Five Tips to Prevent Dementia-related Wandering

Wandering is a serious threat to the health and safety of anyone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Did you know 6 out of 10 people with these illnesses wander? It is important for family and caregivers to plan ahead. 

Here are 5 basic tips to help you minimize the risks of wandering:

1. Make sure surroundings are secure. Ensure your loved one has attentive supervision. Keep car keys out of reach. Install door locks or sliding bolts at the top of a door. Attach a bell to an exterior door to alert you if someone exits. Consider fencing your property if necessary.

2. Make them easy to see and identify. Their wardrobe, particularly jackets and hats, should be colorful. Don’t assume they will go outside with a wallet: equip them with a hard-to-remove medical ID bracelet or pendant. Use this proven, old-school approach: sew a label with name and address into a coat collar or a purse lining.

3. Keep a list of places they like to visit. This may be a local library, park or shopping center, a swell as an old work site or favorite restaurant.

4. Use tools to track their location. GPS monitoring devices, such as iTraq Nano, which can be attached to a belt or tucked inside a pocket or purse, will help you know your loved one’s movements.

5. Have a “find them plan.” Keep a list of friends, family, and neighbors and their phone numbers handy. Make sure the people on your list know what your loved one looks like. Have a clear photo of their face and current medical information for the police, if necessary.

At iTraq, senior safety is top of mind. We’re on a mission to help families and caregivers keep their loved ones safe with our tiny, rechargeable GPS+cellular+WiFi global location device. iTraq Nano includes an SOS button for individuals who become disoriented or confused; a motion sensor to alert you if your family member is on the move; a temperature sensor that can protect loved ones from harsh winter weather or extreme heat; and Guard Mode which alerts you if your loved one leaves a designated area. 

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