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How to Reduce Wandering in Older Adults with Dementia

By , 9:00 am on

Wandering is one of the most common symptoms seniors with dementia experience, and it’s also one of the most dangerous. While away from home, a senior may not remember his or her name, address, or other important contact information, making it difficult to be returned home safely. However, family caregivers can use the tips below to prevent aging loved ones with dementia from wandering.

Schedule Activities Accordingly

Wandering typically takes place at the same time each day. Seniors with dementia often wander because they are bored and restless, which is why you should plan fun events your loved one will enjoy during these times. To keep your loved one active and prevent agitation and irritation that leads to wandering, you should also schedule trips to the gym, the doctor, the local senior center, and other outings during the time of day when wandering tends to occur.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Omaha home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Keep Doors Shut and Locked

If your loved one is unable to go outside without assistance, keep the doors and windows in the home shut and locked. You can also make adjustments such as placing locks out of sight or installing an alarm system. When you place alarms above the doors and windows, a signal will sound each time the doors are opened. You should never lock your loved one inside of the home alone because it might trigger confusion, irritation, and violence. Only lock the doors if someone is with your loved one inside of the home, especially during the night when he or she is restless.

Be Reassuring

Sometimes seniors with dementia feel abandoned and want to leave the home to find comfort and security, which is why you should reassure your loved one that he or she is loved and valued. Correcting your loved one or making him or her feel like a child could cause him or her to wander away from the home in search of validation. 

Wandering may expose seniors to various dangers and threats. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s safety while aging in place, consider hiring a professional dementia caregiver. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Omaha families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Provide Around-the-Clock Supervision

Maintaining independence can slow the progression of dementia, but leaving your loved one alone could put his or her physical and emotional health in danger. Check on your loved one regularly, and consider using in-home care so someone is always in the home with your loved one. Choose a caregiver who specializes in dementia care and can give you more tips to prevent your loved one from wandering.

Dementia can affect the ability to maintain a high quality of life. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Omaha respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. Call us at (402) 249-0204 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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