“My dad used to work for a bank. Just this past week I found him trying to get into my car, at six in the morning! My fear is that he will find the keys and seriously hurt himself or someone else…”
“I’m always worried that mom will get out of her room and wander into the kitchen while I’m asleep. Most nights I don’t go to bed until dawn…”
“When my uncle wandered off we found him in a corn field. He was OK, but he kept doing it again and again. We don’t know what to do….”
Wandering is one of the most challenging behavioural tendencies of seniors living with Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia. It can also be quite frightening. The truly unfortunate stories we hear make our hearts drop every time. We understand the feeling of knowing that your loved one can’t remember that they’re retired, or that they actually are at home, is indescribable. Every day is a challenge for the family members, friends, neighbours, and especially the seniors. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 out of 10 living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia will wander – however, all those with dementia are at risk, no matter what stage they are dealing with.
This past spring, Home Instead Senior Care conducted a survey with thousands of families across North America to better understand the dangers our loved ones with Alzheimer’s and their families are facing. The survey found that nearly half have had their loved one wander or become completely lost and another half had a “near miss”, where they feared the worst, but were able to get them back to safety.
Recently, Home Instead Senior Care launched their Prevent Wandering℠ campaign, at www.PreventWandering.ca, to shed light on the problem and to provide families with the support they so desperately need. The free service includes articles that provide insight into the “whys”behind the behaviours, common triggers, different signs that families should be watching out for, proactive steps to help manage behaviours, how to avoid “caregiver burnout”, and more.
Jeremy Grant, the managing director of Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton, was featured on CHCH Morning Live on October 24th, 2016, to talk about wandering and to provide advice for how we can limit the danger. He highlights the fact that with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, there is a chance the senior will have no grasp of time and will begin to “exit seek”. For example, they might wake up in the morning and start their routine before heading off to work, even though they’ve been retired for years. If you would like to watch the whole clip of his interview, please click here.
Are you stressing out over a loved one who wanders? Home Instead Senior Care can provide your family with the extra support you need. We know that you have your own life to live as well, and it’s hard to be constantly watching over your parents, aunts, uncles, or friends, at the level they require. While you’re away, one of our professionally trained CAREGivers would be able to monitor and redirect ‘exit seeking’ behaviour. We are constantly providing our CAREGivers with Alzheimer’s and other dementia CARE training. It has equipped them with the skills they need in order to provide the best quality care for your loved one.
If you’re thinking that Home Instead is right for your family, please call our office at 905.276.2273 and book your free consultation now.