Wandering is very common among people who have Alzheimer’s. Estimates are that as many as six in ten people who have Alzheimer’s will wander at least once, many of them will wander regularly. If you’re a family member caring for a senior with dementia you probably have experienced the fear of your senior loved one wandering already. If you haven’t, you probably will at some point. When your senior loved one with dementia wanders off it can be hard to know how to approach them to get them to come back. Here are a few expert tips you can use when approaching your senior loved one with dementia to get them back after they have wandered:
Get Some Help
If you have an elder care provider that works with your senior loved one and provides respite care for you it can be a big help to have someone else that your senior loved one knows with you when trying to get them to come back to the house. Working together gives you a better chance of getting your senior loved one to return quickly and safely.
Redirect By Asking For Their Help
If your senior loved one is refusing to come back to the house and is getting agitated arguing with them isn’t going to help the situation. Neither will demanding that they come back. A way that you can get them to come back easily is to tell them that you need their help. For example, tell them that you understand they want to be outside but it’s cold out. Ask if they want a jacket or a sweater. When they say yes tell them that you don’t know which jacket or sweater they want so they should come with you and pick one out so that they get the one they want.
Apologize For Making Them Upset
If your senior loved one wanders and is upset with you for some reason instead of getting angry or responding to their suspicion of you with hostility or resentment you should apologize. It can be difficult to do that when your senior loved one has just spilled something on you and stormed off, or yelled at you and left the house, or in some other way has acted aggressively. But it’s something you can try to calm them down and allow themselves to be brought back. As they are walking keep your distance so that you aren’t in harm’s way but apologize for whatever you did that upset them and say that you would like them to talk to you because you don’t know what you did to upset them. Keep apologizing. As they calm down you should be able to approach them and start to lead them back towards the house.
If you have the help of an elder care provider the elder care provider can start to lead them back while you are apologizing and keeping your distance. This should be enough of a redirection to make it easier to get them into the car or to walk them back home.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Fitchburg, WI please contact the caring staff at Agape Senior Services Madison today. (608) 841-1004