What to do about wandering?

Patient wander alarms

What to do about wandering?

Caregivers need to take extra steps to look after anyone who is suffering with dementia. The condition can cause disorientation, forgetfulness, and a loss of visual guidance. As a result, the dementia sufferer may begin wandering. This could happen at any time of day or night. There can be a big risk of the person getting lost or hurt. It is therefore vital to take steps to reduce the chance of this. There are a number of things a caregiver can do to help, including using patient wander alarms.

Why does it happen?

It can be tricky to pinpoint exactly why someone with dementia would begin wandering. The most common reasons for it include:

  • Searching – the person could begin wandering in an attempt to look for relatives or friends.
  • Remembering a past routine – it is quite common for dementia sufferers to begin following their past routines. For example they may wander thinking they need to go to work.
  • Stress or fear – some people begin wandering because they are feeling stressful or fearful. This can happen in unfamiliar environments or in crowds.
  • Basic needs – wandering can also happen when people go looking for things like a bathroom.

What to do?

Sadly there is no cure for wandering. Instead the only option is to try to manage it and take precautions. Ideally the caregiver should identify the time of day when it may happen. They can then take steps to monitor the person at these times.

Unfortunately it is not possible to watch someone 24 hours a day. It wouldn’t be very nice either as it would ensure they have very little independence. A better option may be to use patient wander alarms. What these products do is set off an alarm if the person triggers them. That means the caregiver can respond quickly.

It is also important to take steps in case a dementia sufferer does manage to leave a property when they wander. For example you should make sure they always carry an ID card so identifying them is easier. This should have important information like their name, address, and contact info for a caregiver. It is also a good idea to inform neighbours, close contacts, and the police that there is a risk of wandering. Having a list of places where the person may go, including old home and work addresses, is also a good idea.

Do you want to buy reliable patient wander alarms?

Parkside Healthcare is proud to offer a range of alarm products that can be really useful when caring for dementia sufferers. There are lots of options that can provide early warnings that someone may be wandering. It could be a good idea to use a few of them so there are multiple layers of protection.

Our range includes:

  • A bed sensor that will warn the caregiver when the person gets out of bed
  • A floor mat that will trigger an alarm when someone steps on it
  • Alarms for doors and windows that trigger when someone opens them
  • Motion detectors that don’t rely on sensors or cords

You can learn more about all of our products on our website. Or, if you are unsure what to choose, you can contact us for more details.

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