How to Reduce Risk for Wandering Patients

The potential dangers of wandering residents can have permanent, catastrophic effects. High risk residents or patients, like those in dementia or memory care units, wander for a variety of reasons. Sometimes due to confusion, sometimes looking for something or someone, or sometimes because they are just plain lost. Wandering residents can find themselves in unsafe areas of a facility or eloping from the building entirely unnoticed. Knowing how to reduce the risks for wandering patients can help ensure their safety.

Who’s at Risk for Wandering?

Anyone living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is at risk for wandering. Understanding the common signs of wandering can help caretakers or family members prevent it. Some of the common signs a person may be at risk for wandering include:

  • Forgetting how to get to familiar places
  • Talking about fulfilling former obligations, for example: going to work
  • Trying to “go home” even when at home
  • Becoming restless or pacing
  • Difficulty locating familiar places, for example: the bathroom, bedroom, or dining room
  • Appearing lost in a new or changed environment
  • Becoming nervous or anxious in crowded areas

Reduce the Risk of Wandering

Preventing and reducing the risk of wandering is always a multi-layered process, but these actions can help bring peace of mind to caregivers and family members.

  • Provide a routine of structured, meaningful activities throughout the day.
  • Identify the time of day the person is most likely to wander and plan things to do during this time – activities and exercise may help reduce anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.
  • Reduce liquids up to two hours before bedtime so the person doesn’t have to find the bathroom during the night.
  • If the person is no longer driving, remove access to car keys as the person could forget they can no longer drive.
  • Assess the person’s response to new surroundings. Do not leave someone with dementia unsupervised if new surroundings may cause confusion, disorientation, or agitation.
  • Identify a companion for the person living with dementia if the caretaker is not available.

How to Take Action

Having a plan before wandering occurs can help relieve some of the stress experienced by family and caregivers and ensure the safety of the person living with dementia. Here are some tips for creating a wander management plan:

  • Ask neighbors, friends, and family to call if they see the person wandering or lost.
  • Identify potentially dangerous areas around the neighborhood, such as bodies of water, open stairwells, tunnels, bus stops, and heavily trafficked roads.
  • Create a list of places the person might wander to, such as past jobs, former homes, or favorite places.
  • Start search efforts immediately if the person goes missing and begin by looking in the surrounding vicinity as individuals who wander are typically found within 1.5 miles of where they disappeared.

Installing a wandering resident security system can’t prevent every potential wandering scenario, but it should absolutely be a key component of any wander prevention program. Wander management technology from Secure Care allows facilities and hospitals to monitor wandering residents, secure or lock exits, and track the exact location of  patients who are prone to wandering.

About Secure Care Products, LLC

For over 40 years, Secure Care Products has been committed to providing improved safety, security, and locating solutions through best-in-class service and innovative design for your most valuable assets. Protecting people and assets is our business. Secure Care products offers a suite of products including RTLS, wander management, infant protection, asset management, and mobile app solutions. All products are researched, developed, and manufactured in the USA, which ensures superior service, timely delivery, and quality assurance. Using state-of-the-art, advanced technologies, we keep people and assets protected 24/7. Let us know how we can help you by calling 1.800.451.7917 or contact us.

Leading Age New York logo

2019 Nursing & Social Work Professionals Annual Conference

Leading Age New York logoNursing & Social Work Professionals Annual Conference

One of our long-time partners, Emerald Resources, will be exhibiting at the expo during the Nursing & Social Work Professionals Annual Conference hosted by Leading Age New York.

Emerald Resources brings 25+ years of experience providing personal and innovative equipment solutions to the healthcare needs of nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living homes.  With solutions for wander management, safe patient handling, bathing systems and more, make sure you stop by their booth during the expo.  Emerald is sure to have the solutions your community needs to enhance your residents’ experience and safety.

What:  Nursing & Social Work Professionals Annual Conference
When:   November 11-13, 2019
Where:   The Sagamore Resort, Bolton Landing NY

Alabama Hospital Association logo

Alabama Society for Healthcare Materiel Management Fall Conference

Alabama Hospital Association logoASHMM Fall Conference & Expo

We’ll be with Storm Medical at the Alabama Society for Healthcare Material Management Fall Conference & Expo.  ASHMM is an affiliate of the Alabama Hospital Association founded 40 years ago to educate materiel management professionals through the exchange of information, ideas and knowledge.

Storm Medical is in its fourth generation of serving the healthcare industry in the AK-LA-MS region.  With 24-hour service and solutions for safe patient handling, nurse call, and as a certified distributor for Secure Care Products range of healthcare solutions, Storm will have what your facility needs for security, safety and efficiency.

What:    ASHMM Fall Conference & Expo
When:   October 8-11, 2019
Where:   The Lodge @ Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, AL

Maine Health Care Association Fall Conference & Expo

MHCA Fall Health Care Conference & Expo

We’re excited to be joining ESL Distributing at the 2019 Fall Health Care Conference and Expo.  This great event is the largest event put on every year by the Maine Health Care Association and we’re excited to be back again this year with one of our long time partners.

ESL Distributing offers solutions for nurse call, access control, cameras, and they are a certified distributor for our Door GUARDIAN wander management solution. Stop by the ESL booth to make arrangements for a a free site assessment and consultation!

What:    MHCA Fall Health Care Conference & Expo
When:   October 8-10, 2019
Where:   Samoset Resort, Rockport ME

Vermont Health Care Association logo

Vermont Health Care Association 2019 Annual Conference

Vermont Health Care Association logoVermont Health Care Association Annual Conference

Our Partner ESL Distributing will be exhibiting at the Vermont Health Care Association’s Annual Conference.  Be sure to visit Eric during at the trade show to discuss security for your community!  ESL Distributing offers a wide range of solutions from  our Door GUARDIAN wander management solution to nurse call and camera systems.

What:    Vermont Health Care Association Annual Conference
When:   September 24-26, 2019
Where:   Killington Grand Resort, Killington VT

Leading Age Annual Meeting and Expo

Leading Age Annual Meeting + Expo

As a member of Leading Age, we’re excited to be exhibiting once again at this year’s Leading Age Annual Meeting and Expo.  

Having served the long term care market for 40 years, we’ve developed solutions that help communities keep their residents safe with dignity.  Our access control and wander management solutions have served thousands of facilities around the world reliably for many, many years.  This year, be sure to visit our booth to see the newest development in wander management.  We’ll have a demo unit on hand to show the newest transformation in wander management: Door GUARDIAN Evo

Be sure to stop by Booth #1254 during the show to see our new touchscreen exit panel and learn how the next generation wander management solution can evolve with the needs of your community!

What:    Leading Age Annual Meeting + Expo
When:   October 27-30, 2019
Where:   San Diego Convention Center, San Diego CA

HCAM logo

HCAM 2019 Annual Convention

HCAM logoHealth Care Association of Michigan 2019 Annual Convention

We’ll be joining our long-time partner Secure Care Health Systems at this year’s HCAM annual convention.

Secure Care Health Systems has been serving the long-term care market for  decades.  Providing solutions for safe patient handling, nurse call and they are a certified distributor for our Door GUARDIAN wander management solution. With 24-hour service, sales and installation, Secure Care Health Systems and Secure Care Products offer the solutions your community needs for maximum safety and efficiency.  Make sure you visit booth #130 to learn more about the great solutions we have to offer!

What:    HCAM Annual Convention & Expo
When:   September 24, 2019
Where:   DeVos Place (Exhibit Hall C), Grand Rapids MI

NHHCA Fall Conference 2019

New Hampshire Health Care Association Fall Conference & Trade Show 2019

We’re happy to be supporting our partner, ESL Distributing at the NHHCA Fall Conference and Trade Show this year!

With several decades of experience serving the long term care market, ESL and Secure Care Products have the solutions your community needs to ensure the safety of its residents.  Stop by to learn about our Door GUARDIAN wander management solution – the original wander management solution available on the market!  In addition, ESL provides a wide range of solutions from camera systems to access control to nurse call.  So if you’re interested in ensuring the security of the residents in your care, reducing wasted time, and increasing efficiencies and safety for your facility – be sure to stop by!

What:    NHHCA Fall Conference & Trade Show
When:   September 18, 2019
Where: Doubletree Manchester Downtown, Manchester NH

National Association of State Veterans Homes logo

NASVH Conference 2019

National Association of State Veterans Homes logoNASVH Conference 2019

Come see us at the 2019 National Association of State Veterans Homes summer conference in Denver, CO.  This is always a great show for us, and as a veteran-owned business, we look forward to meeting the folks serving those who have served our country!

Be sure to stop by to learn about our Door GUARDIAN wander management solution – the first wander management solution available on the market!  We also provide a Real-Time Location Solution with our ENVisionIT platform.  So if you’re interested in ensuring the security of the veterans in your care, reducing wasted time, and increasing efficiencies for your facility – you need to come visit us!

What:    NASVH Summer Conference
When:   August 5-9, 2019
Where: Hilton Denver City Center, Denver CO

IAHSS 2019 May 19-22

IAHSS Annual Conference and Exhibition

IAHSS 2019 May 19-22IAHSS 2019 AC&E

We’ll be in booth #212 at this year’s IAHSS Annual Conference & Exhibition and we couldn’t be more excited!  Be sure to stop by to learn about the great security solutions we have to offer.  Wander management solutions for long term care, senior living or memory care units.  Infant protection for hospitals.  Real-Time Location Solutions for any facility interested in automating the process of collecting location data within their facility!

What:    IAHSS Annual Conference & Exhibition
When:   May 19-22, 2019
Where:  Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Orlando FL