Changes in the schedule. Increased stress levels among caregivers and other family members. Sensory overload. The holidays can bring about all of these, all of which can make someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia experience greater anxiety, making them more prone to wander.
Whether it’s holiday stress, boredom, fear, disorientation, a physical or emotional need to keep moving, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 6 out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s or dementia will wander at some point in the disease process.
Given this statistic, caregivers become increasingly concerned for a loved one’s safety, particularly as the disease advances. But during the holidays, it’s hard to keep up with all the other demands on your schedule and remain vigilant about the person in your care. How can you prevent the wandering that may occur in concert with everyone’s stress levels peaking?
A blog post from Aegis Living may have some answers. Check out these tips for caregivers dealing with the concerns and challenges that wandering presents. You can also refer to our 4-part series on Creating a Dementia-Friendly Home for insights on designing an environment that prevents wandering.
Above all, be aware that the stress of the season may have an impact on your loved one. Do your best to put the stress aside so he/she can be at ease.