Dementia and wandering: How to care for a loved one
Learn simple steps to deal with wandering
Coping with dementia is hard. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to negate some of the worst parts of the disease.
One of the most troublesome symptoms of the disease is known as wandering. This is where, either, a dementia sufferer is out of the home and gets lost and doesn’t know where home is, or they’re in the home and they wander out of their property and can’t find their way back. This can be hugely distressing for your loved one and, of course, for you.
There are many ways to deal with wandering. You might not be able to make it go away entirely, but you can reduce the frequency and the danger of something bad happening if it does happen by doing a few simple things.
One reason a loved one may begin to wander is because they become restless or agitated. So, when inside the home with your loved one, it’s important they remain calm, relaxed and informed at all times. This should involve you keeping them busy and talking to them regularly, reassuring them of where they are and who you are. If your loved one is occupied in the home, there is a lower chance they will walk off. In addition, be sure to make the home safe for your loved one, so that they are always comfortable in their surroundings, both by day and night.
Outside the home, it’s important to keep local friends and neighbours informed of the possibility that they may wander at some point so that more people can be there to help if it happens. Also, make sure your loved one always keeps identification on them, for obvious reasons.
It’s estimated that over 60% of dementia sufferers wander in some sort of way. So remember, your loved one isn’t unique in doing this. It’s also worth emphasising that the vast majority of the general public are kind, generous people who will give up their time to help your loved one if they are in need, either contacting you or medical professionals, or helping them return home.
Dementia is a complicated subject. But we’re here to help you deal with it, so do get in touch with Phoenix Homecare and Support for guidance
With love and care,
Phoenix Homecare and Support