Wandering Today, some patients in long-term senior therapy and rehabilitation facilities suffer from a variety of conditions producing senile dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease can cause this problem. It often proves very challenging for caregivers to furnish support for elderly patients with this affliction in home settings.

About The “Wandering Phase” of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease produces a number of symptoms. People with this condition eventually experience confusion and disorientation. Patients usually undergo distinct phases of impairment, although not all individuals experience the same sets of symptoms. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates roughly 60% of these patients will go through a “wandering” phase characterized by restlessness and a compulsion to roam [1].

Wandering proves very worrisome for caregivers in home settings. Alzheimer’s patients frequently grow disoriented. They may become lost even in familiar surroundings. Since individuals with this condition may not recall their own names, they sometimes encounter significant hazards wandering outdoors.

Six Helpful Tips For Managing Wandering

  1. While the wandering phase does not always occur with Alzheimer’s disease, it usually makes sense for caregivers to plan in advance to manage this issue, if it ever arises. Today, Alzheimer’s patients may wear special medical alert bracelets or tags equipped with GPS tracking devices. These gadgets offer valuable assistance to police and family members in finding an Alzheimer’s patient who wanders away from home unexpectedly and becomes lost [2].
  2. Additionally, caregivers may find it helpful to place alarms on doors and ground-level windows to warn them if an Alzheimer’s patient in the wandering phase leaves the premises. Patients sometimes step outdoors and become lost in their own neighborhoods. They experience an urge to roam and will exit locked cars or homes if left alone.
  3. Always keep control over car keys when Alzheimer’s patients residing in home settings develop wandering symptoms.
  4. Usually, an Alzheimer’s patient will “wander” in a preferred direction. Someone who is right handed will walk to the right, while a left-handed person will head towards the left.
  5. If a wandering Alzheimer’s patient leaves the premises, remember the patient may become disoriented and not recognize caregivers. Sometimes these patients won’t respond to people calling them by name. The patient may panic in crowds.
  6. Contact 911 within 15 minutes if a search does not result in finding a wandering Alzheimer’s patient. Alert law enforcement to the patient’s health condition during the call.