Hillsborough Healthcare Strategies for Seniors: Helping Those Who Wander

October 13, 2016 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Providing healthcare to aging seniors can be a difficult time for families and caregivers. Many caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients have experienced their loved one wandering off or getting lost. This can cause panic and concern when someone is missing. Over 50 percent of Alzheimer’s patients have become lost or wandered off at some point during the course of the disease. There are many types of wandering and it is not always on foot. Someone can get in a car or even a wheelchair and wander away.

There is always a purpose or intent for the patient whether it is to go to work at an old job or if they are trying to meet a personal need such as finding someone or picking up something. Many of these episodes are due to triggers. There are some common triggers that may cause wandering such as fatigue, change in routine, overstimulation, hallucinations or disorientation. It is important for family members to be aware of those triggers to prevent a loved one from getting lost. It is best to avoid crowds or changing routines. Additionally, try to prevent fatigue so the person doesn’t become tired and wander away. There are steps you can take to prevent wandering and insights into avoiding triggers to help keep your loved one safe.
Have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the Chapel Hill or Durham area?
Need a qualified person to provide in home care?
Acorn can help you get qualified, compassionate in home care givers.

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