Caring for a senior with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia can be quite stressful. Observing the cognitive decline is heartbreaking. But what causes the most anxiety for many caregivers is the fear that their loved one might wander. If you are caring for a senior with dementia, here are 7 things you can do to keep your senior safe.1. Use motion detectors, alarms, bells, or other devices to alert you to doors or windows being opened.
2. If possible, engage them in physical activity during the day to help them sleep better and avoid wandering at night.
3. Since some dementia sufferers think they need to leave to go to work, providing daily structure at home might help them see they have important responsibilities to care for right where they are.
4. Make sure your neighbors know to call you if they see your loved one alone.
5. Take care of their basic needs they might seek to go outdoors to satisfy, perhaps asking them more often if they are hungry or thirsty, or need to use the bathroom.
6. Even if they haven't driven in a while, keep car keys out of their sight.
7. Write down a list of places your senior will likely wander to, such as former residences or places of employment, their place of worship, or a scenic spot they enjoy. Also, Make sure your loved one always wears ID jewelry or a location device.
If, despite your diligent efforts, your loved one wanders away from your safety, check the nearby places that you wrote down. If you cannot find them after a few minutes, contact police before searching other possible places. Be sure to have a recent photo and a list of medical concerns.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!