Get the Caregivers' Survival Guide FREE
when you sign-up for the newsletter.

How to Control Alzheimer's Wandering

Alzheimer's disease causes sufferers to become disoriented, confused and afraid. The disease can erase memories of once-familiar surroundings, and as a result, Alzheimer's patients often wander away from home. In fact, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that 60% of Alzheimer's patients wander away from home. The stress can weigh heavily on caregivers and family.

It is not possible to completely prevent wandering in people with Alzheimer's and dementia, but caregivers can minimize the risk. Here are some techniques to try:

Find an Alzheimer's Care Community »

Install wandering-prevention locks. Install locks and escape prevention devices on doors, windows and gate. These products require complex maneuvers to open doors, thus making it difficult for Alzheimer's and dementia patients to leave. For example, if your loved one tends to unlock doors, install sliding bolt locks out of your loved one's line of sight.

Install alarms. There are many wandering prevention alarms on the market that can alert you that your loved one is trying to get out. These devices include motion detectors, pressure-sensitive alarm mats at the door, and warning bells on doors.

Disguise escape routes. Camouflaging doors and windows inhibits the Alzheimer patient's ability to find a way out. Paint doors the same color as walls, or hang curtains on windows that match the color of walls, so they blend in with surroundings, and make them less visible.

Provide a safe place to wander. Provide a safe place in your home or yard for walking or exploration — such as a path through the rooms of your house or a circular trail through a fenced backyard.

Use visual cues. People who have Alzheimer's often forget where they are, even inside their own homes. Visual reminders provide clues and trigger memories. For example, post descriptive photos on the doors to various rooms, such as the bathroom, and kitchen. Even Stop signs at doors have been reported to help.

Print Email
3 people are discussing this article with 4 comments

Free Helpful Guides

Home Care Guide
How to find, hire and manage home care.
Get the home care guide ›
Alzheimer’s Care Guide
Learn from elder care experts, caregivers and patients.
Get your care guide ›
Caregivers' Survival Guide:
Everything you need to care
for an elderly family member.
Get the caregivers' guide ›

Ashburn, VA

Care Providers
Palliative Medical Associates
Learn about our end-of-life care
Home Helpers of No. Virginia
Speak with us about your care needs
Classic Caregivers
Speak with us about your care needs

Everything you need to care for
an elderly family member.
Download your eBook ›
How to find, hire and
manage home care.
Get the home care guide ›
140 characters left

©2015 AgingCare, LLC. All rights reserved.  About Us  |  Advertise with Us  |  Sitemap


The material of this web site is provided for informational purposes only. does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment;
or legal, financial or any other professional services advice. Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.