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What can you do to prevent a loved one from wandering?

Wandering can be a significant problem for some elderly people with memory loss issues and other cognitive disorders. Some may become confused about where they are or where they're going, potentially resulting in walking away from a nursing home and getting lost.

If you have a loved one who tends to wander, it's important that the nursing home is aware of that. Most nursing homes do take steps to prevent residents from leaving the premises. Some things that can be provided for your loved one include:

  • Monitored walks with an aide or nurse
  • Frequent check-ins, to make sure they're in their room or within the confines of the facility

Nursing homes should also offer a few additional services to protect elders including:

  • Alarm systems to alert others to a missing patient
  • Alarm systems on the exit doors that sound when the doors open without pressing certain buttons or releases
  • Double doors, with at least one that is locked or that uses a pin code for entry
  • Video/camera monitoring of the exits and outside spaces

By offering these types of tools and services, the nursing home your loved one is in can help prevent your loved one from leaving the premises unexpectedly.

What can you do to make sure your loved one doesn't leave the premises?

It can be difficult for you to take any type of precautions beyond what the nursing home should offer. However, informing others of the loved one's risk of wandering and making sure they have a medical alert bracelet and personal information on their person at all times will help if they do leave the facility.

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