One of the more disconcerting habits your senior might develop if she has dementia can be wandering. Whether she wanders inside the house or tries to leave the house when she’s wandering, this is a behavior that you need to understand. Senior care services can help you figure out what’s going on.
Helping Meet Basic Needs
One of the best ways to help prevent wandering for your senior is to make sure that basic needs are met before they become a problem. A common reason for wandering is that your elderly family member is hungry or needs the bathroom, but can’t communicate that in the same way she has in the past. That leads to confusion and often to wandering. When you can predict those needs or manage them right as they’re about to become an issue, that makes a huge difference.
Managing Safety Issues
Safety is always a big concern, but it can be a factor with wandering, too. One aspect of safety, making sure there aren’t tripping hazards, can involve reducing issues like clutter. Clutter can contribute to stress for your senior, which she might not be able to articulate for you. When you proactively reduce those issues, that helps her to relax a little bit more readily and might reduce the urge to wander.
Keeping Your Senior Active
If your elderly family member isn’t as active as she used to be, that can contribute to wandering, too. Being active doesn’t have to be complicated, either. If she’s interested in a full-on exercise routine, that’s certainly possible with her doctor’s okay, but a walk around the back yard can do just as much good for her. This can also help your senior to sleep a little bit better at night because she’s not dealing with a buildup of energy.
Loneliness and boredom can also cause your senior to experience an urge to wander. Keeping your senior engaged, both socially and mentally, is important even with dementia. She may not be able to interact in the same ways that she did in the past, but those needs are still there. When you can’t be there with her, senior care providers can offer that companionship.
Wandering is absolutely terrifying for you as a caregiver, especially when you’re not sure why she’s engaging in that behavior. Having experienced senior care providers there to help you determine what might be going on makes a big difference.