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Alzheimer's: understanding, walking and how to handle it



Walking or getting lost is common in people with dementia. This behavior can occur at any stage of Alzheimer's . If your relative suffers from Alzheimer's, there is a risk that he or she will get lost – even if he or she has never traveled in the past.

Understand hike.

There are many reasons why a person who has Alzheimer's migrates, including:

  • Stress or anxiety. Your loved one might walk in response to an unknown or overstimulating environment, a loud noise, or a situation that he or she does not understand.
  • Browse He or she might get lost in search of someone or something.
  • boredom. He or she may be looking for something to do.
  • basic needs. Maybe he or she is looking for bathroom or groceries or you want to go outdoors.
  • Follow past routines. He or she might try to go to work, do housework or buy groceries.

Avoid walking.

Hiking is not necessarily necessary harmful if it occurs in a safe and controlled environment. However, there can be safety issues when hiking.

To prevent unsafe walking, find out why hiking is possible. For example, if your sweetheart tends to walk at the same time each day, or if he or she is bored, plan meaningful activities to better engage him or her. If your loved one is looking for a spouse or child, give a sign that the person will be visiting shortly to ensure safety and reduce walking.

Store your beloved person.

It can not always be prevented wandering To keep your loved one safe:

  • Reduce the dangers. Remove tripping hazards such as blankets and extension cords. Install night lights to help hikers at night. Connect gates to stairwells to prevent falls.
  • Install alarms and locks. Various devices may indicate that your loved one is on the move. You can place pressure-sensitive alarm mats on the door or on the bed of your loved one, attach warning bells to the doors, and use child-proof covers on door knobs. If your loved ones tend to unlock doors, you can install slide bolt locks out of the line of sight of your loved one.
  • camouflage doors. Place removable curtains over doors or tarp doors with paint or wallpaper that matches the surrounding walls. Signs on doors can also be helpful.
  • Use a GPS device. Consider carrying a GPS receiver or other tracking device that can send electronic alerts about its location. If your relative wanders, the GPS device can help you quickly find him or her.

Ensure a safe return.

Hikers who get lost can be hard to find as they often react unpredictably. For example, they can not request help or respond to calls from the searchers. Once the wanderers are found, they may not remember their name or where they live.

If you are worried about the migration of your loved one, tell the local police, your neighbors, and other close contacts about your loved one's condition. Have a list of emergency numbers ready in case you can not find your loved one. Also have a recent photo of your loved one ready.

Also consider enrolling for the Alzheimer's Association Safe Return Program. For a small fee, attendees receive an identification bracelet and receive 24-hour support in the event of an emergency.

In the event of loss of loved ones, contact the local authorities immediately and the Safe Return Program (if you have logged in). The sooner you ask for help, the sooner your beloved person will be found.

Updated: 2015-07-28

Release Date: 1999-01-13


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