As our loved ones age, we begin to worry more about their safety. If a loved one has dementia or Alzheimer's, and begins to wander, safety becomes an even greater concern.
If your loved one has Sundowners (a symptom of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Confusion and agitation worsen in the late afternoon and evening, or as the sun goes down) and is up throughout the night, worries about safety get even bigger.
When my dad was in the moderate stage of decline, he was not only angry and agitated but his body clock was confused! He would nap a lot during the day in spite of my mom's best efforts to keep him awake. Then he would wander the house in the middle of the night. This behavior made my mom sleep deprived – always listening for him and checking to see where he was and what he was doing. The lack of sleep didn't help her stress level either!
So how do you keep a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's who is prone to wandering safe?
We had safety concerns on a few levels.
Our first concern was that he would leave the house and get lost.
We really worried that he would do this at night if my mom didn't happen to hear him go out the door. To ease our concerns we got a home security system that made noise whenever an exterior door is opened. Or you could look into stand-alone door alarms that don't require a monthly security service.
The second concern was that he would wander away get lost when we were out in public somewhere.
There were a few times when my dad wandered away from the group and we had a few moments of panic. My son's high school graduation stands out – 6 of us went in different directions, standing on benches to see over the crowd, calling his name… it was scary! Thankfully we found him within a few minutes but what if we hadn't? What if he'd gotten farther away? How would anyone know who he was or who to call if he was confused and unable to tell them?
We got an id bracelet after that incident. Just Google “medical alert bracelet” or “Alzheimer's Bracelet” and you will find options.
If your loved one is still independent enough to be alone, falls are a safety concern.
You might remember the “I've fallen and I can't get up!” commercial from 1980… well technology has come a long way since then!
Thankfully with technology these days, there are so many options!
TheSeniorList.com has been reviewing Medic Alert Products for Years so I thought I'd share their information with you.
They explain that Medical Alert Systems, also known as Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) are small devices for individuals used to alert authorities, friends, family, or caregivers in the event of an emergency. Medical Alert Systems come in many forms and styles. They are most commonly worn on the wrist, as a necklace pendant, clipped to a belt, or carried in a pocket or purse.
Medical alert systems can be home or cellular based and newer systems are equipped with GPS, automatic fall detection, activity tracking, medication reminders, and even geo-fence alerts.
Learn more and read their reviews here > TheSeniorList.com/medical-alert-system-reviews/
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My best advice when it comes to safety is this: take precautions BEFORE your loved one gets hurt or wanders off.
Dementia and Alzheimer's is hard enough without adding injuries or the stress of your loved one being lost.
While no one can change the outcome of dementia or Alzheimer's, with the right support you can change the journey.
– Tara Reed