Wandering is a common behavior problem for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s a dangerous behavior since the older adult can get lost, be injured, or end up stuck outside in extreme weather. Preventing wandering requires planning and extra vigilance. Unfortunately, when wandering is a problem, it can be unsafe for someone with dementia to be left home alone. One option that families of older adults with dementia have is to hire home care providers who can come to the house and stay with the dementia sufferer for as many hours per day as needed. Below are some of the ways that a home care provider can help to prevent wandering.
Sticking to a Routine
Sometimes having a predictable routine to follow each day can be reassuring to a dementia patient and may reduce wandering. Home care provider can assist the family with making daily plans for the senior, and then stick to them. Writing information about the day on a whiteboard can help keep dementia patients oriented, so the home care provider can write basic information about the day on the whiteboard each day when they arrive.
Keeping the Home Secure
Something as simple as keeping doors and windows locked can prevent dementia patients from wandering. Having to work the lock can slow them down long enough for someone to notice that they are trying to leave. A caregiver can check doors and windows to make sure they remain locked.
A dementia patient who is busy doing other things isn’t as likely to wander. A senior care provider can engage the older adult in activities that they enjoy or that make them feel useful. They can assist with making crafts or ask the senior to help them with simple household tasks, like dusting or setting the table.
Reassuring the Dementia Patient
Sometimes people with dementia ask to go home or say they need to leave for work, which can lead to wandering. The behavior can also arise out of anxiety or a feeling of abandonment. A home care provider can offer reassurance to the person, reminding them that they are safe and that the caregiver is there to help.
Perhaps the most important way that a home care provider can prevent wandering is by simply being with the person to supervise their actions. A caregiver’s presence can also keep a dementia patient from accidentally harming themselves or creating unsafe situations in the home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Lansing, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.