Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia are prone to wandering. Most of the time, they may not wander anywhere dangerous. They may just wander around the house—to the attic, the basement etc. Or they might fall asleep in unexpected places like the sofa or the guestroom.
However, it can be unnerving for a caregiver to not be able to find the senior where they expect them. And they might worry that the senior has wandered out into the street and doesn’t know where they’re going.
Sensitivity and Safety
You don’t want the senior to think that you’re constantly keeping tabs on them or that you don’t trust them to take care of themselves. This might upset the senior. At the same time, it’s necessary for the senior to realize that they do sometimes get confused and don’t know where they are. It all depends on the severity of the issue.
Hiring a Home Health Aide
A simple solution is to get a home health aide who will be there to keep an eye on the senior in addition to helping them out with whatever they need. If this is something you can afford and if the senior doesn’t mind having someone around all the time, then it’s probably the best solution, especially during the times when the caregiver can’t be around.
Keeping in Touch on the Phone
If a full-time home health aide is too expensive or if your senior doesn’t like to have someone around all the time, you can opt for keeping in touch with them throughout the day, when you’re not around.
You need to make sure the senior keeps a cell phone with them at all times. You can check in every hour to make sure they’re ok, either by calling them or by messaging. Or, if the senior doesn’t like this, you can encourage them to keep calling you every hour to let you know they’re ok.
Checking in with the senior may not prevent them from wandering. But if they get in the habit of keeping their cell phone with them, you will be able to reach them no matter where they are. You’ll also be able to make them feel less confused by talking to them over the phone.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!