Assisted Living Services, Inc. solely provides nonmedical care

Dementia Wandering Worries: 6 Ways to Minimize Your Loved One’s Risk


The Alzheimer’s Association research shows that at some point 6 of 10 people who live with the disease will wander. The surprise for many families is that the wandering may occur earlier in the disease than they expect. During the time when a loved one may be living at home alone and seemingly still independent. Because of its unpredictability, wandering is one of the most troubling and dangerous behaviors of Alzheimer’s disease.

What can you do to control wandering?

First, it may help you to understand what experts believe causes someone to wander:

  • Excess energy
  • Unfamiliar or new environment
  • Hunger or thirst
  • Agitation
  • Pain or physical discomfort
  • Searching for a loved one
  • Trying to find their way “home” or to “work”

From a safety perspective, it’s best to assume your loved one will wander and prepare ahead of time for it. There are steps you can take to try to keep them safe at home:

  1. Maintain a regular visit schedule with their primary care physician. They can help identify health conditions that may be causing them unexpressed pain or discomfort, such as a bladder infection. Their physician can also help identify if any of their medications may have side effects that increase confusion and restlessness.
  2. If your loved one is really only safe leaving the home with another person, try to keep their “leaving things” out of plain site. This would include their jackets or coats, boots, and keys. Even the dog’s leash should be kept in a location they can’t access.
  3. Try to create a secure outside area for them to roam. For example, a courtyard in the back of your home that has no gates. The only way in or out is through the house. Let that area be their “space.”
  4. Purchase a Personal Wandering Locator  before there is a problem. They look like a watch but have GPS technology that allows you to track a missing loved one’s location.
  5. Install a home alarm system that chirps when an exterior door or window is opened. It can be an alert to those who live in the home with your loved one that they have exited an outside door.

And one final suggestion from our friends at The Alzheimer’s Association is to create a daily plan for your loved one. Having a structured daily routine can help to reduce the agitation, boredom and excess energy that is sometimes believed to trigger wandering.

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return To Work Social Graphic

Tips For Returning To Work After COVID-19

As states begin to open and quarantine orders are changing, it’s time to start to think about what life will look like as we return to work. The shift in routines, or the recent lack of for some, can have an impact on your physical and mental health. We’ve put together a few tips to try and help you and your family start to adjust to new routines. Print, save and share this infographic or use our form below to

Als Covid Homecoming Post

How To Bring A Loved One Home From A Nursing Home

While different facilities have different procedures, there are some common things that can help you prepare for when your family member is coming back to their home. Below we’ve outlined a few helpful tips and reminders about what to do and what to expect when your family returns home. Print, save and share this infographic or use our form below to get a copy of this infographic emailed to you.                    

Als Covid Health And Wellness Post

8 Ideas to Support Your Health & Wellness During COVID-19

Now is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellness to keep your body strong during COVID-19. We’ve outlined 8 easy tips to use during this time to fuel your body, mind and soul. Print, save and share this infographic or use our form below to get a copy of this infographic emailed to you.   If you’d like a PDF version emailed directly to you, and to receive additional infographics and resources, join our newsletter.

Fraud Alert Graphic

Economic Impact Payments Fraud and What To Watch For

With the IRS releasing monies to citizens through the CARES Act, scammers are trying various tactics to access the economic impact payments from deserving individuals and families. Financial scams are an ongoing problem, in part due to our growing reliance on technology and digital payment systems. Our elderly are especially an easy target because many in the older generation are less tech savvy, isolated and lonely, or suffering from memory issues that impair their judgement. Here are some FACTS regarding