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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 that is seen in six in ten people with dementia. Wandering can be very dangerous, and it is important that family members and caregivers take steps to limit this behavior and keep their loved ones safe.
In order to keep wandering to a minimum, you first need to understand why Alzheimer’s patients wander in the first place. People wander for different reasons; it’s too easy to simply chalk it up to dementia even if that’s the underlying cause. Some people wander because they are searching for something, yet 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 still are simply reliving the past; they try to go to a job that they haven’t had in years, or they try to go home despite already being in their homes.
No two people wander for exactly the same reason, so it’s important that you talk to your loved one and find out why they are wandering. This will help you put precautions in place and prevent at least some of this behavior.
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 a person is just starting to lose their memory.
Another great thing a caregiver can do to curb wandering is to address any potential triggers. Since many people wander when they’re looking for something to eat or to use the bathroom, offering a snack or showing them where the bathroom is works surprisingly well in keeping wandering to a minimum. Providing visual cues such as descriptive photographs on doors and landmarks can also keep an Alzheimer’s patient from getting lost in their own home.
Finally, alarm systems can help you know when a loved one is on the move, and safety locks can prevent them from wandering away from home. These may be seen as more extreme solutions, but they may be necessary if the wandering behavior gets out of hand. In the later stages of the disease, your loved one will likely need Boca Raton live-in care to ensure safety around the clock.
In some cases, the complex symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be difficult for families to manage without some assistance. That’s where we come in. Home Care Assistance of Boca Raton is a trusted provider of home care, specializing specifically in Boca Raton Alzheimer’s care. Our caregivers are experienced and highly trained in how to manage and minimize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including wandering, and are available to provide care 24/7. For more information, call an experienced Care Manager at 561-826-9282.