According to the Alzheimer’s Association, wandering is one of the most common behaviors experienced by people with dementia. It can be very dangerous for older adults who suffer from memory loss and may cause them to become lost or hurt themselves. Wandering is a serious issue in memory care communities, but there are ways to prevent it from happening. Here are five ways memory care communities in Dorneyville, PA, can keep their residents safe:
What Is Wandering?
Wandering is a common problem among older adults but can be challenging to define. Walking is defined as leaving a safe place and moving away from home, a care facility, or another location. This can be dangerous for older adults and others in their community.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association: “If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia who wanders off without reminding them where they are going…you may have trouble finding them again.”
What Causes Wandering?
There are many reasons why older adults may wander. Here are some common causes:
- Disorientation: Older adults with dementia or other cognitive impairments may become confused about where they are, who you are, and what time it is. Wandering is an attempt to find familiar surroundings or loved ones that have passed away. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease and wanders, they may be looking for their home, which they no longer recognize because of the progression of their condition.
- Depression: Older adults with depression often feel hopeless and alone, leading them to act out in ways such as wandering around aimlessly without purpose or direction – this type of behavior can be dangerous if left unchecked!
- Wandering can also occur when these individuals become disoriented due to medication side effects or changes in their environment; if they feel unsafe in any way; if there are no familiar landmarks around them that help orient them; if they’re feeling hungry, thirsty or tired; if someone tries unsuccessfully too many times during the day/night cycle before giving up entirely.
What Can Memory Care Communities Do to Prevent Wandering?
Secured Entryways To Prevent Wandering: A secured entryway is one of the best ways to keep wandering at bay. Some communities use a door alarm system, while others use a keypad system or card reader system. A combination of these methods may also be used, depending on the size and layout of your memory care community.
Engaging Activities And Social Areas: A key element of memory care is to ensure that your loved one has a social life. Engaging activities and social areas are vital for older adults, as they help to maintain their independence and quality of life. Simple things like taking walks around the grounds, going to the dining room for lunch or dinner, and playing games with other residents and staff members are all great ways to encourage socialization among residents at any memory care facility.
Technological Solutions Are Available Too: Technology can also help prevent wandering. Wearable devices and video monitoring are two examples of technical solutions available for families at home or in memory care communities.
Wearable devices include Fitbit, Apple Watch, and other health-tracking products that monitor daily steps, heart rate, and sleep patterns- all important information for older adults who may be at risk for falls. In addition to helping older adults stay healthy, these devices can alert caregivers when someone leaves their room without permission or wanders away from the community without being noticed by caregivers, who might not realize they’ve left until hours later (if ever).