One of the more common signs of Alzheimer’s disease is being confused and disoriented even in the most familiar of surroundings. Naturally, this can lead to wandering, a habit seen in 60 percent of people with dementia. Wandering can be very dangerous, and it’s important that family members take steps to limit this behaviour and keep their older loved ones safe.
Evaluate Underlying Causes
To keep wandering to a minimum, you first need to understand why seniors with Alzheimer’s wander in the first place. People wander for different reasons. Some wander because they’re searching for something but have forgotten where to go or how to find it, while others might be trying to get away from what they perceive as a stressful situation, such as having too many people around. Others are simply reliving the past—they try to go to jobs they haven’t had for years, or they try to go home despite already being there. No two people wander for exactly the same reason, so it’s important that you talk to your loved one and find out why he or she is wandering. This will help you put precautions in place and prevent at least some of this behaviour.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Oakville Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Maintain Daily Routines
The best way to prepare for Alzheimer’s wandering is to have a daily routine in place. The routine should be easy to follow, and it shouldn’t be changed unless it’s absolutely necessary. This will be more helpful in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, when your loved one is just starting to lose his or her memory.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Oakville families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Identify & Address Triggers
Another great thing you can do to curb wandering is to address any potential triggers. Since many people wander when they’re looking for something to eat or need to use the bathroom, offering a snack or showing your parent where the bathroom is may work surprisingly well at keeping wandering to a minimum.
Make Changes in the Home
Providing visual cues, such as descriptive photographs, on doors can keep your loved one from getting lost in his or her own home. Alarm systems can let you know when your loved one is on the move, and safety locks can prevent him or her from wandering away from home. These may be seen as more extreme solutions, but they may be necessary if the wandering behaviour gets out of hand. In the later stages of the disease, your loved one will likely need live-in care to ensure safety around the clock.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s face a variety of challenges to their overall health and safety. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn more about our premier in-home care plans, call us at 905-592-0085 today.