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The wandering crisis: A serious issue for Alzheimer’s patients

One reason you checked your loved one into a nursing home is because of the onset of Alzheimer's. When the symptoms began showing up, you looked into your options. The first time you found your loved one outside, confused and disoriented, that's when you knew it was time for the move.

After all, some experts have deemed wandering issues a health crisis in America, one of the more common -- and most dangerous -- results of Alzheimer's. Reports indicate that about 60 percent of people wander when they have the disease. They risk getting lost or injured; in the worst cases, this can even be fatal. The Alzheimer's Association warns that serious issues often occur when people cannot be located in 24 hours.

Wandering happens for different reasons, but it typically stems from confusion. People may forget where they were going or where they are. In a lot of cases, they'll talk about "wanting to go home" or something similar, even if they are at home. As memories slip, for instance, an elderly person could become convinced that "home" is a house he or she hasn't lived in for 20 years.

The wandering still happens in the nursing home, but you picked it because the staff offers around-the-clock care. They are supposed to gently stop these incidents as soon as they start and keep residents from harm.

So what happens when the nursing home is neglectful and does not provide proper care to your loved one? If he or she is injured or tragically passes away after a wandering incident, you must know what legal options you have.

Source: A Place for Mom, "How to Stop the Alzheimer’s Wandering Crisis," Jeff Anderson, accessed March 15, 2018

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