Tips for Preventing Wandering with Alzheimer’s

By Pete Lane, 8:00 am on

Six out of ten Alzheimer’s patient will wander at some point. As a caregiver, it can be downright frightening, understandably so, to discover that a loved one has wandered off somewhere, whether it be to another part of the house, into the backyard or down the street. As a leading provider of Centennial Alzheimer’s care, we know that the best way to prevent, or at least reduce, wandering is for family caregivers to be as proactive as possible. Here are a few tips for preventing wandering:

  • Secure Environments – Motion detection systems can alert caregivers when the person is wandering in places where they shouldn’t go unsupervised. Hanging bells on doorknobs can also serve as an instant alert. Fencing can also help your aging parent or loved one know where they can safely go when outside.
  • Put Up Signs – Label all doors, including inside doors to other rooms and the bathroom, to let the person know which doors go where. In many cases, an Alzheimer’s patient simply needs to be pointed in the right direction. Also, lock doors to the attic or basement to prevent falls on steps.
  • Inform the Neighbors – Let the neighbors know of the situation and encourage them to let you know if your loved one is outside unsupervised. Dress them in brightly colored clothing and make sure they have some type of ID on them such as a bracelet or pendant.
  • Increase Physical Activity – Light exercise or short walks may help prevent wandering, at least in some patients. Make sure that all physical activity is supervised so the person gets used to the idea that they need to have someone with them when going outside. If you are unable to assist them on an around the clock basis, a professional Centennial hourly caregiver could be a great resource to help fill in the gaps and ensure quality care in your absence.

Other Wandering Considerations

Wandering can also be related to poor sleep habits. Try reducing daytime napping or make a doctor’s appointment to determine if medications may be the problem. Also, pay attention to whether or not the person is hungry or thirsty, as this may sometimes cause them to wander.

Getting Help with Alzheimer’s Care

There’s no way to stop all instances of wandering. However, being prepared can, at least, minimize risks. If you are interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s care or need help managing responsibilities as your loved one’s care needs evolve, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Centennial at 303-957-3100 and schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about our comprehensive in-home Alzheimer’s care.