What is wandering?
Dementia & Alzheimer’s disease, can present some very challenging behaviors for the individual and loved ones. One of those challenging behaviors is wandering. Up to 60 percent of individuals with dementia will wander at some time during their disease. Alzheimer’s Disease International has estimated that there are 36 million people worldwide living with dementia and this figure will double in 2030.
How can wandering be prevented?
Some dementia wandering can be prevented to certain extents, especially if you understand the motivation for the behaviour. Providing proactive solutions in conjunction with a dementia device such as the Proximity Button can go a long way to making your cared one much safer. Common causes for wandering can include the following;
Searching for a previous home
Wandering in someone living with dementia is sometimes caused by a desire to find their once familiar home. A persons “home” if they have dementia may not be their current home, but a place they have previous lived, a childhood home, or simply something that looks and feels familiar
Agitated or restless
Allow the person opportunity to exercise. If the person you are caring for has had a long walk or exercise, it’s less likely that they will want go for, or need another walk in the near future. Keeping those with dementia/Alzheimer’s active has multiple benefits beyond wandering.
Boredom and Loneliness
Sometimes, boredom and loneliness can trigger wandering. Offering engaging in activities can improve quality of life and may decrease restlessness and wandering.
Wandering prevention tips
Mirrors on Doors
Install a full-length mirror on doors you do not want the person to go through. The appearance of another person in a doorway often stops someone with Alzheimer’s from going through the door.
Locks on Doors
Install a lock on the exterior doors. You may want to install them a higher or lower level than you usually would so that it is not near eye level where they can see straight away. You will however want a means of getting out in case of an emergency.
Wearable devices such as the Proximity Button can be a great way of preventing wandering from happening and bringing you, the carer, peace of mind. If they are wearing the Proximity Button and wander, you will be alerted to it far sooner than if they weren’t wearing one.