Are There Easy Ways to Help a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease Avoid Wandering?

November 4, 2016

Home Care in New York NY

Finding your elderly loved one wandering around the neighborhood can be understandably upsetting for most family caregivers. Unfortunately, wandering is really common for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Talk to Her Doctor

The first place to go for help with a loved one who wanders is her doctor. He can take a look at the full picture and determine if there is something controllable, such as a medication change, that would help the situation. From there, he can help you to look at individual situations and try to sort out what could be causing the wandering.

Make Time for Daily Exercise

Sometimes wandering is due to restlessness or poor sleeping habits. A solid way to counteract that is to set up a regular exercise program for your elderly loved one. Make sure that it’s something she enjoys doing so that it doesn’t feel like a chore. Ideally, she should exercise a little bit every day according to guidelines that you get from her doctor.

Mask Doors and Windows

Your loved one might wander simply because she sees an opportunity. One way around this is to camouflage doors and windows that can provide an easy exit to the house. Drapes, wallpaper, or paint can all be used to disguise a door effectively.

Use Door Knob Covers

Another tactic that can help is to make the doors much more difficult to open. You can do this by installing a deadbolt that requires a key, but that can sometimes be difficult for other people who live in the house. Child-safe door knob covers are designed to be difficult to open unless you know the sequence to use in squeezing and pushing the cover. In some cases, they may also help to disguise the door knob.

Make Sure Your Loved One Has Identification at All Times

If your elderly loved one is prone to wandering, it’s essential that you include her identification on her at all times. You can do this with a lanyard that contains all the pertinent information, a bracelet, or even a card in a wallet that she always carries with her. Make sure that you include her name, address, your name, and your contact information.

Work with other family members and your loved one’s home care providers to help your loved one feel less inclined to wander.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in New York, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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