander because he or she thinks it is time to report to the office even if he or she hasn’t worked in years, or a ringing phone may cause anxiety because that sound signaled emergencies when he or she was younger. If a situation like this arises, assure your loved one everything is okay to relieve his or her anxiety.

For additional tips on how to prevent wandering and alleviate other symptoms of dementia, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with dementia, using our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method to help slow cognitive decline and encourage healthy routines. For more information on elderly care Oakville families trust, call (905) 337-1200 today to speak with a Care Manager and request a free in-home consultation.

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