June 7, 2018

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month – Wandering

More than 60 percent of those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia will wander, and if a person is not found within 24 hours, up to half of individuals who wander will suffer serious injury or death, according to www.alz.org.  Here are some tips to avoid wandering from the Arkansas Residents’ Playbook Pocket Reference:

  • Make sure the dementia patient wears a medical ID bracelet.
  • Keep a recent photograph of him/her to help police if he/she becomes lost.
  • Keep all of the doors locked.
  • Consider installing a keyed deadbolt.
  • Place safety latches up high and down low on doors.
  • Enroll the patient in the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Program. (www.medicalert.org/safereturn or 1-888-572-8566)
  • Make sure he/she gets enough exercise and sleep.
  • Let him/her do chores, such as folding clothes or helping with dinner.
  • Place cloth of the same color over doorknobs, or paint doorknobs and doors the same color as the walls.

For more information on caregiving for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, or for 24 hour caregiver support, please contact the South Arkansas Center on Aging at 870-881-8969.