Why Do People with Alzheimer’s Disease Wander?

Posted: 6/12/2017 8:31 AM by Interim HealthCare
There are approximately 5.5 million people throughout the United States who are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Of these, 3 in 5, or around 60 percent, will develop wandering tendencies at some point in their progression. This can be a very dangerous situation for your elderly parent, putting them at risk of serious injury or even death. By understanding why your loved one might wander and what this might look like, you can better protect your senior from these potentially serious consequences.

Some of the reasons why people with Alzheimer’s disease wander include:
• The feeling that they need to “go home” even if they are already at home.
• Feeling confused about their location if they have transitioned into living in a new home or with your family and wanting to go back to their familiar surroundings.
• The feeling that they need to go to work or to some activity that they used to do every day but no longer do.
• Being restless and wanting to do something.
• Getting confused about where they are and wanting to go somewhere, but not knowing how to get there.
• Getting slightly “turned around” when they are out and not being able to correct themselves.
• Wanting to find loved ones who they no longer live with or even who may have died.
• No longer being able to navigate familiar places, even their home, and wandering to find locations that they need.

Wandering might seem like something very obvious that would be easy for you to detect, but this is not always the case. Many people develop these wandering tendencies in the earlier phases of the disease and show only subtle signs of it, potentially making it difficult to really identify that they are wandering. Being vigilant about these behaviors is important to preparing for further symptoms as they progress through the condition.

If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you are concerned about their health or safety when they are in their home alone, or you simply feel that they would benefit from additional care and support, now may be the ideal time to consider starting home care for them. Caring for an elderly adult with Alzheimer’s disease is extremely challenging, but the highly personalized services of an in-home senior care services provider can ease your stress and help ensure your elderly parent gets all of the care, support, encouragement, and assistance that they need to help them through their progression. This includes being with them on a customized schedule. Whether they need extensive care and you live at a distance or they only need some moderate support and you can be with them much of the time, this customization allows both of you to feel confident that they will get exactly what they need to stay as healthy, comfortable, safe, and happy as possible throughout their later years. This can be particularly important if your parent has developed wandering tendencies. Knowing that there is an in-home senior care services provider in the home with your parent can give you confidence that they will remain secure and reduce their risk of serious consequences related to this particular issue of dementia.

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