It is estimated that nearly 60% of people with dementia wander as confusion and disorientation lead them to search for a family member, former home or place of comfort when the disease progresses. It’s a major cause of concern for any caregiver as they try to keep their senior loved ones safe and well cared for.
Learn more about how to help a loved one who wanders, how to recognize when a senior is at risk and what to do if your loved one does wander.
AARP caregiving expert Amy Goyer says, “One of the most common safety concerns for people with dementia is that they will leave the house and get lost.”
Statistics show that 60% of people with dementia will wander and caregivers should know that any person with memory problems who is mobile is at risk for wandering.
“Most people that wander are not doing so aimlessly,” Goyer says. She adds, “In their minds, there’s a reason. They are looking for something or someone, they need to be somewhere, they want to do something or they are scared.”
If you’re worried about a senior loved one who may wander, know the indicators that a senior loved one is at risk:
Wandering can happen in any stage of dementia and it can happen to the most attentive caregivers.
These practical tips can help lower the chance of a person with dementia wandering:
Because wandering can happen to anyone in any stage of the disease, it’s important to have a plan in case you can’t locate your loved one.
These steps can help you locate a loved one safely and quickly:
Has your loved one with dementia ever wandered? What tips will you use to prevent wandering? We’d like to hear how you plan to help a senior loved one with dementia who wanders in the comments below.
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