Alzheimer’s patient wandering can be a dangerous and frightening experience. Here are a few brief tips to help family caregivers prepare for and prevent wandering behavior:
* Place locks out of reach or out of sight. Install slide bolts at the top or bottom of doors.
* Clearly label all doors. Use signs or symbols to explain the purpose of each room. Discourage entry to a particular room by labeling the door “Do Not Enter” or “No!”
* Place warning bells above all doors.
* Survey the neighborhood and identify dangerous areas near the home such as bodies of water, open stairwells, dense foliage, tunnels, bus stops, high balconies, and heavy traffic roads. Check these places first if someone becomes lost.
* Enroll the person in the Safe Return Program, a federally funded service of the Alzheimer’s Association that adds the person to a national identification database, includes a 24 hour help line, provides the person with identification materials, and works with law enforcement to help bring the person home. For more information contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900.
(Source: Alzheimer's Association)