Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: 248.283.0835

5 Ways to Address Wandering in Older Adults with Dementia

By , 9:00 am on

Aging adults with dementia have a tendency to wander off to unusual places. Wandering occurs because seniors get confused or disoriented, and it tends to happen more frequently as the dementia progresses. If your senior loved one has dementia, use the following tips to prevent wandering. 

1. Be Cautious During Common Wandering Times

Many seniors are prone to wandering during a particular time of day, which is most often at sundown. However, wandering can also occur in the middle of the night or at any other time of the day. Always supervise your loved one during this time and use puzzles or games to distract him or her from an urge to wander.

Wandering is just one of the many issues older adults with dementia are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Bloomfield Hills in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. 

2. Soothe Disorientation

Wandering is often caused by an inability to recognize surroundings. You can halt wandering by making your loved one feel safe and happy in his or her current place. Try to avoid taking your loved one to overwhelming places like shopping malls or other crowded areas. 

3. Secure Any Exit Methods

Install bolts on doors to keep your loved one inside the home. Your loved one may attempt to drive away while wandering, so hide your car keys as well. If necessary, you can install a home warning system that will alert you if any doors or windows are open or closed. Less sophisticated methods, such as a bell hung on the door, can also alert you if your loved one goes out.

Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to ensure your loved one does not wander. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in home care, Bloomfield Township Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

4. Know Where to Look

Seniors with dementia who wander tend to turn in the direction of their dominant hand, so you can typically look to the right for right-handed seniors or the left for left-handed seniors. They also tend to go to places that were familiar to them a while ago, such as previous homes, old job sites, favorite restaurants, or former churches. Consider getting a piece of GPS-enabled jewelry for your loved one to wear so you can pinpoint his or her location easily.

5. Don’t Delay Asking for Help

If you cannot find your loved one in his or her neighborhood within roughly 15 minutes, consider calling emergency services. Unlike a normal missing person report, you do not have to wait 24 hours before asking for help. You just need to let the authorities know your loved one has dementia. Receiving extra help from police and other first responders may make it easier for you to locate your loved one.

Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be a difficult task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans, call us at 248.283.0835 today.