He walks around all day and wanders into other residents' rooms. They complain to the staff and the director calls me to complain. What can I do to help him?

My mother's memory care has locks on the residents doors to prevent wandering into one another's rooms. The residents aren't locked INTO their rooms......others are locked OUT of their rooms and a key is required to enter each room. It's really a very simple answer to avoiding big issues, in reality. Plus, it is NOT against the law, as some people insist....its up to each MC as to how they want to handle it. I wouldn't have my mother live in a MC where she wasn't allowed privacy in her own room. The caregivers use their key to let the resident into their room, or the resident can wear a key on a cord around their wrist.

If the MC is complaining to you that your husband is unable to find his room, then something is seriously wrong with the administration of the MC and they don't know what they're doing. YOU shouldn't have to do anything to help hubby find his room.....the STAFF should be helping him, that's what you're paying for and what he's doing in MC to begin with! Speak with the executive director of the place to see why they can't manage the staff properly and ask if you should start looking to relocate your husband to a properly run facility. Seriously. They're expecting YOU to manage your husband while he's a resident in THEIR facility! What's wrong with that picture?

Demand a satisfactory resolution to this problem or start looking for a better run MC for DH. Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to lealonnie1
Maggie61r Oct 8, 2021
That's what I was thinking when I read it. He's in a Memory Care facility, meaning he has a hard time remembering. I'm sure he's not the first or last one to have this issue. Why isn't the staff directing him to the correct room? What is Weary Jean supposed to do about it? When I read that the director calls her to complain, it made me so angry!
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The director calls you to complain??!? Something is wrong there. Either you misunderstand what she thinks, or you are in the wrong facility. Your husband's behavior is PAR for the course! There should be corrective measures within the facility
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Reply to Octogenarian

The deficiency here is with the facility. This is common with dementia and any facility should have measures in place to deal with this.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Debstarr53

I agree, what kind of MC is this? This is normal. An aide should be taking him back to his room when he acts thats where he wants to be. Who is calling you? Because I would ask "Is this not the reason he is in MC because he has "no memory". I would also ask "what do u think I can do about it". Maybe find another MC because this one looks like they have no idea how Dementia works.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JoAnn29

Dealing with wandering should be part of his care by the MC facility. If they cannot or will not manage that behavior, you may need to.move him to a more competent facility.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie

For goodness sake, he's in memory care for a reason! What exactly does the director think you are supposed to do? The only thing you could do to help him is to give him his memory back and that's not gonna happen.

I would have a few questions for director, next time you get a call:
- what do you do about your other MEMORY care patients who wander?
- is it common for memory patients to become MORE aware as the disease progresses, because I thought otherwise and took him to a memory care facility
- repeat bullet #1 several times until director understands this isn't their first rodeo if they are in the memory care business and by now should have ways of directing someone who is wandering toward the right path.
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Reply to my2cents

Your husband has trouble finding his own room because he's in MEMORY care. He doesn't know his room from any other. This is not your problem, it is the facilities. I would venture to say that almost every MC facility has to deal with this problem, and, in fact, should expect it. What exactly do they expect you to do? My wife wandered into other rooms, and other residents wandered into hers. I once found another resident in my wife's closet. The staff found my wife asleep in another's room. The family of the facility's residents should be told this happens and why. I think the staff is ill trained to handle these situations.

To expand on cxmoody's idea of placing a picture on the doors, also add the statement “This is XXX's room” along with the pic. Every room should have these on the doors.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to sjplegacy
WearyJean Oct 7, 2021
Thank you! I've been thinking these thoughts but I have been fearful to verbalize them.
When dad was in the nursing home (not memory care) the staff was always talking about how he didn't know how to get to his own room and wandered. When they finally started allowing visitors to come inside, I got to go with him to his room. So I would ask the staff, which way to his room? Three workers were asked and had no clue. Finally, a patient told me where to go and which room.

Imagine that!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to answry

Good heavens, that's THEIR problem to solve.

Put his name on the door in large letters and the pictures as others have said. Then tell the MC to stop calling you with complaints illustrating THEIR failures, or you might think twice about the wisdom of keeping him there or recommending it to anyone else.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MJ1929

Ask the staff to engage him so that your dear husband has something to do! The wandering is probably because he is looking for some purpose to his day!
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Reply to Deelie

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