Auburn, NH Blog

Is Your Loved One Wandering? In-Home Care for Seniors Can Help

If you have a loved one with dementia, you can expect that their life will need to change. They may need help on their journey with personal care, including eating, falling asleep, and assistance with mental stimulation and safety supersvision. They may experience severe mood swings, and refuse to cooperate with you or in-home care for seniors. But in addition to help at home, your loved one may also be at risk of wandering.

Wandering is a frequent side effect on dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six out of every ten people with Alzheimer’s will wander. In addition, up to half of them will suffer a serious injury or die if they are not found within 24 hours. In-home care for seniors recommends taking proactive measures to prevent wandering and keep your loved one safe.

The need to wander still isn’t fully understood, but we have an understanding of some common behaviors that wandering adults with dementia exhibit, and how to help reduce the risks associated with wandering.

Routines and Activities

Giving your loved one a way to remain engaged throughout the day makes sure they are tired at the right time at night, preventing sundowning and reducing the risk of nighttime wandering. A daily routine also helps because the pattern can reduce feelings of agitation or confusion that lead to wandering.

Avoiding Reasons to Leave

Sometimes family members leave just because they feel they have to. Triggers for these behaviors can encourage wandering. Objects like keys, shoes, and handbags should be kept away from your loved one’s sight so they don’t encourage wandering outside the house.

In addition, your loved one may feel compelled to follow an old routine, such as picking up the kids or making a morning breakfast run. In-home care for seniors can alleviate this by keeping your parent on track with routines at home.

Tracking Systems

If you can’t guarantee that your loved one will be watched all the time, or you’re worried that your current precautions aren’t enough, you should look into ways to keep track of them using technologies and safety programs. The Alzheimer’s Association’s MedicAlert + SafeReturn program allows you or a caregiver to call a hotline when a loved one goes missing. Technologies such as SafetyNet respond to radio signals allowing missing adults with dementia to be found more easily. In addition, law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire are required to file missing person reports with the National Crime Information Center when informed of a missing vulnerable adult and activate the Silver Alert System. Make sure to take advantage of these safety nets to keep your loved one safe.

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