Wandering is a common risk for seniors with dementia. This causes great concern for families providing care to senior loved ones with this condition. However, understanding the various reasons for this symptom can help you implement strategies to prevent it.
Confusion about Surroundings
Some instances of wandering are simply caused by confusion about the immediate environment. This most commonly occurs when a senior mistakes an exit for the bathroom or another area of the home. Clearly labeling doors with both pictures and words or painting a door a specific color can help your loved one gain his or her bearings.
Dementia is a serious health issue that impacts an older adult’s overall quality of life. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Hunger or Thirst
A senior who is hungry or thirsty may wander off in search of food or water, even in the middle of the night. Fortunately, this is simple to address. Small snacks during the day and a drink of water before bed may be all it takes to satisfy your loved one’s appetite. If your loved one wanders at night, having a dementia caregiver periodically check in on him or her can serve as an additional safeguard.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior home care, Lincoln Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Attempting to Go to Work or a Former Home
Many people’s daily routines are so ingrained that moving into a new phase of life can be confusing. For example, a senior with dementia who held a job for decades might attempt to get up and go to work even though he or she is retired. Try to keep your loved one busy throughout the day to reduce the risk of wandering, and provide gentle redirection if he or she becomes confused about new daily routines.
Pain or Discomfort
Seniors with dementia may not always be able to communicate about the pain or discomfort they experience, and wandering may be a sign of an inability to relax. For this reason, it’s important to keep up with your loved one’s medical checkups. Also watch for nonverbal cues such as refusing meals or rubbing a specific part of the body.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Lincoln families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to learn more about our customized care plans.