The middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease can introduce some challenging behaviors for you and your loved one. Wandering is a particularly worrying behavior, with up to 60% of individuals with dementia wandering at some point of the disease. However, wandering can be prevented, especially if you can find out the motivation for your loved one’s behavior. If you need to prevent wandering, anticipating the reasons behind your loved one’s behavior can help you prepare.
- Needing the bathroom: If you suspect your loved one is having difficulties finding the bathroom, clear markers can help. Taping a large picture of a toilet over the bathroom door can be helpful. If you are present while you notice them walking around, you can also help guide them towards the bathroom.
- Hunger: Your loved one might be searching for something to eat but have difficulty locating food. Offering them regular healthy snacks can help alleviate this.
- Restlessness: Providing your loved one with regular opportunities to exercise can help prevent this. Regular aided long walks, or other safe physical activities, can cut down on the need of your loved one to wander.
- Pain and discomfort: People may also wonder if they are feeling pain or discomfort. Assessing your loved one’s pain levels can help you ensure that they get the proper treatment from their doctor. This is important not only to prevent wandering but to prevent or locate any other physical difficulties that your loved one might be having.
- Hallucinations and Paranoia: A more worrying reason behind wandering is psychosis such as hallucinations or paranoia. If your loved one is seeing or hearing things that are not there, it could be a sign of psychosis. You should bring up this matter with your loved one’s physician immediately so that they can work on an appropriate medication plan.
- Looking for Home: Sometimes, wandering can be set off by a desire for your loved one to find their home. This may not necessarily be your loved one’s current living space – it can also mean a different place they have once lived or a childhood home. It could even be something that feels familiar to them.
- Boredom and Loneliness: These two factors can also trigger wandering. Keeping your loved one’s calendars robust and active, and keeping them engaged in meaningful activities, can provide a way to decrease their restlessness.
If your loved one’s wandering becomes more serious, deadbolt locks on the exterior door can also prevent wandering. It would help to install these locks above or below eye level so that they cannot be easily undone. If these locks are in place, however, it is important that your loved one is not alone at home in case of any emergencies.
Compassionate Care for Memory Loss
There are times when you may need extra help in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Discovery Village At Deerwood’s SHINE® Memory Care program is recognized with a National Certificate of Recognition from the Alzheimer’s Association® and provides a personalized and compassionate approach to memory care. Contact us for more information today. Catching the disease early is also vital to optimize treatment, so read up on the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.