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Dementia Wandering Solutions: Tips to Help Increase Safety

Dementia wandering solutions can be easily implemented at home to increase safety.

Of all the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, perhaps one of the most concerning is the individual’s tendency for wandering, together with the potential dangers which may arise in the event the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Wandering may occur when the older adult is: 

  • Frightened, confused or overwhelmed
  • Trying to find someone or something
  • Bored
  • Wanting to keep a familiar past routine (as an example, going to a job or shopping)
  • Tending to a simple necessity (such as trying to find a glass of water or going to the bathroom)

As a dementia caregiver, the goal is twofold: to keep the senior safe, and to ensure that his or her needs are fulfilled in an attempt to stop the desire to wander to begin with. Try the following dementia wandering solutions if a senior loved one in your care has a tendency to wander:

  • Utilize any locks which can be in place that the senior is not able to master, such as a sliding bolt lock above his or her field of vision, as well as alarms, or something as simple as placing a bell over doorknobs. It is also a smart idea to register your loved one with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program.
  • Disguise exits by covering doors with curtains, positioning temporary folding barriers strategically around doorways, or even by making use of wallpaper or paint to complement the nearby walls. You may try placing “NO EXIT” signs on doors, which can sometimes dissuade people in the last stages of dementia from attempting to exit.
  • An additional hazard for individuals who wander is the elevated threat of falling. Check each room of the home and take care of any tripping concerns, such as removing throw rugs, electrical cords, and any obstructions that might be blocking walkways, ensuring sufficient lighting is switched on, and utilizing gates at the top and bottom of stairways.

It is important to keep in mind that by using guidance and direction, wandering is not necessarily an issue. Try taking a walk outside with the senior anytime weather allows and the person is in the mood to be on the go. Walking outside provides the additional advantage of fresh air, a physical work out, and quality time together.

For more dementia wandering prevention tips, and to learn how New Horizons In-Home Care can help by providing specially designed activities to help keep your loved one active and engaged, schedule a free in-home consultation today. Our expert caregivers can provide a variety of home care services – from respite care and companionship to light housekeeping and help with personal care needs, and so much more. Reach out to us any time in Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115 to learn more about our top-rated memory care in Eugene, OR and the surrounding communities. Let us help a senior you love live with independence and dignity in the comfort of home! 

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J. M. May 4, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The people I've worked with have been so straightforward and honest. They really care about how it's going. The caregiver is very understanding, knowledgeable. He can see ahead and makes some suggestions. I can leave if I need without the least bit of worry. He is really proactive, I know he cares and trust him impeccably.

Pamela V. April 9, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
I like how nice the caregivers are. The office staff is prompt on getting somebody out here when it is needed and the caregivers make me feel better than what I am. They are willing to do anything I ask of them.

Barbara W. February 2, 2020

Corvallis, Or Client
We are happy to have them because they do well. They come when they are supposed to and do what they are supposed to. They do things that we didn't know we needed. They assess the situation well and plan for the right care. They are very dependable and thorough and are very friendly and helpful. We're very satisfied.

Candice S. April 1, 2020

Salem, Or Client
They are very helpful and on time with things. They do what they say they are going to do. They will talk to me and help me when needed. I don't have to wait forever to pick up my calls and they are quick to get back to me. It has been positive.

Sharon R. April 01, 2020

Salem, Or Client
The caregivers will do anything that we ask of them. They have been very convenient. and are able to be here and do things for us that we cannot do.

O.H. February 14, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The caregiver they sent me is awesome. People in the office staff are friendly and they know what they are talking about. The case manager, is a wonderful person and she knows her job. If I need something, all I have to do is call them.

Mary B. April 01, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
It has taken a great load off of our shoulders, especially mine. It has helped my health as well and gives my husband some social time. They are really good at scheduling around our schedule and are matched very well to his needs. We always recommend them to others who need care.

Denise B. March 02, 2020

Salem, Or Client
My caregiver is wonderful. I wish I could have more time. They do so much for me that I can't do for myself. They spend a few minutes to talk with me and be social. They are very open, caring, patient, outgoing, understanding, and kind people. If I need help with anything they will always help me. They are so helpful. I don't know what I'd do without their services.

Gail P. February 13, 2020

Florence Or,
The office staff found the right person for us. They check in regularly. What we need is someone who could do the cleaning and we have that. I like the fact that they have provided the kind of assistance that we needed. The caregiver we have is excellent.

Barbara N. February 12, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
They are courteous, respectful, and serve good food, and do everything we ask. They did all of their duties and everything was done in a timely manner. They were very helpful.
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