Posted on 19/10/2012

How To Care For - Wandering & Dementia

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How To Care For - Wandering & Dementia

People with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, learning disabilities or a head injury may wander for many different reasons and understanding them can be an important step to managing the situation. People may wander because:

• They are searching for something they think they have lost

• They have hyperactivity and restlessness due to their medical condition

• They have had changes in their environment or situation which is causing anxiety

• They are confusing day for night

• They are in a habit of walking everyday

• They are bored

Helping To Prevent Wandering Behaviour

• Make sure they go to the toilet regularly

• Try to limit day time naps if night time wandering is a problem

• Places mirrors near doorways as this often stops a person wandering

• Place coats and bags out of sight to discourage people leaving

• Give the person a rummage drawer, lacing cards, activity apron or sensory bag to keep them busy

• Use activity and exercise in a meaningful way to provide structure – reminiscence activities and music can be particularly effective

• Ensure that medication is taken on time – medication reminders may assist with this.

• Place a large picture of the outdoors on a wall

• Have a Day / Night Clock visible to help prevent confusion

• Use a Reality Orientation Board daily to remind people of day and appointments

Keeping a person who wanders safe

• Always make sure they carry identification on them

• Keep a recent digital photo of them that you can easily send to police if they wander and do not return

• The use of Motion Detectors, Bed leaving sensorsand chair sensor mats will alert a carer to the fact that a person is up and about or has left a room

• A Simple Mobile Phone may be useful for people who have wandered and are able to recognise the fact that they are lost.

• A Personal GPS Mobile Tracker can alert a carer to where the person is on their own Smart Phone or Computer.

• Providing automatic night lights and keeping landings and hallways uncluttered can help to prevent falls when people wander

View our range of fantastic dementia care products here.

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