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Dad has started wandering - any advice would be appreciated

360JOS

New member
Oct 28, 2020
1
Hi, I'm new here and I'm looking for some advice.

My dad has Alzheimers with Dementia. He's 75 lives alone and has 4 carers visiting him throughout the day as well as family. He seems to have been really settled lately however we had an incident on the weekend where out of the blue he wandered quite far away to a main road away from his home. Someone realised something wasn't right and called the Police and he was brought home (thankfully). Up until this point we felt he was safe at home but now I'm constantly worrying he's going to do it again. I've looked online at lots of different types of trackers but dad would take anything off it were round his neck for example. If anyone has any advice on a suitable device that he couldn't remove/tamper with I'd be really grateful. I've spent hours searching the internet and there's so many different options out there. It needs to be simple and I want to be able to set up an alert for if he goes past a certain safe point. Thanks in advance :) Jo
 

Hayley JS

Registered User
Feb 20, 2020
191
Hi Jo, welcome to the forum. No really useful advice to offer I'm afraid as you never know what your pwd is going to wear or take with them when they leave the house. If your dad wears a watch you could try getting him a smart watch with a tracker. Thing is these solutions are short lived and tend to become obsolete as the illness progresses. Hopefully someone with more useful advice will be along soon. Good luck n best wishes. H
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,132
North West
Hi, I'm new here and I'm looking for some advice.

My dad has Alzheimers with Dementia. He's 75 lives alone and has 4 carers visiting him throughout the day as well as family. He seems to have been really settled lately however we had an incident on the weekend where out of the blue he wandered quite far away to a main road away from his home. Someone realised something wasn't right and called the Police and he was brought home (thankfully). Up until this point we felt he was safe at home but now I'm constantly worrying he's going to do it again. I've looked online at lots of different types of trackers but dad would take anything off it were round his neck for example. If anyone has any advice on a suitable device that he couldn't remove/tamper with I'd be really grateful. I've spent hours searching the internet and there's so many different options out there. It needs to be simple and I want to be able to set up an alert for if he goes past a certain safe point. Thanks in advance :) Jo
I tried three different devices with mum, none of which worked and in the end tracking was of no use because the other problem is then identifying they have wandered and finding them. I think it depends very much on what stage a person with dementia is at with repsect to tracking aids and also how feasable it is to rely on them i.e. how far you have to travel if you are alerted. Technology so far is not hugely helpful with tendency to wander and often fails.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,933
South coast
Once they start wandering its a game changer. A determined wanderer can get an awfully long way before you catch up with them and the biggest problem is them falling or being injured on a road.

Being proactive you could register him with the Police under the Herbert protocol, so that when he goes missing the police will find him easier to identify. You can also get door alarms that remind him not to go out (doesnt usually work) and will alert you that he has gone out - but that depends on how far away you are.

With mum, she started going out occasionally and neighbours would bring her back, but withing a few months she was constantly going out, including during the night in the freezing cold, wearing only her nightwear and banging on random peoples doors because she was lost. The only way she was stopped was when she moved into a secure care home.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,352
Wandering, is the big game changer, the only real solution is as has been said, a Care Home placement.
Winter is coming, so there is no time to be lost.

Bod
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,027
Hi @360JOS and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. As @canary said starting to wander is very tricky to deal with. A quick look on a well-know site show there are lots of small trackers you could put in something your dad always takes with him such as keys or a coat but as dementia progresses he is less likely to take these things and may dismantle the tracker if found. Unless you live very close to your dad a tracker isn't going to help you get to him quickly, and as others have said there is always the risk of falls. I don't have a great deal of personal experience of this as though my mum got a bit lost on several occasions she found her way home, with I suspect, help from local people who knew where she lived. Her main problem when wandering was drinking down the local pub with random men, so getting lost isn't the only risky behaviour that can happen to someone with dementia when they go out. Wandering seems to be almost inevitable at a certain stage of dementia. I thought my mother in law didn't try to do it as she has little mobility and walks with a frame She also lives on the edge of a village down a rough un-made road. Apparently though she has taken to standing at her door and considering doing it.
I'm sure others will be along with their experiences soon, but it might be time to consider a care home.
 

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