When seniors with dementia wander at home, they may be misinterpreting what they see and experience. They may have memory problems that make them believe they have obligations elsewhere. To keep them safe when they wander, it's helpful to make the home a less confusing place.
Many seniors wander when they need to go to the bathroom but either forget the way or forget why they are wandering. If you have seen this behavior in your senior, making accommodations in the home can help her to get to the bathroom when needed. One way to do this is to place a photo or illustration of the toilet on the door of the bathroom. Another way to handle this problem is to create a line of tape on the floor to lead the patient to the bathroom.
Making the Bedroom Ready
The same precautions can be taken for leading your senior to the bedroom. A picture of the bed on the bedroom door can remind her of what is in the room and how to find the bed when she's tired. A tape line or other photos that lead her to the bedroom can also be helpful.
Keeping items that the senior needs to use each day can help with ember problems and confusion. She may be less likely to wander when she can clearly see the items that she needs to use. Items such as toiletries, cups and favorite snacks can be left out daily so that she doesn't feel she needs to go searching for them.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!