Wandering and Alzheimer’s Disease - What You Need to Know

Caregivers in DeWitt MI

Caregivers in DeWitt MIWhen your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you are likely to have a lot of questions on your mind. If your loved one is in the early stages, you may be wondering if it is still ok for them to drive a car, take a walk in the neighborhood alone, or go to the store independently. The truth is, wandering can happen during any stage of the disease and is a result of the memory problems that occur with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, it is important to be cautious and observant and to look for the signs of wandering. If your loved one does begin to wander, it may be time to make some changes at home and some changes to the routine, but that doesn’t mean that your loved one’s quality of life must suffer. Read on for some more information about wandering in those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and what you can do to help keep them happy and safe.

How can I know if my loved one is wandering?

With Alzheimer’s or dementia, a person can forget their address or where they live, become disoriented easily, and even become confused in familiar places. This is what causes them to wander or get lost. A few warning signs that your loved one may be capable of wandering to look out for include returning home from a familiar errand or activity later than they normally would, asking to “go home” when they are already home, trying to go to a former workplace, having difficulty finding a room in the house, or appearing lost or confused. If your loved one is displaying these signs, they could potentially get lost in the home or outside of it - which can be a dangerous situation.

Is there any way to prevent my loved one from wandering?

There are several things you can do as a caregiver to be proactive. Try to stick to a consistent daily routine so that your loved one knows what to expect every day. If you have identified times of the day when your loved one seems more inclined to wander, plan enjoyable activities for those times and make sure that your loved one is accompanied. When their anxiety and restlessness are reduced, they will be less likely to wander. If there are places where your loved one seems to get lost or confused easily such as a department store, be sure to avoid those places.

Source: http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-wandering.asp

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in DeWitt, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.