Preventing Wandering: Management Tips for Caregivers


According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, approximately 60 percent of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia will wander. Managing the risks of wandering requires careful observation and creative safety measures, as well as having a good emergency plan.

At-Risk Wanderers: Warning Signs

  • Your loved one has trouble locating familiar places
  • They ask where people are
  • Frequent restlessness
  • Attempt to follow past routines
  • Confusion, disorientation or anxiety
  • Boredom and lack of activity
  • Sundowning Syndrome
  • Suspicions or delusional tendencies

Tips for Managing Wandering

  1. Create a routine – Repeating daily activities provides structure for your loved one. When they have something to do next, it’s easier to stay focused in the here and now.
  2. Plan activities – Schedule activities during the times your loved one is most likely to wander. Being active mentally and physically can help to reduce anxiety and agitation.
  3. Reassure them that they’re safe – If your loved one feels lost, disoriented or abandoned, reassure them that they will be okay and that you won’t leave them.
  4. Meet their basic needs – Needing to use the bathroom or being hungry or thirsty might cause your loved one to wander.
  5. Avoid busy places – To keep your loved one from becoming confused or disoriented, avoid crowded places such as the supermarket or malls.
  6. Keep locks and keys out of sight – Install locks on exterior doors either above or below eye level, and store car keys in a drawer to discourage leaving the house alone.
  7. Use signaling devices – Place a bell above the door to alert you if your loved one goes outside, or install an electronic device that signals when doors or windows are opened.
  8. Provide supervision – Be with your loved one as often as you can. Never leave them home alone or in the car as you run errands.

In Case of Emergencies: Make a Plan

  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and a current photo of your loved one.
  • Give your loved one medical ID jewelry to wear in case they become lost.
  • Ask friends, family and neighbors to call if they ever see your loved one alone.
  • Write out a list of places in your neighborhood where your loved one might go.
  • If your loved one does go missing, remember not to search the immediate area for more than fifteen minutes – you don’t want to give them time to travel further away.
  • Call 911 to report that your loved one with dementia has gone missing.

The Art of Living

At Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay, we’ve mastered the art of living. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy, and meaning every day.

Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture, and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.

The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.

To learn more about our comfortable, elegant community, contact us today!

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