The Top Five Reasons Alzheimer’s Patients Wander

Posted by Accutech on May 4, 2022 8:15 am

It's a heartbreaking scene: a loved one, stricken with Alzheimer's disease, wandering away from home and becoming lost. Often, these incidents occur at hospitals or other care facilities, where patients can easily become confused and disoriented. In this blog post, we will discuss the top five reasons why Alzheimer's patients wander. We will also provide tips for preventing wandering in these patients.

Reason #1: Alzheimer's disease causes changes in the brain that can lead to disorientation and confusion. Patients may no longer be able to recognize their surroundings, or they may become confused about where they are supposed to be. This can often lead to wandering.

Reason #2: Wandering is often a symptom of underlying restlessness or anxiety. Patients may pace back and forth, or wander aimlessly, as a way of coping with their feelings of unease.

Reason #3: Patients may wander in an attempt to find someone or something they are familiar with. This could be a former home, a favorite place from their childhood, or even a person they once knew.

Reason #4: Many Alzheimer's patients wander because they are seeking a specific item or activity. They may be looking for something they need, such as a bathroom or a drink of water. Or they may be searching for something they enjoy, such as music or a favorite television show.

Reason #5: Some patients wander because they are trying to escape from a stressful or uncomfortable situation. They may be trying to get away from other patients, staff members, or even their own thoughts.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, it is important to be aware of the reasons why they may wander. By understanding the reasons behind the behavior, you can be better prepared to prevent it. Here are some tips for preventing wandering:

  • Keep a close eye on your loved one and be aware of their whereabouts at all times.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and familiar, free from any potential hazards.
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for physical activity and stimulation throughout the day.
  • Encourage your loved one to wear an ID bracelet or other form of identification.
  • If your loved one does wander, stay calm and try to gently guide them back to a safe place.

If your family member is living in a senior care center, ensure that the facility is equipped with a wander management system. A wander management system, such as Accutech's ResidentGuard, provides a wearable tracking device that looks like a fitness band. This band will trigger an alarm if the patient leaves a designated area, alerting facility staff.

Wandering can be a very frightening experience, both for the patient and their loved ones. But by understanding the reasons behind it, you can take steps to prevent it from happening.