When a senior is dealing with memory-related challenges, they are at an increased risk of wandering. This doesn’t mean they go for a stroll and keep going because they feel like it. It means they become disoriented, maybe while they were out, or they thought they were in the wrong place and were trying to get home, even though they were already home.
Home care is a wonderful option for those elderly men and women who might be dealing with memory-related challenges. Dementia — which includes Alzheimer’s — often associates memory loss with a variety of other symptoms.
Many family members become primary caregivers to their aging parents or other loved ones out of a sense of duty or responsibility. They never really think about how challenging it becomes in time. They also don’t think about wandering risks.
However, wandering is a very real and serious risk that people — family caregivers and others — need to consider when supporting a family member diagnosed with some form of dementia. An experienced home care aide can help in a wide range of ways, so let’s look at a few strategies that can minimize the risk of wandering for an aging senior with dementia.
Hide the keys.
This trips into dangerous territory. If you hide the keys, but nobody is home and something happens, like a fire or other major emergency, the senior will not be able to escape. You should only hide the keys if somebody is there with them.
If you or somebody else leaves, even for a few moments, you have to make sure the keys are returned to where the senior could find them in the event of emergency. Then, of course, you are dealing with more risk of wandering with nobody there.
Keep the doors locked.
Again, this is incredibly dangerous, especially when nobody else is there. That’s why hiring home care is so important for supporting somebody with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. While somebody is there, you can keep the doors locked and hide those keys. When nobody is there with them, do not use this strategy.
Plan plenty of activities.
If somebody is bored, they’re more likely to wander off. If a senior is constantly doing activities, they are not only stimulating their mind, but there’s less reason for them to want to wander off out of boredom.
Use alarms and monitors.
Alarms and monitors can notify family and friends who might be connected to the systems of when the senior might be stepping outside. Motion sensors outside the doors can also inform somebody remotely that there is movement, and with monitor cameras inside and outside the house, you could quickly check to see if it’s the senior in your life.
Finally, have home care assistance on hand.
Even though you may be a primary caregiver, you can’t be there all the time. Consider in-home care through an agency to help when you are off at work, going shopping for groceries, running other errands, or going home for the night.
Wandering is a serious risk so make sure you focus on ways that can keep the senior safe at home.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable home care in Oakwood, GA, and the surrounding areas. Call (770) 965-4004 for more information.
We provide elder care in Braselton, Buford, Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Oakwood, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Barrow County, Forsyth County, Gwinnett County, Hall County, Jackson County, North Fulton County.
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