One of the reasons many families eventually choose the continuous care of an
assisted living center when a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease is to prevent wandering.
Wandering is extremely common in people with Alzheimer’s, and without
proper supervision, it can become dangerous. Here is what you need to
know about the risks of wandering and strategies for preventing it.
What is wandering?
Wandering occurs when someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of
dementia walks away on his or her own and becomes lost or disoriented.
It happens to about
six in 10 people with Alzheimer’s disease, so it is something that families need to be vigilant about. It can occur
at any stage of the disease. In addition to being dangerous, it can also
be extremely distressing for both the person with memory loss and his
or her loved ones.
What are the signs?
Although not knowing where your loved one is an obvious sign of wandering,
it is not the only one. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,
be alert to signs like regular trips taking longer than normal. As the
disease progresses, your loved one may be vulnerable to wandering if he
or she paces or acts agitated, gets anxious in crowded areas, or gets
confused when he or she tries to find places in the home, like the kitchen
or bedroom. Your loved one may also be at risk of wandering if he or she
talks about going places he or she no longer goes, like work, or talks
about needing to go home when he or she is already at home.
How can wandering be prevented?
Continuous care in a secure assisted living center can be extremely helpful,
since there can always be someone around to ensure your loved one is safe.
Structured days and exercise to reduce agitation can also help. Alzheimer’s
care should always be provided in an assisted living center with locked
doors that prevent residents from leaving unsupervised.
At Avalon Memory Care, the safety of our residents is our top priority,
and each of our assisted living centers in Dallas, Arlington, and Houston
is a secure facility. To learn more about the memory care services we
provide, please call (214) 752-7050.