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Immediate Steps to Take When an Alzheimer’s Patient Starts Wandering

Ask a doctor about Alzheimer’s and you’ll likely learn that by the time you’re 80, you have a 50/50 shot of having this form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease affects everyone differently.

Some patients become agitated and angry, but others become more doting and loving. Some become housebound while others develop an urgency to get outside and walk. If you worry that your dad is going to start wandering, these steps make it easy for everyone.

Get a Smartwatch or Smartphone and Turn on GPS Tracking

If you can, get your dad to carry a smartphone or smartwatch. Make sure GPS tracking is turned on. If it is and he gets outside, you’ll know where he is and can step in and redirect him home when needed.

Place Locks in Unusual Places

Your dad is going to figure out standard locks. Put them in different places to trick him. Install a sliding latch low to the floor or on the top of the door sill. Use a pressurized shower curtain rod to keep him from being able to open a sliding door or window.

Put in Alarms

Door and window alarms help keep your dad from wandering off. If he does open a door or window to go outside, you’ll hear the alarm and follow him before he has a chance to go far. Bed alarms also help you know if he’s gotten out of bed.

When your dad does get outside, he may not want to come back inside immediately. Let him walk. What’s important is that someone has joined him and can help him find his way back home when he’s tired of walking.

Make Sure He Has Around-the-Clock Care

Someone needs to be on-duty at all hours. Your dad’s sleep patterns may change because of Alzheimer’s. You may find that he’s only sleeping two or three hours a day. If someone is alert when you’re trying to sleep, it helps.

When you’re up, the person who took the late-night shift can get some sleep. Around-the-clock care will make it easy. One way to do this is by pairing family caregivers with professional caregivers.

Talk to a senior care agency about your dad’s symptoms with Alzheimer’s disease. Let the specialist know if he’s prone to angry outbursts, has developed a sweet tooth that makes mealtime difficult to manage, or is starting to wander.

A customized senior care plan ensures he’s safe and as happy as he can be. It also gives you the chance to take breaks as often as needed so that you get to reduce stress and enjoy a level of socialization that you might otherwise skip.


If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Clermont, FL, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Clermont today. 1-888-423-4046.