FAQs About Aging Parents with Dementia Who Wander

Home Care Services in Etobicoke: Senior With Dementia Wandering

Home Care Services in Etobicoke: Senior With Dementia Wandering

One of the issues that family caregivers need to be aware of when they agree to care for an aging parent with dementia is the likelihood of wandering.

When an elderly mom or dad wanders, they become anxious and often agitated about something they perceive they need to do and leave the house.

However, once they get out and away from familiar surroundings, the seniors can’t remember where they are or what they are doing. Family caregivers and senior care providers need to do all they can to stop elderly adults from wandering.

Here are some frequently asked questions about aging parents with dementia who may wander:


Q: What triggers wandering in elderly people with dementia?

A: The sad part about dementia is that it affects memory and recall. It’s easy for the elderly adult to confuse the past and the present. Their mind is overcome by anxiety and an overwhelming need to be somewhere or do something. Often, triggers include the time of day, being bored, not enough sleep or food, and no daily routine. There is no cure for dementia and wandering is a common result.

Q: Where are seniors with dementia trying to go when they wander.

A: Seniors with dementia are confused about where they are and what year it is. They may think they are late in picking up their children from school or late for work. Some seniors want to “go home” to a location they haven’t lived at for decades, or they want to visit relatives that are long gone. They often feel frustration, worry, anxiety and even anger at not being able to do what they think they need to.

Q: Can seniors with dementia be left alone safely?

A: Those with dementia should never be left alone. Not only is it frightening and disorienting, but they are much more likely to wander. Plan for family members, friends or senior care providers to be with them at all times.

Q: Why is wandering dangerous for your family member?

A: Each year, thousands of elderly adults with dementia and other memory conditions get lost, injured and in some cases, are killed. Seniors can miss medicine doses, get dehydrated, trip and fall, walk into traffic or otherwise endanger themselves.

Q: How can family caregivers secure the home to prevent wandering?

A: The first step is securing the home is putting locks on all doors that lead outside. Because seniors will not understand the locks, they should be put high or low on the door, out of their line of sight. Family caregivers can also install sensors to sound out whenever the door is opened. Windows and gates may also need locks.

Q: How else can family caregiver and senior care providers prevent wandering?

A: Family caregivers and senior care providers should study the circumstances surrounding when an elderly person tends to wander. Is it at night or at a certain time of day? What do they say they want to do? Family caregivers can redirect the aging parent’s focus and distract them with other activities. Most of the time, the elderly person will be satisfied.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Etobicoke, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.





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