One of the most frightening symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is wandering. It is not uncommon for people with the disease to randomly wander away from home and turn up blocks or miles away. If you are caring for a parent with Alzheimer's and concerned he or she might wander, here is what you need to know.
Why Does Your Parent Wander?
Alzheimer's disease can affect your parent in a variety of ways. The disease impacts your parent's judgment and sense of time and place. It can even impact his or her senses, so that your parent has trouble with recognizing changes in temperature, sounds, and visual objects. All of these can contribute to your parent's wandering.
He or she could also wander due to sudden confusion or fear of your parent's environment. For instance, in a state of confusion, your parent might not recognize his or her room and leave in search of it.
Wandering can also occur when there is too much stimulation in your parent's environment. Due to the disease, your parent's brain processes are slowed. The increased stimulation can overwhelm your parent and push him or her to want to get away from the area.
How Can You Protect Your Parent?
Since stimulation is a trigger for wandering, try to keep your parent in a quiet and relaxing environment. If you have to travel with your parent to a noisy environment, consider purchasing a location device for him or her. There are several types of devices available on the market, including an ankle transmitter you can put on your parent and a GPS shoe.
At home, you need to make it more difficult for your parent to get out of the home if he or she does attempt to wander. Place deadbolts on the doors in a position that is difficult to reach. You should also invest in alarms for all of the windows and doors.
Ensure that your parent's path to and from the bathroom and kitchen are well-lit at night. Wandering can be triggered by feelings of unfamiliarity with the surroundings. If your parent wakes during the night and cannot see clearly, he or she could become confused and wander.
If your parent's wandering becomes a safety concern and it is becoming more difficult to protect him or her at home, moving your parent into an assisted living facility should be considered. The facility has staff available 24/7 to monitor your parent and has safeguards in place to keep tabs on your parent. Your parent would also have access to immediate medical care if and when he or she needs it.Share
26 July 2016
When I started looking for a care center for my mother, I decided that I needed to learn a little more about nursing home amenities. I wanted her to be in a safe, happy, fun place, but I didn't know what to look for. To make my search easier, I picked up a piece of paper and a pen and started calling different facilities. I made a list of all of the exciting, new features that places were offering, and then I showed the list to my mom. I let her decide where to stay and what she wanted to do. This blog is all about recognizing great nursing home amenities, so that you can keep the people that you love happy and content.