Products and Strategies for Managing Dementia Wandering
Running a senior living facility comes with many rewards, and providing elderly adults with a safe place to live is one of them. However, senior care also comes with challenges, particularly for those who serve memory care patients. Dementia wandering behavior can be difficult to control in a safe, effective manner that doesn’t make residents feel like their rights and freedoms have been stripped away from them.
Don’t be discouraged, though, because there are ways to manage wandering safety risks, especially dementia wandering at night. Products have been created that can help. For example, wandering alarms for dementia can provide staff with some peace of mind because they can quickly address a situation in which an elderly patient has breached a perimeter. The alerts help staff get to patients in a timely manner to prevent wander-related accidents. Strategies can also help keep dementia residents safe, such as having a calming routine each day.
Dementia Wander Management Strategies and Products
Continue reading to find more information about products and strategies that can help with wander management.
Design Your Facility With Wander Management in Mind
One strategy you can employ to protect the elderly patients in your care is to design your facility with your patients’ needs in mind. The design of hallways, rooms, and access points can help protect wandering dementia sufferers. For instance, hallways with limited clutter can ensure maximum visibility of seniors with memory issues.
Security & Surveillance
Security measures are a top priority when caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Cameras, security checkpoints, and layers of access control can help protect vulnerable patients from wander accidents. Some layers of access control that you could use in your elder care facility:
- Electronic access control
- Locking doors
- Security gates
- Nurse stations
Staff Training & Education
Two important strategies that can greatly cut down on wandering incidents are training of staff and frequent educational programs. Continual training and educational programs can help staff properly care for patients with dementia who wander. Education and training can also help staff deal with other issues related to dementia other than wandering, such as confusion, anger, fear, anxiety, and physical outbursts.
Maintaining a routine is important for dementia patients. This can help keep them comfortable and prevent them from getting confused or agitated. When your patients feel safe and secure, they are less likely to wander.
Technology can help prevent dementia accidents but can never be a complete substitute for proper supervision. Dementia patients should always have staff supervision along with other safety policies and procedures if incidents should occur. Keeping accurate records and monitoring patients at all times can help keep any wandering accidents from happening.
One important product that can significantly reduce wander incidents is the ResidentGuard wander management product from Accutech. This security product uses a “wander wearable” (a comfortable bracelet) coupled with an alert system that tells staff if a patient has wandered out of a secure area of the facility.
Alerts help staff to quickly locate the wander patient and get them back to a safe part of the senior living facility. Alerts can also tell staff if a bracelet has been removed.
If You Had to Choose Three Strategies...
Knowing how to keep dementia patients from wandering is not a one-time lesson. One solution is not always right for everyone, and you may need to try different strategies and products. You need to figure out which options will work best for your facility or situation.
There is no such thing as too much security or safety when it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients; however, you may not have the resources to implement every possible strategy or utilize every wander management product on the market. If you had to choose only three strategies for protecting memory care patients from harm, you may want to choose direct supervision, access control, and wander management. With these three strategies, your wandering patients should be safe and sound.
Do you need to implement an access control system or a wander management system at your hospital or elder care facility? Accutech Access has solutions for senior living and hospital facilities. Call today to learn more about our products for wander management and patient safety.
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