While driving, you may have seen a lighted sign above the freeway that states “Senior/Silver Alert”. This headline is usually followed by the name of the person in question, the kind of car they might be driving, license plate, and more. What’s happening here, in essence, is that the public is being notified that an older adult is currently classified as “missing”.
Frequently, older adults may wander off without informing others. If they are fully cognizant, this is usually not a problem. If, however, they are suffering from a cognitive related disease – such as Alzheimer’s or dementia – it can be serious. Dementia patients who wander can get lost, or forget what used to be a familiar environment. Wandering can then quickly become a dangerous behavior as your loved one may not be capable of making the best decisions, or they may be unsteady on their feet. Is there a way to prevent older adults who have Alzheimer’s or dementia from wandering?
Why Do Older Adults Wander?
Older adults with cognitive related conditions wander for a variety of reasons, including:
- Having the urge to remember or relieve old routines
- Dealing with boredom
- Searching for something or someone
- Wanting to satisfy basic needs like using the bathrooms or looking for food, etc.
- Escaping from stress or fear
Unfortunately, wandering is not uncommon in older adults with dementia or other memory related conditions. They leave the house, go for a walk, and the next thing you know, they are missing. Is there a way to prevent our loved ones from wandering? Let’s look at some tactics that could make the difference between our loved ones being safe or entering into a dangerous situation.
Suggestions to Prevent Wandering
Here are eight ways we can avoid wandering in older adults with dementia:
- Ensure that somebody is always with our loved ones.
- Hide wallets, purses, keys, etc.
- Let our loved ones wear a GPS device.
- Enroll them in safe return programs.
- Discover what your loved one’s triggers for wandering are, and do your best to address the issue or solve the problem with them.
- Make sure that interior doors are clearly marked.
- Doors that lead outside should be camouflaged.
- Alarms and locks should be installed on all doors and windows.
Memory Care and Safe Environment at Discovery Common Cypress Point
At Discovery Common Cypress Point, our Memory Care option combines highly specialized 24-hour care with comprehensive support for the families of retirees and the retirees themselves. Here are some of the advantages of our Memory Care program:
- Specialized dining experiences
- Superior communication with the families of residents and the residents themselves
- Customized care plans for each resident
- Lifestyle enrichment programs
- Safe and secure senior living environment
We are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to memory care, thanks to our incredible, person-centered approach. For older adults diagnosed with conditions that are cognitive related – including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – our professional memory care services provide an opportunity to access a more peaceful, purposeful way of life. Well-trained, compassionate team members apply years of proven methods, science, experience, and the newest and best practices to create individualized care plans to suit each person’s likes, preferences, and capabilities.
Discover a lifestyle that assists with memory care and so much more at Discovery Commons Cypress Point. Call us at 941.254.1125 for sales and leasing inquiries. Better yet, schedule a tour to experience our memory care community for yourself.