Dementia is the broad term for a number of medical conditions that cause a decline in cognitive function. Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and Lewy body disease are the most common types of dementia. As the brain’s deterioration increases, wandering becomes a risk.
Not every senior with dementia will wander. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 60 percent of people with dementia wander away from home at least once. Some of the early warning signs of wandering include:
- Forgetting where he or she lives.
- Asks to go home repeatedly when already at home.
- Can’t sit still and is always pacing or walking around.
- Talks about needing to go to work.
- Can’t be in public places without getting anxious or wanting to flee.
- Takes longer to get home after a daily walk than in the past.
If your dad has dementia and is showing any of these signs, you need to realize that wandering is a possibility. It’s time to take precautions to avoid learning your dad has wandered off.
-Enroll in MedicAlert Safe Return
MedicAlert Safe Return is a program offered by Medic Alert and the Alzheimer’s Association. If your dad wanders, you call a toll-free number and a team in your dad’s area is alerted to quickly find him. The team includes police officers, EMTs, and local members of the Alzheimer’s Association.
There is a yearly membership fee. That fee includes a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace that has important information that can be used to get your dad back home.
It also keeps your dad’s medical information on file so that EMTs and other medical professionals have the information they need to expedite any necessary treatments. Your dad is going to be unlikely to answer questions about his medical history on his own.
-Create Obstacles to Prevent Wandering
Sliding locks in unusual locations can make it hard for your dad to get out of the house. Place these locks down near the floor or way at the top of the door. You can also use a security alarm that goes off if the code isn’t entered within a specific period of time once the door is opened.
There are bed alarms that go off if your dad gets out of bed in the middle of the night. You can also put in an alarm that goes off if your dad opens his bedroom door.
-Arrange Senior Care Services That Cover Supervision
Look into senior care services that provide companionship. Caregivers work in shifts to cover the hours when you have to be at work or have plans. A caregiver comes to your dad’s home and monitors his comings and goings. If he tries to leave the home, there’s someone around to distract him and keep him at home.
Call a senior care agency to discuss companionship services. Caregivers can also offer other aspects of senior care that help your dad complete his daily routines when Alzheimer’s makes it tough.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Glenolden, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. Call today: (484) 206-4544
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