Alzheimer's and Dementia Wandering - Safety Products
Wandering is the single most critical worry for a caregiver. Those suffering with Alzheimer's, other forms of dementia and memory loss have a tendency to wander whether they are at home or in unfamiliar surroundings. They are trying to make sense of the world they find themselves in at that moment.
Patients will sometimes leave clues that they are about to wander by announcing that it is time to go home, when in fact they are home. They may get dressed to go to work when they stopped working long ago. Their past memories are now present. Without warning, they may start to wander into forbidden or dangerous areas within their own home - and locked doors could just make a wandering situation more severe.
Reasons Why People Wander
Task Oriented: Most people always have something to do. Even if they don't, they create something to keep their hands and brain busy. People with Alzheimer's relive their former lives and leave their home believing they are going to a job or shopping.
Pain, discomfort and agitation: Emotions can be reason to wander. They are not happy in their present situation so if they move to another location maybe those symptoms will not come with them. But in actuality, they are wandering.
Loss of Memory: When people become disoriented due to their present thoughts disappearing, their reality being blurred or seeking places that were once familiar to them, they wander looking to go back to those comforting and safe places. They are searching for their past.
Disorientation: They may wake up at 5 in the morning and not know if it is day going into night or night going into day. They will leave their surroundings to seek the answer.
What to do if you suspect or have a person that wanders
Take proper precautions;
1) Alert your support group, caregivers, and neighbors that events of wandering may happen.
2) Prepare the home or facility by using products that can lessen the possibility of an occurrence and its effect on all involved. Make it harder for them to wander and if they do, make it safer.
3) Prepare the patient with elopement equipment.
The Alzheimer’s Store offers a variety of dementia products that discourage roaming or alert caregivers when it is occurring. For those suffering with dementia, there is HELP.