Wandering

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.

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