Alzheimer’s disease is a rather common cognitive condition that people will face as they advance in age. The implication of this is that people with dementia may suffer from a condition called dementia wandering. It is shown that three in five people with dementia suffer from dementia wandering. At Regency Pointe, we explain the causes of dementia wandering and how to prevent it, with living programs to mitigate dementia wandering.
Causes of Dementia Wandering
Dementia wandering is a common implication of dementia. During dementia wandering, your loved ones may be trying to find something or someone. They can also be experiencing dementia wandering as they feel uncomfortable or fearful of their present environment. The consequences of dementia wandering can be detrimental. During dementia wandering, they may have a higher tendency to fall accidentally and injure themselves through a fracture. They are also more susceptible to elemental exposure.
There are many reasons why your loved ones may be suffering from dementia wandering. One of them is because of the nature of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in general. Alzheimer’s disease or dementia influences cells in the brain component that is associated with memory. As brain cells degenerate in Alzheimer’s disease patients, they may lose spatial recall or recent memories. Spatial recall is the ability to remember things, such as locations associated with something else. This cognitive decline results in the loss of common memory functions. As a result, they find it more challenging to recall a particular direction, location, and their reason for leaving a particular place.
Your loved ones may also want to run away from a particular situation because they feel disoriented or confused. With cognitive decline, this causes them to suddenly forget their reason for leaving and they start to wander. In general, a perceived need to do something, emotional distress, and medical reasons may result in dementia wandering.
Ways to Stop Dementia Wandering
Here are some ways to prevent dementia from wandering for your loved ones.
- Make Doors Obscure
Using neutral floor mats or door coverings in front of doorways can help mitigate the chances of your loved ones finding an exit. Some options include using removable paint, curtains, or wallpapers to “camouflage” itself with the surrounding environment to obscure exits and entries. You can also use signages indicating “Do Not Enter” and so on.
- Provide Supervision
It is important for people to supervise your loved ones if they are suffering from dementia. This is to ensure someone can keep a lookout and be present for your loved ones. Some considerations will be to hire an in-home nurse, especially if respite care is necessary for you to run errands and so on.
- Provide Fun Activities
By incorporating fun activities into your loved one’s routine, it reduces the risk of dementia wandering as they are more engaged. This reduces their chances of being bored and restless, which is a precursor to dementia wandering. Some activities include exercises and so on.
- Reduce Confusion
Reduce the presence of an over-stimulating environment, loud noises, and new places. Introduce more calmness and serenity to the environment.