Keeping residents safe is one of your highest priorities, particularly residents with dementia who may wander and/or elope. In his book, Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregiver published by the Alzheimer’s Association, Frank Boyles suggests these tips to reduce the risk of wandering and/or help to ensure the safe return of a resident should they go missing:
- Keep a recent photograph of the resident to help police if he/she should become lost.
- Have alarms and/or security mechanisms (such as delayed egress) on all exits. Ensure appropriate first and regulatory clearance before installing any security devices.
- Encourage families or responsible parties to enroll residents in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program.
- Encourage regular physical activity.
- Encourage/assist the resident to get enough sleep at night.
- Keep the resident engaged in activities, especially at times when wandering is the greatest risk.
- DO NOT restrain or medicate a resident to manage wandering.
For more information, check out our staff training DVD on wandering.