How to React
8 ways to prevent Alzheimer’s wandering
Try some of these simple Activities that will assist in keeping your wanderers engaged.
Ask neighbors, friends and family to call if they see the person wandering, lost or dressed inappropriately. Keep a recent, close-up photo of the person on hand to give to police, should the need arise. Know the person’s neighborhood.
During the middle stages, people may experience depression, anxiety, irritability and repetitive behaviors. As the disease progresses, other changes may occur, including sleep changes, physical and verbal outbursts, and wandering.
Calmly reassuring and giving cues to orient the person who has dementia is also helpful in the evening and closer to bedtime. Try to keep the person going to bed at the same time every night. Calm activities at the end of the day and before bedtime may help the person with dementia sleep better at night.
How to Keep Alzheimer’s Patients from Wandering
Go for a walk around neighborhood, in a shopping centre, around home. Walking or other exercise often reduces agitation that leads to wandering, and also helps person to sleep better.
If the person you are caring for walks about a lot during the night, this may be because they are having difficulty sleeping. This is common in older people and is particularly common in people with dementia.
Answer From Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D. The term “sundowning” refers to a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night. Sundowning can cause a variety of behaviors, such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions.
Mood and behavior changes—including aggressiveness, difficulty sleeping, depression, paranoia, repeating actions or words, hoarding, wandering, and incontinence—may be seen. This moderate stage of dementia, on average, lasts between 2 and 10 years.
Potential reasons why a client may wander include: Disorientation due to a new environment (e.g. entering an aged care facility) Wanting to escape from a noisy, busy or uncomfortable environment. Short-term memory loss (e.g. going to the shops and forgetting where they are going and why along the way)
Experts suggest that signs of the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease include some of the following: Being unable to move around on one’s own. Being unable to speak or make oneself understood. Needing help with most, if not all, daily activities, such as eating and self-care. 4
Late stage Alzheimer’s sufferers become unable to function and eventually lose control of movement. They need 24-hour care and supervision. They are unable to communicate, even to share that they are in pain, and are more vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia.
An upset in the “internal body clock,” causing a biological mix-up between day and night. Reduced lighting can increase shadows and may cause the person living with the disease to misinterpret what they see and, subsequently, become more agitated.
Progressive brain cell death will eventually cause the digestive system, lungs, and heart to fail, meaning that dementia is a terminal condition. Studies suggest that, on average, someone will live around ten years following a dementia diagnosis.