According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three senior citizens has Alzheimer’s Disease or another type of dementia. Dementia is the umbrella for diseases where a person’s brain cells are damaged leading to severe cognitive and physical decline and eventually death. Persons with dementia are at risk for wandering, a type of agitated behavior.
A person with dementia may wander for a variety of different reasons:
- An unmet need: A nursing home resident with dementia who is losing cognitive ability and does not recognize where he or she is, also may not be aware of where the bathroom is when needing to use it. He or she may have forgotten that they need assistance to use the bathroom or can no longer physically do so independently. A regular toileting schedule may reduce wandering by reducing the need to search for a bathroom. Other unmet needs could be hunger, thirst, or restlessness due to lack of activity.
- To fix something that happened in the past: With dementia, a person’s recent memory deteriorates first so older memories from earlier in their lives are more prevalent. Persons with dementia may be stuck on a particular past memory and want to go back to that place or time, leading to wandering.
- A need to go home: A person with dementia may not remember that they no longer live in their home and not recognizing their surroundings prompts the need to go to a place that is familiar. Pictures of the resident and their family can help reduce these feelings. Providing purposeful and meaningful activities can also help reduce the focus on needing to go somewhere else.
- Sundowning: Persons with dementia may experience sundowning, which is an increase of agitated behaviors that start in the late afternoon and evening. This may be caused by changes to the person’s sleep-wake cycle. Being aware of possible sundowning triggers and finding ways to redirect by providing activities that the person enjoys can help reduce sundowning behaviors.
What can your healthcare facility do to keep track of wandering patients? Secure Care Products can be your solution. The mVision mobile application with the Secure Care Door GUARDIAN® Resident ID security system, provides real-time notifications of when residents are close to an open door. In addition to allowing residents to move about the facility, staff members are also able to freely move about the facility to care for all the residents without being tied to a specific desk where a monitoring system is located. This system helps all residents maintain their dignity and have a higher quality of life. It also decreases harmful wandering that leads to elopement and other agitated behaviors. Thousands of facilities around the world have also installed the Door GUARDIAN® wandering resident solutions to help residents travel safely minimizing the risk of elopement.
About Secure Care Products, LLC
For over 35 years, Secure Care Products, LLC has been committed to providing improved safety, security, and locating solutions through best-in-class service and innovative design for your most valuable assets. As the first company in the world to design and manufacture electronic monitoring equipment for wander-prone residents, we empower long-term care and healthcare facilities around the world. Using state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technologies, we keep people and things protected. Let us know how we can help you by calling 1.800.451.7917 or contact us.