Wandering is a symptom of dementia that places a senior’s safety at risk. Although your elderly loved one may wander for many different reasons, you can use the following strategies to help him or her stay safe at home.
Try to Identify a Reason
As you spend time with your loved one, you’re likely to notice patterns in his or her behavior. For instance, he or she may become agitated at the end of the day and wander off. Your loved one might also claim that he or she was hungry and looking for something to eat. Once you find the reason behind your loved one’s wandering, you can take steps to address it. For example, you may need to give your loved one a snack before bedtime to stop night wandering.
Dementia is a serious health issue that impacts an older adult’s overall quality of life. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Hot Springs, AR, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Clearly Mark Doors
Putting up signs goes a long way toward ensuring senior safety at home. Older adults with dementia sometimes get confused as they move through their house, especially if the doors are all the same style or color. Put a stop sign on the doors you don’t want your loved one to go through, such as the exit out of the house. Then, you can use symbols such as the picture of a bathtub to help your loved one quickly find the bathroom.
Use the Buddy System in Public Places
At home, you can ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for your loved one in case he or she wanders away. However, these safeguards are not possible to set up in public spaces. When you plan to take your loved one on an outing, have another caregiver come along. Two pairs of eyes are better than one, and you can give each other short breaks to use the restroom or stand in line.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior home care, Hot Springs Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Make It Difficult to Exit the House
Seniors with dementia should be able to exit their home in an emergency situation or have someone there to provide immediate assistance. However, you can establish boundaries that are difficult for your loved one to pass through. Consider putting up a fence around your yard with a difficult latch. Installing a fence makes it easier for you to reach your loved one before he or she gets out.
Arrange for Overnight Monitoring
A combination of disrupted sleep and boredom could cause your loved one to leave the house at night, and you may not be able to keep an eye on him or her at nighttime. Be prepared for nighttime wandering by having an overnight caregiver stay with your loved one. Hiring a caregiver allows you to get the rest you need while your loved one stays safe.
Caring for older adults with dementia can be a challenging task, especially when managed alone. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Hot Springs, AR, 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 high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (501) 764-1312 today.