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Top Causes of Dementia-Related Wandering

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Wandering is a common risk for seniors with dementia. This likely causes great concern for families providing elderly care in Naples to loved ones with this condition. However, understanding the various reasons for this symptom can help you implement strategies to prevent it.

Confusion About Surroundings

Some instances of wandering are simply cases of mistaken identity. This most commonly occurs when a senior mistakes an exit for the bathroom or another area of the home. Clearly labeling doors with both pictures and words or painting a door a specific color can help your elderly loved one gain his or her bearings.

Hunger or Thirst

A senior who is hungry or thirsty may go off in search of food, even in the middle of the night. Fortunately, this is a simple cause to fix. Small snacks during the day and a drink of water before bed may be all it takes to satisfy your loved one’s appetite. If your loved one wanders at night, having a Naples dementia caregiver periodically check in on him or her can serve as an additional safeguard.

Attempting to Go to Work or a Former Home

Many people’s daily routines are so ingrained that moving into a new phase of life can be confusing. For example, a senior with dementia who held a job for 30 years might attempt to get up and go to work even though he or she is retired. Try to keep your loved one busy throughout the day so he or she will be less likely to wander, and provide gentle redirection if he or she becomes confused about new daily routines.

Pain or Discomfort

Seniors with dementia may not always be able to communicate about the pain or discomfort they experience, and wandering may be a sign of being unable to relax. For this reason, it is important to keep up with your loved one’s medical checkups. Caregivers in Naples should also watch for nonverbal cues like refusing meals or rubbing a specific part of the body.

Certain activities can help alleviate dementia symptoms. At Home Care Assistance, all of our caregivers are trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that targets the 5 primary domains of the mind, which helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on CTM and our other senior care services, call (239) 449-4701 today to speak with a knowledgeable Client Care Manager.