For those who care for someone with dementia, you have probably heard of the concept of wandering. When dementia patients are triggered, they can aimlessly wander away from home. This trigger can be anything: a desire to exercise, a bout of boredom, a medication side-effect, etc.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in ten people with dementia will wander. With a near 60% wander-rate, it becomes imperative to practice defensive wandering practices. The following are just some preventative methods one can take to quell any future wanderings!
1. Encourage Exercise
A great way to help discourage wandering is to allow your loved one to expel their energy via exercise. This can be a walk around the park, a tai chi practice, or guided stretches in the living room. The goal is to get the blood pumping and remove any stagnant restfulness in need of being expelled.
2. Consider A Home Health Aide
A great way to help combat any possible wandering is to enlist the help of someone else to be there when you can’t. A trained home health aide will be there with your loved one to ensure that any bouts of restfulness do not manifest into unsupervised wandering. The aide can be there to walk with your loved one, play diverting board games, and keep a watchful eye when you are unable to!
3. Create Barriers in the Home
One way to practice preventative wandering measures is to create boundaries within the home. As every dementia patient is different, try and find what works best for your loved one. Some caregivers place a black mat near the front door; others have found luck masking the door via a curtain or sheet; and some have found the most luck by placing a “do not enter” sign at exit points.
4. Prepare for the Event of Wandering
Although one would rather not think of the event of wandering, it does help to be slightly prepared. In order to ensure that you are not blindsided by a possible missing loved one, you can set the groundwork for an easy return. Sew an ID into your loved ones clothing, or give them a jewelry piece with their ID affixed. You can even register your loved one with the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program. The goal is to have the framework in place in case of an emergency.
If your loved one is suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may benefit from treatment with a chiropractor, like a chiropractor from Acupractic Natural Healing Center at Eastowne. Call today to make an appointment.