Problems with Wandering and Dementia

Old man diagnosed with dementia

Wandering, which is a common occurrence among people with dementia, is a dangerous problem. This is mainly because those who do it do not realize that they are lost and fail to leave clues or ask for help. Some do it because of boredom or confusion, while others wander because they are anxious or are hungry or thirsty.

Wandering and getting lost can happen at any stage of the condition. Memory care experts in Orem note that this only makes it important to do anything you can to prevent or lower the chances of a loved one from wandering. Here are some of the things that can help:

Make sure that they have their basic needs

Some people with the condition might wander because they are looking for something to eat or drink. Others, meanwhile, feel the need to go to the bathroom or outside. Providing all their basic needs can reduce the risk of wandering.

Increase exercise and activities

This can help prevent anxiety, agitation, and restlessness. Doing some physical activity at daytime can also reduce nighttime wandering. The same may also apply for a supervised short walk before dinner.

Create a daily schedule

This is to provide routine and structure into the patient’s life. Having a list of things that they need to accomplish at a certain time or location may also help prevent someone with serious memory problem from wandering off.

Schedule activities when they usually feel restless or agitated

The feelings of restlessness and agitation can make a loved one more likely to wander off.  It is best to identify the times when your loved one is mostly like to feel this way and schedule the activities at that time.

Secure your house

If a loved one with dementia lives in your home, you might want to install new locks on doors and windows. Motion detectors that can alert you when someone opens the outer door also help. Securing the home can also be as simple as putting bells on the doorknobs.

Avoid busy places

Crowded and busy places can create some confusion and disorientation for those memory problems. Be sure to avoid any busy venues, which include grocery stores and shopping malls.

Have them carry an ID

A good choice is a medical ID jewelry like a pendant or a bracelet. You can also sew a nametag or an ID into something that your loved one wears regularly.

Do whatever you can to prevent wandering or have a plan in case of an emergency. You can also get the help of memory care center for taking care of a loved with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.