This can be a 24 hour a day watch.
Wandering may occur for various reasons:
- The person may set off for the shop or to a friends house and become lost and disorientated
- They may enjoy walking and see no harm in heading off.
- May be looking for people and places from the past
- Physical changes which have occurred in the brain may cause a feeling of anxiety and restlessness
- The person may be bored, restless or upset
- May be confused if living arrangements are changed
Precautions to take:
- Make the house secure by keeping exterior doors locked: make sure there are no internal locks that can only be operated from one side.
- Hide door keys
- Make the garden a safe place
- Advise friends and neighbours about the wandering and ask them to let you know if they see him or her unaccompanied.
- Try to be home late afternoon every day when the person may become restless
- Establish a routine, keep person busy by involving them in preparing the meal, folding clothes – hanging clothes on line etc.
Reference: Harvard Health Letter Special Report, Commonwealth, Dept., of Health & Family Services, (The Carer Experience)