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STATEWIDE — The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America sent out a list of tips on Monday for dealing with a common behavior in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients known as “Wandering”

Wandering is when a patient suffering from either of the two illnesses where they leave their home and become disoriented, lost, and unable to find their way back home. It is a behavior that can occur at even the earliest stages of the illness.

Tips to help combat and protect loved ones who may be at risk of wandering due to Alzheimer’s or Dementia include:
– Understand the causes: Those who used to be active outdoors prior to their diagnosis could find purpose and pleasure in going outside. You can support their previous experiences by creating walking paths around the home and engaging them with simple tasks. Causes can also be related to stimuli around the house loud noises, people, or unmet needs (hunger, thirst, etc) can create the impulse for people to leave the house.
– Safeguard the home: Keep a clean home that is free of tripping hazards. Be mindful of the location of objects like car keys, jackets, and purses. Installing electronic chimes on doors can help alert people around the house if their loved one might be exiting the home.
– Be aware of their patterns: Patients of these illnesses may be more active at certain times of day. If possible keep them engaged in activities during their more active times. If they do start to wander, keep a record to identify times they may require extra care.
– Develop a safety plan: Have a list of locations that person may go. (previous homes,former employers, favorite locations) Take close up photos on a consistent basis and have that with updated medical information for first responders. Have a contact list of friends, family, and neighbors who may see the person out on their own. Some communities may also have safety programs for dementia patients that will provide tracking technology to family members.
Anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s or Dementia related illnesses can contact that AFA’s help line at 866-232-8484, text them at 646-586-5283, or web chat online at

The post AFA Tips on Protecting From “Wandering” appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM.

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