According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 in 10 seniors with dementia will wander at some point. Wandering can be frightening for families providing Mississauga home care for elderly loved ones with dementia, but there are many ways to address and prevent this dangerous behavior. Here are some suggestions to help keep your loved one safe.
Create a Daily Routine
Seniors with dementia need help organizing their days. You can prevent your loved one from wandering if you work with him or her to plan daily activities. Make sure the activities reflect your loved one’s interests and are not too different from what he or she used to do before the condition developed. The important thing is not deciding what activities your loved one does, but rather making a structure for when and where he or she does them. Write down the activities and times so your loved one and his or her Mississauga live-in home caregiver can easily read them.
Exercise can reduce feelings of anxiety and help your loved one feel less agitated so he or she is not as likely to wander at night, a common dementia-related behavior called sundowning. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about physical exercise that is safe for seniors with dementia to participate in when supervised.
Simple technological devices can help keep your loved one safe from wandering. You can install alarms that alert you when a door or window is open, and you can also install motion sensors to track your loved one’s movement and eating and sleeping habits. There are also tracking devices that can help you find your loved one if he or she leaves the home. These devices can be worn as wristbands or put on key chains.
Talk to Neighbors
Consider meeting with your loved one’s neighbors to let them know about his or her dementia and the potential for wandering. They may be willing to help by contacting you if they notice your loved one wandering away from home and appearing lost.
If you are concerned about the possibility of your loved one wandering, consider hiring a part-time or 24-hour caregiver to keep him or her safe. At Home Care Assistance, all of our caregivers are trained in the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to help seniors with memory-related conditions. For more information on dementia care Mississauga seniors and their families can rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 905-337-1200 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.