Steps to keep dementia sufferers from wandering

With authorities still searching for a missing Henderson County woman who wandered off, experts said it's important to keep a close eye on those with Alzheimer's or dementia to keep them close to home.

Sixty percent of those with dementia wander.

There are things you can do to keep your loved one from wandering away.

  • Enroll in the Alzheimer's Association Safe Return program. It's a 24 hour nationwide emergency response service. Just type alzheimers' in the speedword box at the top of the page.
  • Try to identify the times of day wandering might occur, and plan ahead with activities.
  • Involve the patient in activites to keep them busy.
  • If wandering at night is the problem, limit daytime fluids. That keeps them from getting up to go to the bathroom.
  • Consider lots of lights in and around your home.
  • Place locks out of the line sight. For instance, slide bolts at the top or bottom of the door.
  • And most importantly, realize it could happen anytime anywhere, even if the patient has never wandered before. Line up help from family members or a sitter.