6 Ways To Prevent A Dementia Patient From Wandering – Taking care of a dementia patient is not easy, especially since they tend to wander sometimes. This can become extremely overwhelming for a caregiver. Every noise at night is a worry to them, in case the patient has gone wandering off somewhere. Taking the patient out is also terrifying. If the caregiver does not keep an eye on the patient all the time, there is always a chance that he/she could get lost, or wander off somewhere and get hurt. Knowing how to prevent a dementia patient from wandering can prevent a lot of anxiety for the caregiver, and will do a lot to keep the patient safe at all times.
It’s impossible for a caregiver to keep an eye on a dementia patient every second of the day, however, since they are only human, and there will be times when they simply can’t stop the person from wandering.
The following are 6 ways to prevent a dementia patient from wandering, not only to keep him/her safe, but to boost the confidence of the caregiver, and reduce their stress levels as well.
- Make sure the home is secure to prevent wandering. Doors and windows should have locks that the patient is unable to open easily. Depending on the situation, bars can be installed on windows too. Strategically-placed motion detectors or bells hung on doorknobs, will alert the caregiver if an outer door is opened.
- Although it won’t prevent wandering, the patient should always carry some form of identification, such as a medical ID, an identifying label sewn into their clothing, or a temporary tattoo showing the patient’s medical condition and the caregiver’s phone number.
- Dressing the patient in bright clothing will help a lot to see him/her from a distance, should they go wandering in a crowd. The patient’s home should be surrounded by a high fence with security gates, so that he/she can get some fresh air outside in the garden.
- Tracking devices, in the form of transmitters fitted into jewellery items, are one of the 6 ways to prevent a dementia patient from wandering that are most effective. Some are short-range, and designed in such a way that the caregiver can monitor the patient’s whereabouts, and some have an alarm that goes off on both the item of jewellery as well as a base unit, should the patient wander too far.
- Inform the patient’s neighbours as to his/her condition, tell them about the patient’s tendency to wander, and give them the caregiver’s number, with clear instructions to contact the caregiver, should they see the patient wandering outside by him/herself.
- One of the easiest ways to prevent a dementia patient from wandering at night, is to find out if they are hungry or thirsty when they go to bed. If so, then simply leaving a few crackers and a glass of water or juice next to their bed should keep them settled through the night and stop them from wandering.