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Dementia & the Dangers of Wandering

If your aging parent or loved one has received a dementia diagnosis, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the lesser known side effects of this cognitive disease, one of which is wandering. It’s dangerous for those with dementia to wander outside of their home without being accompanied by a Bridgewater dementia caregiver or family member, because they can easily lose track of time or forget how to get home.

Wandering can be caused by a variety of things, some of the major triggers are listed below.

  • Being placed in a new environment or home can trigger aging adults with dementia to leave without reason or explanation. Studies have shown that seniors with dementia tend to do well in the familiar surroundings of their own home, maintaining a regular daily routine as long as they have the support of a 24/7 live-in Bridgewater caregiver.
  • Short term memory loss can cause seniors to forget why they left their home or where they were going. This leads to aimless wandering and it can be difficult for them to find their way back. They may later claim that they were looking for someone or something from their distant past.
  • Lack of exercise and pent up energy can oftentimes spur seniors to go for sudden walks without accompaniment. This is why it’s important to make sure that daily exercise is part of every aging adult’s routine.

In order to prevent random bouts of wandering, family members should take some necessary steps to ensure their aging loved one stays safe. Aside from hiring a 24/7 caregiver, family members can remove triggers from the house (such as keys, a coat or a photo of a deceased loved one), make sure they have an ID bracelet on them at all times, inform neighbors of their tendency to wander so that they can alert you if need be, and identify their walking patterns to make it easy to find them in case of an emergency.
Most seniors with dementia are still able to enjoy simple activities as long as they have the constant monitoring provided by an in-home dementia care specialist. For information on how a dementia caregiver from Home Care Assistance in Bridgewater, NJ can help, call 908.450.9400 today.