How to Deal With Wandering Caused by Dementia and Alzheimers
Within the United States, approximately 5.7 million people are living with dementia (Alzheimer’s Association, 2018; Plassman et al., 2007). Alzheimer’s disease accounts for approximately 60%–70% of these cases.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Typically, the earliest signs of the disease appear in those affected during their mid-60s.
While no-one’s experience with the disease is the same, as Alzheimer’s progresses, those affected will experience a deterioration of memory function, which poses major difficulties in their daily life. In most cases, they will require additional supervision and assistance.
Considering this, it is important that those affected receive adequate help for their general wellbeing and safety. However, for many families across America, this is not always a possibility. Providing 24/7 assistance and care is complex for relatives who work or do not live in the same household as those with the disease. The relative may also be reluctant to receive any additional support – posing a serious problem when they are left to function on their own.
Furthermore, paying for a care home may also be a financial burden for a large proportion of American families, with the average cost of a private room in a nursing home at a total of $8,365 a month. Indeed, this is where Val-U-Care can help.
For those dementia patients who are vulnerable, preventative measures are essential to help prevent wandering or fall risk inflicted by Alzheimer’s disease. With ‘prevention’ the premise of our business, we specialize in products that are designed to keep those Alzheimer’s patients safe – before it’s too late. In turn, their loved ones can rest assured knowing that the right procedures are in place when the senior is on the move. Here’s how we do it…
Elopement (wandering) Caused by Dementia and Alzheimers
It is stipulated that six in 10 people with dementia will wander. In many cases, it is believed that there is an instinctive urge amongst those affected by the disease to get up and be active. For those seniors living in a facility, caregiver and doctors alike have reported patients’ internal desire to return to familiar surroundings, in many cases being their home. However, when elopement occurs from a facility, they often wander into danger and forget their surroundings and end up lost and confused. In any case, it is extremely dangerous for a senior with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to be wandering without supervision, particularly during the latter stages of the disorder. Thankfully, there are strategies and services to help prevent the likelihood of wandering from occurring.
One of the most efficient and highly successful measures is the implementation of Anti-Wandering door systems. These products work by both visually and audibly alerting a caregiver when a resident with Dementia or Alzheimer’s approaches a doorway or is within range of the monitored door bars. The alert is signaled via a wristband that the resident wear’s, so, when they approach exits within their home, a caregiver will be notified of this. The system is ready for use upon delivery – meaning no hard wiring is required for the wandering system to function.
A major advantage to these products is that the alarm systems have adjustable volume and can be set to silent as long as there is a remote alert, like a pager to notify caregiver. Product should NOT be set to silent without remote alert. produce no external noise.
Why are silent alarms important?
Dementia can also have an impact on the way a person interprets information, so their hearing may be fine, but they may find it difficult, or they may take longer, to work out what is being said to them. They may struggle to distinguish between multiple sounds or conversations and subsequently, loud or sudden noises may startle or frighten them.
People with dementia can experience additional difficulties with their hearing, aside from those traditionally related to ageing. They may experience problems identifying what a sound is, or picking out one sound from another. As a result, it can be difficult for them to process and understand what they are hearing and communicate a response. This can lead to the person becoming withdrawn, as well as feelings of anxiety, frustration, confusion and distress. Thankfully, the DepartAlert, anti-wandering, door systems trigger’s a silent signal which sends an alert to the caregiver – safeguarding the patient from loud noises which may cause upset and potential harm to those Dementia patients. Get to them before they walk away!
Some dementia patients may be particularly resistant to assistance from relatives or friends, which makes caring for them a bit more difficult. Consequently, subtle and less ‘intrusive’ preventative measures are available to accommodate the patient’s desires, while keeping them safe and away from danger.
For example, patients may be reluctant to wear a wristband around their homes – refusing to put it on or taking it off at every available opportunity. In this case, products like the cordless floor mat alarm is a good option. They work by signaling an alarm to the caregiver when weight is applied to the floor mat, informing them that assistance is required as the senior is attempting to leave their home. The pressure sensing floor mat is grey, made of a high quality, durable rubber with non slip surface and beveled edges 24” X 48”.
The wireless alarm can be placed in a convenient location with the caregiver, up to 300’ away. The alarm also has a low, medium, high volume adjustment with a chime alert. The floor mat is also pre-programmed to the alarm and ready for use upon delivery.
Important to note: do not purchase a black floor mat – dementia patients have been known to perceive the mat as a hole in the floor. They may jump and hurt themselves or ultimately avoid the mat (meaning wandering cannot be prevented).
Conclusion on Dealing With Wandering Caused by Dementia and Alzheimers
Dementia is an extremely debilitating disease that affects the American Population (and world) on a grand scale. The disease is not only disheartening for those suffering, but also for those family members who slowly watch their loved one’s mental ability deteriorate overtime – causing, in some cases, danger and harm to those affected.
At Val-U-Care, it is our company’s mission to ensure that we can help prevent falls and wandering associated with this disease. Our high-quality products are designed with the user in mind, and to safeguard those individuals from falls and elopement,. In turn, we can allow their loved ones to rest easy knowing they are being cared for and looked after with the installation of preventative measures within their home. Are you struggling to look after someone with Dementia? Our products are cost-effective and highly reliable to assist in aging in place. Seniors can stay in the comfort of their own home without sacrificing on safety. Browse our online shop today to see how Val-U-Care can help.