Your loved one can become at risk for wandering at any stage of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism, or any other cognitive issue. For instance, six out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s wander. And 50 percent of children with autism wander.
To help caregivers understand wandering better, you should know a few common symptoms, as well as dispel common misconceptions. Here’s what you need to know.
Wandering Symptoms Caregivers Should Watch
- Even people in early stage of Alzheimer’s are at risk for wandering. Let’s take a look at a few wandering symptoms.
- Your loved one begins forgetting how to get to places that they knew in the past.
- They start to lose track of time and arrive back later from walks or drives.
- There is an urge to go home, even though they are already at home.
- They begin to discuss going to work, but have not worked for some time.
- They appear restless and anxious (pacing).
- Your loved one begins getting confused and lost in familiar places, like in their home.
- Doing common things around the home, like a chore or hobby, but never accomplishes the task.
- They begin asking or searching for old friends and family.
All of the above can be indicators of wandering risk. It is important to note these symptoms and begin implementing interventions, such as discussing it with your loved one. You can also think about GPS tracking devices as a safety net in case your loved one or patient gets lost.
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Common Wandering Misconceptions by Caregivers and Family
One of the biggest problems caregivers face is the misconceptions that surround wandering and safety. Here are a few to watch out for.
- I always keep a close eye on my loved one. This is a common caregiver misconception. Wandering can happen in a split second. Whether at home or out running errands with your loved one, they can quickly get disoriented and disappear.
- My loved one has never wandered before. Caregivers should not think of wandering as an “if,” but rather a “when.” For instance, a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease has a 60 percent risk of wandering.
- I told my love one to never venture out alone. Remember, they may know at the time of discussing not going out alone, but confusion can set in at anytime and cause them to forget they need company to leave the house.
- My loved one is safe in a nursing home. Wandering can happen anytime, and anywhere. People wander even from highly secure nursing homes.
- The authorities will find my loved one if he or she wanders. This is a big misconception. When a person wanders, they are often not able to tell people they are lost, their name, address, and other important details. Your loved one may not even look like they are in any sort of distress while wandering. This can make it challenging for authorities to locate them.
The best way to ensure your loved one’s safety is to get proactive about the “when” and one perfect way is by using a GPS watches.
Keep Loved Ones Safe with the LocateMotion Caregiver Watch
If you are concerned about wandering, we can help. The LocateMotion Caregiver Watch is a GPS watch that easily tracks and locates those who wander. It also serves as a innovative smart watch device to stay connected with loved ones at any moment, and from anywhere.
The wearer is tracked via the LocateMotion app, available for Android and iOS. Geofencing, 2-day battery life, memory games, camera, voice messaging and chat are all at your fingertips. Simply click below to get a Caregiver Watch today.