by Pamela Spahr… Even when my husband was in a skilled nursing home after being diagnosed with dementia, he wanted to wander. When I brought him home, I was terrified that he would walk out the front door and that I would not be able to stop him. It was a wakeup call for me! I needed to find better ways to keep him safe.
Here are some ideas I have used and would like to share with you.
Be alert to their movements.
- You can use alarm mats at external doors or on the floor beside a bed.
- You can also use baby monitors in different rooms in the house.
- You can install a latch at the top of the door, which is hard for loved ones to reach.
Have a plan. Wandering can happen anytime.
Create a master profile form in advance that includes:
- Your loved one’s personal information.
- Your name and contact information, so that searchers can get hold of you.
- A good, recent, frontal photo of your loved one.
- Create a list of telephone numbers of people who will look for your loved one.
- Designate one person to be in charge of the list, who will call the others on the list if something happens.
- Place a printed copy of flyer and telephone list in a conspicuous place in the house, so that you know exactly where they are in an emergency.
- Have an electronic version of the flyer available.
If the unthinkable happens, do this:
- Don’t go looking your loved one.
- Enter the remaining data on the profile form, such as last seen date and time and what he or she was wearing.
- Call 911 FIRST. Police can mobilize patrols instantly.
- Print many copies of the profile form for distribution.
- Call the lead person on the telephone list, so he or she can notify the remaining people on the list about the problem.
Inspired Caregivers www.inspiredcaregivers.com
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