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(NAPSI)—One of the most frightening scenarios for families caring for seniors living with Alzheimer’s is a loved one wandering or getting lost. It can understandably cause immediate panic and concern and, unfortunately, happens all too often. In fact, nearly 50 percent of surveyed family members have experienced a loved one with Alzheimer’s wandering or getting lost, according to a new survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise network.
Anyone living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is at risk for wandering and it can happen at any time. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of these missing persons may be at risk for injury or death, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
To help prevent this, it is critical for families to understand the common triggers for wandering and steps they can take to discourage loved ones from doing so.
“Wandering can be a huge challenge and major concern for families living with a loved one with Alzheimer’s,” said Monica Moreno, director of Early-Stage Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s best to be proactive in addressing the issue before it becomes a crisis.”
To help families cope, Home Instead is offering free resources to help family caregivers keep their loved ones safe, including information on these common triggers that can lead to wandering:
• Delusions or hallucinations. Those living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia may misinterpret sights or sounds, causing them to feel fearful and wander to escape their environment.
• Overstimulation. Individuals living with dementia can become easily upset in noisy or crowded environments, triggering them to look for an escape from the chaos.
• Fatigue, especially during late afternoons and evenings. People living with dementia may become tired, potentially causing restless pacing and, eventually, wandering.
• Disorientation as to place and time. Individuals may not recognize that they are already home and seek to return to a familiar place, such as a former workplace.
• Change in routine. Those living with dementia may become confused following a change of routine, wandering in an effort to return to a familiar place.
To explore additional resources, visit www.PreventWandering.com or call a Home Instead Senior Care franchise office. To sign up for the free Missing Senior Network, visit www.MissingSeniorNetwork.com.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)