Dementia wandering is a common issue faced by many hospice patients and can be a source of stress and anxiety for both the patient and their caregivers. When a person with dementia wanders, they may become lost or disoriented, which can lead to dangerous situations. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent dementia wandering and create a safer environment for the patient.

 

Here are a few tips for preventing dementia wandering in hospice patients:

Identify the triggers: It’s important to try and identify what triggers the wandering behavior. Common triggers include boredom, anxiety, and a need to go to the bathroom. Once the triggers are identified, steps can be taken to address them. For example, if the patient is bored, providing them with activities to do may help reduce the risk of wandering. If the patient is anxious, finding ways to reduce their anxiety, such as through relaxation techniques or therapy, may be helpful. If the patient has a need to go to the bathroom, making sure they have easy access to a bathroom may help prevent wandering.

Create a safe environment: Make sure the patient’s living space is safe and secure. Remove any tripping hazards and make sure doors and windows are locked if necessary. It may also be helpful to install handrails or other safety devices to help the patient navigate their environment.

Use signage: Clearly labeled doors and signs can help orient the patient and reduce their anxiety. For example, placing a sign on the bathroom door can help the patient find their way to the bathroom more easily.

Use technology: There are several technological solutions that can help prevent dementia wandering. For example, GPS tracking devices can be used to track the patient’s movements, and smart home technology can be used to lock and unlock doors remotely. These technologies can provide peace of mind for caregivers and help ensure the safety of the patient.

Encourage physical activity: Encouraging the patient to engage in physical activity, such as walking or stretching, can help reduce the risk of wandering. Physical activity can also help improve the patient’s overall health and well-being.

By taking these steps, it’s possible to prevent dementia wandering and create a safer and more comfortable environment for the patient. It’s important to remember that each person with dementia is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It may be necessary to try different approaches and find what works best for the individual patient. With patience and care, it’s possible to effectively manage dementia wandering and provide a high quality of life for the patient.