Although many of us know are familiar with symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as extreme confusion and disorientation, there are other side effects of the disease which can pose a danger to a patient’s health and safety. One of the most hazardous is wandering.
Did you know that 6 in 10 Alzheimer’s patients experience a strong urge to leave their home and find a familiar place? A wandering event may occur at any time during the day or night and presents an extremely dangerous situation for your aging loved one. Learn the signs of a wandering event and what you can do to prevent one or click here for more about specialty Alzheimer’s care in Grand Rapids.
Signs of a Possible Wandering Event
Although anyone who suffers from memory loss may experience wandering, Alzheimer’s patients tend to exhibit similar behaviors before an event occurs such as:
- Talks about returning to work, a store from a former neighborhood or attending a past memorable event
- Not being able to recognize their current house and is constantly asking to go home
- Restlessness, excessive pacing or increased anxiety and activity
- Cannot perform the sequence of tasks required of a usual hobby, household chore or daily activity
- Asks about the family members or friends he or she has known from a distant past
- Increased confusion during the early part of the evening
Diffusing a Wandering Event
At Home Care Assistance of Grand Rapids, we understand that anxiety and confusion may increase the patient’s need to leave their home and search for a solution to their perceived problem. Possible prevention of a wandering event may include performing actions such as:
- Ensuring that your loved one is not hungry, thirsty or requires toileting
- Providing simple distractions like a favorite TV program or offering a snack
- Assuring their safety and not challenging their beliefs when confused
- Sticking to a strict schedule that provides supervised daily activities
Preventing a Wandering Event
If your parent or grandparent begins to exhibit signs of disorientation, take these precautionary actions to prevent wandering such as:
- Place door locks high and out of sight
- Anticipate the times of confusion and provide supervision
- Review medications for side-effects
- Discourage consumption of caffeine or other stimulants
- Ensure that your loved one wears an identification bracelet to provide information if they are to wander and cannot find their way home
Hourly care in Grand Rapids is another great option to provide family caregivers with respite from monitoring their aging loved one. With the help of a part-time caregiver, families can gain peace of mind knowing their loved one is in professional, reliable and caring hands. Call 616-272-7028 to speak with a Care Manager about our Alzheimer’s caregivers and maximize your loved one’s safety from the comfort of home.