Reasons why people with Dementia wander
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 is wandering
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 or GPS Tracking Devices.
The following items are designed to specifically help those that wander
1) Easily recognizable stop signs are excellent deterrents. One of our earliest memories in childhood is a
. Even late stage patients recognize OFF-LIMIT areas when they see these red and yellow signs.
2) The ALZ Store developed the first
Fire Rated Door Mural that is approved for commercial facilities. It consists of a picture of a bookshelf that is so real, you have to touch it to know that it is a mural! The disoriented person no longer sees a door to go through. This is great for hiding utility closets or basement doors.
3) At night, motion sensors can alert caregivers of a wandering loved one. These products have remote alarms that do not startle the patient but do alert the caregiver who may be in another room that their patient is on the move. They even have 2 way intercoms so the patient can be spoken to. This can arrest the movement, giving the caregiver time to get to the patient.
4) GPS devices are the newest technology for wandering. The Alzheimer's Store distributes devices that are locked on the wanderer's wrist, such as the
TheoraCare GPS Watch. The Alzheimer's patient can be tracked from any computer, tablet or smartphone. The device alerts the caregiver on site or family members or caregivers in remote locations that there is a wandering event occurring and the location of the patient.
5) Our emergency
medical alert bracelet is an ID bracelet with the international scanning icon. All emergency responders carry scanning devices. It is also equipped with a url address with the wanderer's personal pin number. This pin number allows the caregiver/responder access to all medical records or contact information that has been preloaded into it from a computer.
Many of our alert products are monitored by an emergency response center with personnel who are experienced and have specific training to respond to those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Loss. This type of experience is crucial in a time of emergency.
Some, but not all, patients with dementia are prone to losing track of where they are. Overall, only 1 percent of patients are hurt while lost, but their chances of injury rise dramatically the longer that they remain missing.
40 percent of dementia patients get lost at some point, but the real danger is with those who repeatedly wander away from their families, private caretakers, or nursing homes. This repetitive behavior happens in 5 percent of patients. It can strain family ties and lead to resentment between caretakers and their loved-one with Dementia.
Please call us toll-free at 1-800-752-3238 to answer any questions about our products for wandering.