What To Do If a Senior with Dementia Wanders Off


If you have a loved one with dementia, keeping them safe is your top priority and often the sources of much of your stress. If they should escape your watchful eye, their unexplained absence can cause fear in family and friends. If you’re wondering what to do or how to prevent this, you’re not alone.


There are a lot of unknowns when caring for a parent or family member with dementia, but the best way to ensure you provided the best care you’re capable of is to become more informed. Understanding why your loved one is wandering off, taking any necessary precautions to keep them safe, and considering safer alternatives such as memory care in Yuma can make you feel more prepared.


Here are some tips to help you if your loved one should become confused about their location and get lost.


Understand Why It’s Happening


There are numerous reasons why seniors with dementia wander off, but a few are more common than others. One possible reason they might go off-plan is that they are following past routines. Your loved one might take a familiar path to work or to the grocery store, somewhere that is familiar to them, and they frequented before.


Stress or fear can be another trigger that evokes a wandering response. This can happen in overly crowded spaces, such as parties, malls, or restaurants. Searching can also be a reason for wandering, whether it’s to fulfill a basic need, like going to the bathroom, or to try and find an old friend. If you begin to notice the patterns exhibited by your loved one in their wandering, it may help you to locate them sooner or notice they are about to go off-plan.


Take Precautions


When your loved one has begun wandering, you’ll need to take precautions to avoid any worst-case scenarios. Their safety is the main priority, and if you’re their caregiver, you’ll have to handle their security yourself.


One precaution you can take is to install alarms and locks in the home. Alarms can alert someone when your loved one tries to leave, and locks can prevent them from leaving the premises altogether. Make sure that this is done in a way that does not make them feel trapped.


Another precaution might be to provide daily oversight, making sure that someone is always with your loved one, or by moving in with them yourself, or hiring around- the-clock care.


Consider a Community that Offers Memory Care


With dementia, your loved one’s safety is a top concern, and you may find that providing the care that they need is more difficult than you thought or can manage. If this is the case, you may want to consider looking into a senior living community that offers memory care in your area.


Communities like Yuma Senior Living provide memory care in Yuma, Arizona, and can provide a safe environment for your loved one. Located on the ground floor, the memory care neighborhood includes a dining room, activity space, dedicated care station and large outdoor gathering patio. The resident’s apartments are designed with their safety in mind, and 24-hour care staff is on-site. Seniors with dementia can also benefit from the memory care programs offered to help them cope with their disease.


At Yuma Senior Living, we offer Independent, Assisted and Memory Care living options. We also offer 24-hour on-site care staff and weekly housekeeping in a tranquil and safe environment. Simply give us a call at (928) 388-6858, and our Community Ambassador will schedule an onsite tour at your convenience.

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