Alzheimer’s disease is a form of mental condition that causes dementia in a senior patient. If you are a caregiver for an elderly patient you must know that they always tend to wander away from home. You must be very careful in watching them and take all precautions so that the person in your elder care wanders out without your knowledge.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a natural tendency to walk away from their homes and will not be able to get back due to their mental condition. This will cause a lot of distress both for the caregiver as well as the patient and their family. As a person responsible for home care assistance to the Alzheimer’s patient you have to take the necessary steps to keep a close watch on the person so that their wandering behavior does not cause any problem to you or the family of the person.
- Causes Of Wandering Behavior
Alzheimer’s disease makes the behavior of the person unpredictable and they will not be able to express themselves to those around them. When you are taking care of the in-home care you should try to understand their present state of mind and see if they are in an agitated or distress mode.
Some of the common causes of wandering behavior in persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are as follows
- They think that they are searching for something and have the urgent necessity to find it
- They want to get back to a place where they usually had some connections like their office or a place they frequently visited when they were normal
- They want to visit their favorite destination for some imaginary task
- Being a patient of Alzheimer’s disease they just tend to wander when they feel restless or agitated in their mind
- They are unable to understand and act as per the instructions of home care assistance or senior care people to wait or do not leave or stay in the car or staying in the house and they just do not understand these instructions
- They become agitated and depressed and easily get mentally strained due to the possible onset of delirious conditions
- They are faced with the sudden changes in their daily routine which are entirely different and the ones they are not used to
- They go out wandering looking for something that related to their past event or situation and wants to do something which they were frequently doing before their ailment
- They want to go home without realizing that they are already in their home.
- They exhibit a pattern or habit of going out at a certain time of the day and they are not realizing that it is not safe anymore to go out alone.
As a caregiver for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, you can find some signs that the person wants to go wandering. You have to be very careful in finding these signals and take preventive action and do not to permit the person in your home care assistance to wander away from your home. Usually, the patients will say repeatedly something like
- “I want to go home” without even realizing they are already in their home
- “I need to go to work” without knowing that they are no longer working anywhere
- “ I have to go shopping” without knowing that they need not go out shopping and others in the family will do it for them
- They may not recognize their house and want to go out and reach their home early
- “I want to go to my bedroom” and search for their bathroom or bedroom and may wander into the house searching for their bedroom and when they can they just go out searching for their bedroom to take rest without realizing that they are wandering out of their house
- They do not remember anything in real-life and they do not know how to come back to the house when they have ventured outside and they are not able to remember their address or their ID and they cannot ask for help to come back to the house
- These patients do not remember what they are doing and forget what they have been doing or completely out of mind to know where they are going but will be repeatedly speaking about a place or places.
- How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Patients From Wandering Outside
A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has the natural tendency to wander out of the house and get lost giving more problems to you as a home caregiver, as well as to the family of the person. You have to take preventive steps to avoid the elderly person go out of the house unnoticed.
You can follow one of the following ways to create a secure environment for the Alzheimer’s patient so that he is not able to wander outside without your permission or notice
- Put new locks on doors that are impossible for the Alzheimer patient to open without your knowledge
- Fix door and window alarms so that whenever there is an attempt to open then you hear an alarm
- When you are in a car always secure the car and keep the keys away from the patient so that he is not able to come out of the car and wander into the street
- Fix all child proof door knob and covers so that the person is not able to open or close the door behind them
- As much as possible do not leave the patient alone at home or in your car
- If possible it is always better to fix a location tracking device on the person of the Alzheimer patient so that you can know their whereabouts without any problem even if they happen to wander outside your home.
To suppress the urge to wander you can manage their stress behavior with one of the following ways
- Make them take part in some activities so that actively engaged in them and spend their time in an interesting way
- As the caregiver for the senior person spend more time with them
- Make the patient do regular physical exercise so that he can keep his mental and physical energy within limits and without the urge to wander away from the home
- As their home care assistance you ensure that the patient gets adequate sleep during the normal hours and see that he does not tend to exhibit unwanted behavior
- Take immediate steps to report any drastic behavioral changes or increased confusion to their doctor and get his advice and if necessary change his medications and his pattern of the daily routine
- What To Do If Can A Alzheimer’s Patient Wanders Away From Home
As the person responsible for the safety of the patient and as a caregiver you have been exercising due diligence in preventing him from going out. Despite that, if the patient goes out and gets lost you need to take immediate steps to trace him back as time is of the essence for his safety. It is extremely important not to delay any action to reach the person and get him back to your home.
You can take one of the following actions like
- Notify police or other Healthcare Institutions about the loss of the person
- Always have a safety plan and your phone tree to alert friends and family to look out for the person
- It is better to inform local people, neighbors, and other local businesses where the patient used to frequent before the occurrence to increase awareness of his present mental condition and to report to them when they find them outside without any escort
- You see your connections in social media and inform all concerned about the loss of the person and ask them to find the person and get him back to your home as soon as possible
- If your state has silver alerts make use of the number
- If you are not able to locate the person after a reasonable time does not hesitate to report to the police so that they can trace the person as early as possible.
Thus, as the caregiver, it is necessary on your part to be careful to take care of the person in-home care and in case he goes out missing, due to his wandering behavior, he may risk his life and give you anxious moments as he is not able to return to his home by himself. Due to this those in-home care assistance to an Alzheimer’s disease must be vigilant and careful always in not allowing the patient to go out wandering without your knowledge.