If your aging Mom sufferers from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, you are no doubt quite concerned about the possibility of them wandering. If it has happened already, your concern has undoubtedly turned to anxiety. Here are a few tips that can help you to reduce the risk of wandering or bring your loved one back safely if it does get to that point.
- For exit doors, try placing locks high or low to make them less noticeable.
- Use motion detectors or other devices that will alert you if doors or windows are opened.
- Since confusion can lead to wandering, be sure Mom is never left unattended in new or changed surroundings.
- Be sure that car keys are at no time left lying around.
- Maintain a fulfilling daily routine so that Mom doesn't think she has to leave to 'go to work'.
- Physical activity during the day might prevent restlessness, and wandering, at night.
- Let neighbors know that your Mom should not be walking around alone. Provide your contact information.
- Because it might be hard to think during an emergency, keep a list of places she might try to go.
- Make sure your loved one is always wearing ID jewelry. The Alzheimer's Association has a program that provides 24-hour assistance.
- Have a recent photo and a description of clothing to provide to the police.
Unfortunately, wandering can and does happen. However, carefully following these tips can go a long way in helping you keep your dear one safe.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!