With dementia, the risk of a senior wandering is very real and very frightening. You arrive at your mom or dad’s house to find they’re nowhere in sight. What would you do? Here are six steps to take when there’s a risk of wandering.
Take Away Cars and Car Keys
As memory worsens, you don’t want your mom or dad driving. They can forget where they are. Another issue is that what would seem like routine driving skills may be confusing. Your mom may mistake the brake for the gas and cause a collision. Your dad might think he’s put his car in drive, but he’s actually put it in reverse.
Install Bed and Door Alarms
There are alarms you can install on a mattress or next to a bed that go off if your mom or dad gets out of bed. Door alarms go off if a bedroom or entry door opens. These alarms alert you to your parent being up and out of bed. By knowing your mom or dad is on the move, you can keep your parent from going far.
Place Dark Mats in Front of Entry Doors
As dementia worsens, vision may change. One area that people don’t realize changes is contrast. While a black welcome mat looks like a welcome mat to you, it can appear to be a large hole in the floor to someone with dementia. Many families find that mats are a great deterrent to keeping parents from trying to go outside.
Put Locks on Doors
Put looks in out-the-way areas on doors that lead to outside. A deadbolt at the top of the door can be hard for someone with dementia to find. That delay is often enough so that you can redirect your parent and keep them from trying to leave.
Purchase a GPS Tracker
If your parent manages to get outside, it’s ideal to be able to track your mom or dad’s location. GPS trackers can be part of a watch, a necklace, a bracelet, a zipper pull, or a shoe. You may have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to have GPS tracking activated, but it’s worth it. If your parent does wander, you’ll quickly pull up a location and know exactly where to find them.
Contact Local Authorities
Talk to your local police, fire, and rescue personnel. They often are able to note in a system that the resident of that address has dementia. It can help when calls go out for abuse. Another benefit is that if your mom or dad wanders, the police will have your contact information on file.
Make sure supervision is around when needed. Even if you decide to provide your mom or dad’s senior care, you’ll need time to yourself. It’s the only way to keep from burning out. Talk to a senior care agency about respite care services to ensure you get breaks.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.