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Preventing Dementia-related Wandering
While not all of those with dementia wander, many do, especially those with Alzheimer’s. This puts them at risk of injury, exploitation or even death from exposure. It is important to educate yourself about why people wander and prevention before it begins.

Some common causes of wandering include:

  • Previous routines - they may be leaving to go to work, pick up groceries, etc.
  • Searching - for someone or something
  • Basic needs - they may be hungry, need to use the bathroom,
  • Current environment - may be stressed, too noisy, fearful

Ways to prevent wandering include:

  • Understand the cause if possible. Is there a pattern ex/ time of day, when looking for the bathroom, when they want to go to work.
  • Make it difficult to get out, (keep fire safety in mind)
    • Place locks low/high on the door
    • Door alarms
    • Childproof door knob covers
    • Camouflage doors
    • Black mat in front of the doors
  • Clearly mark interior doors
  • Have them wear a GPS tracking device
  • Enroll in a local safe return program
    • Contact local police departments to inquire about Silver Alert or similar Enroll in the Alzheimer’s Association’s MedicAlert Safe Return program $25-$75/year.
    • Visit and receive a 30% discount with the code ALZ
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