Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide - Wandering

Alzheimer's patients tend to wander. What steps have you taken to ensure his/her safety?

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Wandering: A Problem for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease

Keeping the person safe is one of the most important aspects of caregiving. Some people with Alzheimer's disease have a tendency to wander away from their home or their caregiver. Knowing how to limit wandering can protect a person from getting lost.

  • Make sure that the person carries some kind of identification or wears a medical bracelet.
  • Consider enrolling the person in the Alzheimer's Association Safe Return program if the program is available in your area. If the person gets lost and is unable to communicate adequately, identification will alert others to the person's medical condition.
  • Notify neighbors and local authorities in advance that the person has a tendency to wander.
  • Keep a recent photograph or videotape of the person with Alzheimer's to assist police if the person becomes lost.
  • Keep doors locked. Consider a keyed deadbolt or an additional lock up high or down low on the door. If the person can open a lock because it is familiar, a new latch or lock may help.
  • Install an "announcing system" that chimes when the door opens.
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