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3 conseils pour réduire les risques d'errance chez les patients atteints de démence

3 Tips for Reducing the Risks Of Wandering In Dementia Patients

Did you know that three in five seniors with dementia will wander? For some reason, these seniors are always looking for someone or something and owing to the cognitive issues they face; they often have to struggle with discomfort, anxiety, or fear.
Dementia patients often wander with a goal or destination in mind, but since they easily forget directions, they are at a high risk of wandering off and getting lost. This can be very dangerous for the patient as many seniors with dementia are prone to falls and exposure to the elements, both of which are bad for their health. Wandering dementia patients can also be stressful for caregivers. That is why in this blog post, we will discuss some tips for reducing the risks of wandering in dementia patients. 

Read on to find out ways to keep them safe and healthy!

 

Secure Your Home

It is important to keep seniors with dementia in a safe environment. In the context of this article, a safe environment is an area where they are the least likely to go wandering. An example of such a place is a fenced-in yard or garden. If for any reason you choose to leave them alone, ensure that they are in a secure room that does not allow them access to dangerous objects or areas.

Another great way to secure your home is to install new locks on your doors and windows that the seniors in your care can’t open easily. A good way to go about this is to install the locks higher than their view so that they hardly notice or reach them. Having bars installed on the windows is another great idea.

Another angle to securing your home is to ensure that the areas where the seniors stay are pleasant and interesting enough to arrest their attention for long periods. The trick is to make the areas like a haven where they pass the time. So we recommend that you set up your garden or garden in such a way that the seniors can have a good time without you worrying about them wandering off.

So, in essence, secure the space but make it pleasant enough for them to have a good time there. Here are some ideas for securing your home: 

  • Install pressure-sensitive alarm mats at doors and bedsides
  • Install alarms on doors and windows
  • Attach warning bells to doors
  • Use child-proof covers on doorknobs, outlets, and cabinets with any dangerous substances
  • Fence the yard in such a way that fresh air gets in
  • Make seniors wear a wireless call button, or put wireless call buttons in strategic areas around the house.
  • Install sliding bolts above eye-level
  • Never leave the senior person alone at home

 

wandering

 

Make Sure the Person Always Carries ID

Your senior with dementia must have an ID on them at all times. Making them have an ID on them goes beyond putting the regular ID cards in their pocket or their wallet. Such IDs can easily get lost by accident or on purpose.

We recommend getting them specialized ID like medical ID jewellery designed like a bracelet or pendant that they can wear around. You might even find some that are fashionable too, so they kind of look good while providing some identification about themselves. Some IDs are designed to be fitted into their shoelaces, while others can be attached to the bands of their watches. You might even try the Road ID bracelets that joggers have on them while running. 

Another option is to find a way to sew some identification into their clothing. Then, if you are up for it, you can take things a lot further by getting them temporary tattoos. These tattoos are available in kits, and they are designed to provide basic information about the senior's health condition. There is often space for you to fill in your phone number too.

You could explore any of these means of ID for the seniors but whatever you do, ensure that they have some ID on them at all times. The major reason is that you want the authorities and their caregivers to easily find them whenever they wander off. One great way to reinforce the ID thing is to get ID bracelets that can be fitted with GPS tags. Once you have done that, ensure that they have the tag on them at all times. Here are some of the information that you should have on an ID that the senior should have on them always:

  • the senior's name
  • the senior's address
  • their caregiver's contact information
  • the senior’s medical condition
  • any other emergency contact numbers

 
Get A Caregiver

One of the best ways to reduce the risks of wandering in a senior with dementia is to provide supervision. By this, we mean getting a caregiver that supervises them and keeps them from getting into any dangerous situations.

You could get away without some supervision in the early stages of dementia, as there is nothing wrong with leaving the seniors by themselves for short periods once in a while. However, as dementia progresses, you need a caregiver around because they are at the highest risk of wandering off. 

This supervision is particularly important when taking those long walks that make life easier and better for the senior in question. For one, it reduces their urge to wander since they are out already. It also lets them get some fresh hair and helps them get familiar with the environment.

You should avoid public places like stores, parks, and restaurants when out with the senior. The reason is that dementia patients are more likely to get lost in crowded areas with lots of distractions. Try to keep your loved one away from these types of places.

 

Conclusion

Wandering can be dangerous for seniors with dementia, except they have senior mobility issues. There are loads of risks involved for a wandering dementia patient. That is why we hope that you can apply the tips we shared in this blog post. Hopefully, you can keep the seniors around you safe and healthy after reading this.