It is very common for seniors to suffer from dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with roughly 5.3 million people over 65 affected by it. Alzheimer’s impacts memory and other cognitive abilities, with symptoms that worsen to the point that many people completely forget their loved ones. As can be expected, Alzheimer’s can be quite distressing to both those who suffer from it and their families. One behavior that can be particularly troubling is called wandering, and around 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s will demonstrate it.
What is Wandering?
Wandering is a common behavior from Alzheimer’s patients. When wandering, a person may become confused about where they are, and leave their home and/or caregiver. This behavior can be quite scary for caregivers and is often dangerous, particularly if they wander in a public place. Here are some signs that indicate that your senior loved one could be wandering:
- They forgot the way to a place they have been before.
- They take longer than they usually do to return from something they typically do, such as go for a walk.
- They can’t remember where rooms are in the home, such as their bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen.
- They try to leave home “to go home.”
- They are disoriented and lost in new places.
- They seem restless.
- They say they are going to go do something, like a chore, but nothing is actually done.
- They try to “go to work” even though they do not have a job.
Wandering is a major problem among people with Alzheimer’s, but there are steps you can take to prevent wandering.
How to Prevent Wandering
Create A Daily Routine
Structure is helpful to Alzheimer’s patients because it makes it easier for them to remember things. When you add structure to their routine, it allows them to have a basic idea of what is going to happen on any given day and reduces chances of confusion and disorientation, which can often spark wandering. Make sure that your senior loved one is waking up, going to bed, and eating their meals at around the same time every day.
It is very scary for Alzheimer’s sufferers to feel confused and disoriented. While it can be frustrating that they keep forgetting basic information, don’t become frustrated with them. Validate their feelings and reassure them that they are safe. This lessens the chance that the confusion will escalate to wandering.
Attend to Their Basic Needs
Often times, a senior will wander just because they are thirsty, hungry, need to use the restroom, and don’t know where they are. They will wander in order to address some need. Prevent wandering by making sure that their basic needs are attended to. This will reduce the chances they feel compelled to wander.
At Gulfshore Private Home Care, we are proud to offer Naples residents peace of mind when it comes to their senior loved ones, particularly those who have Alzheimer’s. If you are looking for private home care in Naples, contact us today!