How Memory Care Improves Quality of Life for Seniors with Dementia

April 15, 2019

improve quality of life

For adults with dementia, a memory care community helps improve quality of life. Here’s what adult children and family caregivers should know.

When a senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar form of dementia, families go to great lengths to keep them at home. Sometimes that means bringing professional caregivers into the senior’s home, and other times the solution might be moving them into an adult child’s home.

As the disease progresses, families can encounter unique challenges Many of these challenges are difficult to safely manage at home. These can include wandering, agitation, and aggression. Managing Alzheimer’s disease can lead to burnout and other serious health problems for the caregiver.

Moving to a memory care community might be a good solution for loved ones to consider.

Quality of Life and Memory Care Communities

A memory care program, such as The Harbor at Legacy Senior Living, offers the support a senior with dementia needs to feel productive and empowered. It also gives their loved ones the peace of mind that comes from knowing the older adult is safe.

A few ways memory care programs can help to improve the quality of life for people with dementia include:

  • Daily life enrichment activities: Life enrichment activities in a memory care program are designed to work with the senior’s remaining abilities and allow them to feel more productive. That’s important to an older adult who may be struggling with communication skills and memory loss.
  • Thoughtfully designed physical environments: Wandering is an unfortunate reality many families struggle to manage. Memory care programs offer secure environments designed to prevent wandering. They also use techniques such as visual cues, memory boxes, and open floor plans to make daily life easier for people with memory loss.
  • Dedicated dining programs: Poor nutrition is another concern for family caregivers when a loved one has dementia. It is common for people with dementia to develop swallowing problems that increase the risk for choking. Vision changes can make it hard for them to distinguish the food on their plate. Difficulty concentrating at mealtime also plays a role. In a memory care program, the staff works around each of these challenges to keep residents well nourished.
  • Specially-trained caregivers: Another benefit of memory care is the caregivers. Most have undergone additional training to help them learn how to support success in adults with dementia. From how to approach an adult with dementia to how to communicate with an adult who has lost their verbal skills, caregivers are trained to help residents live better lives.

Signs It’s Time to Consider a Memory Care Community

If you aren’t sure when it’s time to consider a memory care community, here are a few signs that your loved one might be ready:

  • Easily disoriented or lost in familiar places
  • Unable to participate in activities and events at home
  • Struggling with balance and mobility
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Vision changes that put them at risk for falls
  • Poor judgment with finances
  • Problems with continence care

It’s also important to include caregiver stress and fatigue on this list. Alzheimer’s caregivers have exhausting schedules. When the days begin to feel overwhelming, it is another sign it may be time to consider memory care for a senior loved one.

Visit The Harbor Memory Care

The best way to learn more about a memory care program is to visit in person. Staff members can answer all of your questions, take you on a tour, and introduce you to the staff. Contact a Legacy Senior Living community near you to schedule a tour today!

What is Parkinson’s Dementia?

March 25, 2019

What is Parkinson's Dementia

People are familiar with the common symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as tremors and speech problems. But most people with this disease also develop Parkinson’s dementia. Learn more here.

With symptoms ranging from rigid muscles to speech problems, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is classified as a neurodegenerative disease. It happens when the body doesn’t produce enough dopamine, the chemical required to allow for smooth movements. Another challenge for an adult with PD and their family caregivers is Parkinson’s dementia.

Researchers say that between 50 and 80 percent of people with PD will eventually develop Parkinson’s dementia. Similar to other forms of dementia, it can present unique safety challenges for the person with the disease and for their caregivers.

What Is Parkinson’s Dementia?

Parkinson’s disease dementia results from a buildup of protein deposits, known as Lewy bodies, in the brain of a person with PD. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia are similar to other forms of dementia. They include:

  • Memory loss and forgetfulness
  • Sleep problems
  • Hallucinations and/or delusions
  • Difficulty carrying on a conversation
  • Loss of attention span
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Trouble managing finances
  • Irritable and quick to anger
  • Using words incorrectly
  • Poor judgment
  • Depression
  • Easily tearful and sad

How is Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Treated?

As is true with most forms of dementia, there is currently no cure. An older adult’s physician will usually create a care plan to manage each individual symptom of the disease.

For example, if a senior with PD dementia is experiencing sadness or clinical depression, they might be referred to a mental health professional for treatment. Or if the adult is having trouble with insomnia, a sleep disorder specialist might be consulted to help address it.

Senior Living to Assist Adults with PD

Because the average age of diagnosis for PD is 60, patients and their spouses are often leading active lives. The challenge of living with and caring for a person who has Parkinson’s disease dementia can be especially difficult.

Some families turn to an adult day program for daytime assistance. The adult with Parkinson’s dementia attends the center every day or a few times a week to socialize in a safe, supportive environment. This allows a spouse or adult child to continue to work.

Other families find an assisted living community to be a better solution. They may utilize the community’s short-term respite care services when the family caregiver needs a break or wants to enjoy a vacation. As their loved one’s needs increase, they might move to the community on a long-term basis. Because they’ve already built a relationship with the staff, the transition is a little easier to make.

If you are caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s dementia and you live in the southeast, we invite you to schedule an appointment at one of the Legacy Senior Living communities. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about respite care, assisted living, and memory care for adults with dementia. Call us today at (423) 478-8071 to set up a time!

Wandering Safety Technology for a Senior with Alzheimer’s

February 18, 2019

Wandering Safety Technology for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

If a senior you care for has Alzheimer’s disease, wandering safety technology, like a GPS tracking device, can help keep them becoming lost.

If you are the caregiver for an older adult who has Alzheimer’s, you know firsthand how difficult the disease can be to manage. Keeping an adult with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia safe, can result in long, stressful days for family members. It’s a situation an estimated 16.1 million people find themselves in.

One of the most difficult challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is managing wandering. This is an important issue to learn more about because 6 in 10 people with the disease will wander. If an adult wanders once, it increases the risk they will do so again.

Fortunately, there are technology solutions that can help. Most of these rely on various forms of GPS tracking.

Wandering Safety Technology for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

The statistics on wandering demonstrate how vital the first 24 hours are for the safe return of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. If a senior is missing longer than 24 hours, the odds of a safe return begin to decline significantly.

A GPS tracking device gives caregivers peace of mind. Should their senior loved one wander, they can be located more quickly. A few devices to investigate include:

  • AngelSense: This GPS cell phone system allows caregivers to receive updates on their loved one’s location every ten seconds. It can also alert caregivers if the senior wanders in to an unfamiliar area. AngelSense has two-way voice technology to allow the older adult and their family member to talk back and forth.
  • GPS SmartSole: A wearable but discrete technology, this GPS tracking option is an insert that is placed in the senior’s shoe. It logs and tracks the older adult’s location using cellular technology. This allows the caregiver to quickly locate their loved one in the event of an emergency.
  • PocketFinder: Another discrete device, this one is small enough to be placed in the senior’s pocket. It is a personal GPS that allows you to track an older adult’s location in real time. That’s important when a senior has dementia and might not be able to speak for themselves to ask for help.

Memory Care for Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease

Sometimes the needs of a senior with Alzheimer’s disease are too much for families to safely manage at home. When that happens, a memory care community can be an ideal solution. These secure programs are designed to keep residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia safe, including from wandering away.

They are also designed to allow residents to live their best quality of life despite their disease. From dedicated dining programs that promote good nutrition to life enrichment programs that keep residents engaged, memory care communities empower residents while giving loved ones peace of mind.

At Legacy Senior Living, we call our memory care services The Harbor. With a homelike setting and attentive staff, residents are expertly cared for each day. If you are searching for a memory care community to support a senior in your life, we encourage you to call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you today to schedule a private tour.

What is Reminiscence Therapy for Adults with Alzheimer’s?

January 21, 2019

reminiscence therapy for adults with Alzheimer’s

If a senior you love has Alzheimer’s disease, reminiscence therapy can help them reconnect with happy memories.

When a senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, family members may struggle to find ways to help them feel engaged and connected to the world around them. Short-term memory is often affected early in the disease process, leaving the senior feeling isolated and alone. That’s where programs like Reminiscence Therapy can help.

Reminiscence Therapy (RT) is based on the idea that recalling happy memories helps families to bond and allows a senior to relive positive experiences from the past.

It works because it doesn’t rely on the individual’s impaired short-term memory. The practice of reminiscence utilizes long-term memory that might still be intact. Researchers believe this therapy can help reduce anxiety and depression among adults with dementia.

We have a few ideas to help you utilize Reminiscence Therapy at home.

Utilizing Reminiscence Therapy with a Senior Loved One

  • Ask long-time friends and family members to share copies of old photographs. Explain that your goal is to help your loved one reconnect with photos that will elicit happy memories.
  • Think about what other items may trigger positive memories. Was your loved one a teacher? Put together a box of supplies they may have used for teaching, such as a ruler, a small chalkboard, and an assignment journal.
  • Music is another avenue for connecting with the past. Create a play list of your family member’s favorite music from their youth. Talk about the artists who sang each song and the memories they recall when listening.
  • Like music, old movies are another way to reminisce. Find DVDs of some old classics that you can watch together. It might be fun to include younger members of the family too!
  • Aromatherapy doesn’t always have to be a fancy diffuser and essential oils. Baking can also trigger recollections of happy times. For example, the smell of an apple pie or pecan rolls in the oven may help a senior remember pleasant memories with a parent or grandparent.

Memory Care at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living communities, we’ve earned a reputation for excellence in caring for adults with Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia. In our memory care communities, called The Harbor, we are committed to helping each resident live their best quality of life.

From a home-like setting to thoughtfully planned meals, we invite you to schedule a personal tour to learn more. Call the Legacy community nearest you to set up a time today!

5 Ways to Help a Senior with Alzheimer’s Maintain Their Dignity

December 24, 2018

Learn how to help a senior with dementia maintain their dignity and quality of life.

Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, can be challenging. Learn how to help a senior with dementia maintain their dignity and quality of life.

Alzheimer’s is a disease that slowly robs people of their abilities. It’s sometimes referred to as “the long goodbye.” For spouses, adult children, and grandchildren, it is difficult to watch a loved one slip further and further away.

One challenge for families, as the disease progresses, is how to shelter an aging family member from a loss of dignity. As memory and communication skills become impaired, protecting an adult with Alzheimer’s becomes more difficult.

There are steps a family member can take to help a senior maintain his or her dignity and quality of life. Here are just a few.

5 Ways to Protect the Dignity of an Adult with Alzheimer’s

  1. Kind words still matter: When seniors lose their ability to verbally communicate, it might be easy to overlook how meaningful your words can still be to them. Though they may be unable to respond with words, it doesn’t mean you should stop saying phrases like “I love you” or “Good morning!” The kindness and love in your voice can help an aging family member feel safe and secure during this difficult time.
  2. Be mindful of troubling symptoms: Some forms of dementia, such as Lewy body dementia, can cause a senior to hallucinate. These hallucinations can be frightening and uncomfortable for them to experience and for you to witness. Hold their hand and talk softly to them when they are scared.
  3. Protect their privacy during personal care: If your loved one requires help with bathing and dressing, take extra steps to protect their privacy. While they may be unable to express it, they may feel embarrassed about needing assistance with personal care. Have a bathrobe waiting for them when they step out of the shower. Make casual conversation to distract them while dressing. Keep blinds and doors closed to protect their modesty.
  4. Celebrate life milestones: It might not seem worth the effort to celebrate birthdays and other milestones as your loved one’s disease progresses. This is especially true if you feel overwhelmed with the demands of caregiving. Try to make time anyway. While your loved one may not understand what is being celebrated, they will likely enjoy the companionship and smiling faces around them.
  5. Protect their quality of life: Alzheimer’s and closely related forms of dementia often cause seniors to withdraw and spend more time alone. Sometimes they may feel embarrassed at not understanding the conversations around them. At other times, they may feel overwhelmed by sadness. Plan activities that help seniors feel empowered and create environments that support their success. Try to do all you can to help them live their best quality of life.

It can be difficult to remain positive as you watch a loved one battle Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. We hope these tips help!

Memory Care Services at Legacy Senior Living

If you are struggling to manage the care of a senior loved one who has dementia, we can help. The Harbor, our memory care program, was designed to allow adults with memory loss an opportunity to live their best quality of life.

From specially-trained caregivers to purposeful day programming, no detail is overlooked. We invite you to schedule a private tour at your convenience to learn more!

How Are Adults Screened for Memory Problems?

November 12, 2018

If you are asking if the changes you see in a senior loved one are typical signs of aging or early signs of Alzheimer’s, you may also wonder how people are screened for memory problems.

If you’ve noticed changes in a senior loved one, you might worry about what could be wrong. Family members often wonder how to distinguish the normal signs of aging from issues that might indicate a more serious problem. The truth is, even experienced physicians sometimes have trouble making that distinction.

Forgetfulness and confusion are classic early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. However, there are other health conditions, some reversible, that can also cause those symptoms. A vitamin deficiency, an infection, or an adverse reaction to a medication can produce symptoms that mimic Alzheimer’s.

If you are concerned about a senior loved one’s health, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with their primary care physician. He or she will be able to complete a physical and a memory screening test to determine if further testing is necessary.

Screening Tests for Alzheimer’s & Dementia

People are often surprised to discover that no single test will definitively diagnosis Alzheimer’s. Diagnosis is a process of eliminating other potential causes for the symptoms a senior is experiencing. However, there are several screenings that can help health care professionals detect the signs of cognitive changes.

Two of those tests are:

  • Alzheimer’s Clock Test: This is the screening test many physicians use. The doctor will ask their patient to draw a clock on a piece of paper and include the numbers. The patient is then asked to draw the hands that correspond to random times of day, such as 1:25 or 10:15.
  • Mini Cog Test: Another screening exam a physician might use is the mini cog test. It has two parts: a 3-item recall test and a simply scored clock drawing test. While not definitive, it can help a doctor identify potential problems.

If your senior family member won’t allow you to schedule an appointment with their physician, there is another option to consider. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has established Memory Screening Sites. Trained professionals administer the confidential tests at no cost. You can search by zip code to find an AFA Memory Screening Site near you.

Finally, there are several tests that can be administered at home. One that is highly regarded is the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE). This memory screening takes about 15 minutes to download and complete. It can detect the early signs of memory loss or abstract thought impairment.

The Harbor Memory Care at Legacy

If a loved one does receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it’s important to know that there are a wide variety of resources available to help them live their best life despite the disease. Residents in our state-of-the-art memory care program, The Harbor, benefit from our unique approach to care. Call the community nearest you to arrange a private tour today.

How to Evaluate a Memory Care Program for a Loved One

October 22, 2018

How to evaluate a memory care program

Use these tips to help you evaluate a memory care program for a senior loved one who has dementia. From licensing to life enrichment, we help you know what to look for.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a similar form of dementia can be devastating for an older adult and the people who love them. As the disease advances and families have difficulty managing their loved one’s care at home, the need for specialized support often arises. Memory care programs help seniors with dementia live the best quality of life.

Finding a quality memory care program that allows seniors with dementia to feel independent and empowered is important. Here are a few factors to consider as you evaluate a memory care program in a senior living community.

3 Tips to Evaluate a Memory Care Program

  1. Check licensing and survey results

Memory care assisted living communities are licensed at the state level and regulations vary from state to state. You can learn how well a memory care community fared during their state inspection by visiting your state’s Department of Aging online. Here you will find copies of inspection reports and any family complaints. If your state doesn’t publish survey results online, ask the community to review theirs.

  1. Pay attention to the details

As you visit each memory care community, try to get a feel for how well the staff and residents seem to interact. Also pay attention to how the atmosphere feels. Are soft, kind voices used? Are interactions positive and encouraging?

You might ask other residents’ families you encounter how they feel about the community and if it’s been a good solution for their loved one.

During your tour, it’s also important to ask about life enrichment programs and wellness activities that are specific to residents with memory loss. A good quality life enrichment program will help residents with memory loss feel good about themselves despite their disease. Ask to see a copy of the resident calendar and have a life enrichment staff member go through it with you.

  1. Explore security programs

Wandering is an issue for many adults with dementia. In fact, it’s often cited as the leading reason families seek the support of a memory care community. Ask the staff to review the safety measures that are in place to prevent residents from wandering away.

While no one likes to think the worst will happen, it unfortunately does on very rare occasions. Ask the staff what their procedure is should a resident with dementia go missing.

Visit The Harbor at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living, we call our memory care program The Harbor. From our Purposeful Day approach to our homelike setting, The Harbor is a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed program. We invite you to get a firsthand look at our memory care program by calling the community nearest you to schedule a private tour!

Should Your Loved One Participate in an Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial?

September 24, 2018

Alzheimer’s clinical trial

Considering an Alzheimer’s clinical trial? Here’s what you should consider first, along with tips for connecting with a trial near you.

When a family elder or friend has Alzheimer’s disease, their adult children and loved ones go to great lengths to find answers. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for the disease. Healthcare professionals’ only course of action is to try to treat the symptoms.

In searching for help, families often stumble across information on Alzheimer’s clinical trials. While it’s unlikely that the trial will offer a cure, it may be a project that helps mitigate symptoms or a promising study that offers hope to future generations. Many Alzheimer’s trials across the country are seeking participants for a variety of research projects.

Before you proceed, it is best to learn how clinical trials work.

What to Know About Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials

Here are a few facts to know before you or a loved one with Alzheimer’s joins a clinical trial:

  • Placebo participant: For a clinical trial to be objective, some participants will be randomly chosen for the placebo. Simply put, a placebo participant receives an inactive drug or treatment without being told. This is tough for families to accept. You can review the Library of Medicine’s “Placebo in clinical trials” to learn more.
  • Informed consent: If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, their power of attorney or legal guardian may need to provide consent on the senior’s behalf.
  • Be realistic about outcomes: Clinical trials rarely provide a miracle cure. This is clearly true with Alzheimer’s trials. But a trial might offer new ways to slow the progression of the disease or treat symptoms. It’s important to enter into a clinical trial with realistic expectations about the outcome.
  • Time commitment: Alzheimer’s caregivers often feel overwhelmed from juggling so many daily tasks and chores. Adding one more responsibility to that list might be difficult. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how much time the trial will require.

How to Connect with an Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial

Two avenues for exploring Alzheimer’s clinical trials that are actively seeking participants include:

  • National Institute on Aging (NIA): The NIA maintains a database of clinical trials including those focused on Alzheimer’s disease. You can use your zip code to search for a trial based on how many miles you are willing to travel to participate.
  • Trial Match: The Alzheimer’s Association maintains a database of more than 250 ongoing trials. You can visit their site to learn more and to look for studies seeking participants in your community.

Improving the Quality of Life for People with Alzheimer’s

At Legacy Senior Living communities, we are honored to have the opportunity to help adults with Alzheimer’s disease live their best quality of life each day. Our dedicated memory care program is called The Harbor.

From specialty caregivers to a homelike setting, we focus on helping residents live to their highest potential each day. Call us today to schedule a private tour at The Harbor nearest you.

5 Tips for Dining Out When a Family Member has Dementia

August 20, 2018

5 Tips for Dining Out When a Senior Has Dementia

When a loved one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you might be concerned about taking them out to eat. These tips can help you plan and prepare.

Most people enjoy a night out at a local restaurant with friends and family. Caregivers are no different. Leaving the cooking and cleaning up to someone else can be a relief for a weary caregiver.

If you are the caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, however, you might wonder how realistic it is to try to take them to a restaurant. While it does require a little extra planning, you shouldn’t give up before you give it a try.

Here are a few tips that may help you include a senior loved one who has dementia in your dining plans.

5 Tips for Dining Out When a Senior Has Dementia

  1. Select the restaurant with care

The first step is to choose the restaurant wisely. Restaurants that are excessively loud or always have a long wait probably aren’t good options. They can increase anxiety and agitation for an adult with Alzheimer’s. The experts at the University of Waterloo’s Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program recommend families choose a smaller, quiet restaurant with few distractions.

Others have found that family-style restaurants are best. The relaxed atmosphere is sometimes more welcoming to seniors with memory impairment who may struggle with coordination.  This can make them a little messy at meal time.

  1. Review the menu ahead of your visit

Finding a small, relaxed restaurant is the first step. Next, you’ll want to review the menu ahead of time. Just as a crowded restaurant can be confusing and overwhelming, a complicated menu can be intimidating to a senior with dementia.

Most restaurants post their menu on their website. Take time before you head to the restaurant to review the menu items with your loved one. Select their first choice meal and a back-up one just in case. Do the same for other members of your party. Then your group can skip the menu completely when you get there.

  1. Ask about reservations

Anything you can do to speed up the process of getting seated will likely help the meal go more smoothly. If you’ve opted for a family-style restaurant that doesn’t usually accept reservations, call the manager. Explain your situation and see what suggestions they can offer.

They may be able to make special accommodations, such as holding a table in a quiet corner for you.

  1. Stick with old, familiar places

Short-term memory is typically impacted first when a senior has dementia. This means that while they might not remember a restaurant that became a favorite later in life, they may remember an old favorite. Going there again might be comforting.

Also, once you find a few places your loved one seems to feel comfortable going to, try to stick with those. It eliminates some of the stress and worry about going to a new place.

  1. Plan around the senior’s best and worst times

You’ve probably noticed a pattern with regard to when your loved one is at their best and worst. Try to dine out during the times of day they are typically at their best. It might mean you eat dinner at 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon instead of 7:00 in the evening, but at least it will help make the experience a pleasant one.

The Harbor Memory Care at Legacy Senior Living

In our Harbor Memory Care community, we pay attention to every detail of our residents’ dining experience. From creating a peaceful, distraction-free environment to offering well-balanced, home-cooked meals, our specialty dementia dining program is thoughtfully designed.

We invite you to schedule a time for a private visit to learn more. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest to you today!

Why Do Adults with Alzheimer’s Wander?

July 16, 2018

Why do seniors with Alzheimer’s wander

If you are the caregiver for a family member who has Alzheimer’s, this information will help you learn more about the potential causes of wandering.

In our effort to help raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, we devote time to community outreach in the local areas we serve. A question Legacy team members are frequently asked is why people with Alzheimer’s wander. It is a behavior that causes families considerable stress and worry.

When adults with Alzheimer’s wander, they can become lost and unable to find their way home. It may even put their lives in danger. Seniors with memory loss easily forget their address—or even their name—which makes it tough for people to help them return home.

Unfortunately, wandering is common in people with this disease. Research shows that as many as 6 in 10 people with Alzheimer’s will wander. Understanding what causes this behavior is critical to helping loved ones prevent it.

Common Reasons Adults with Alzheimer’s Wander

As is true of so many things related to Alzheimer’s disease, researchers aren’t sure what causes wandering. They do, however, believe they understand some of the potential causes:

  • Unmet needs: Of all the possibilities for wandering, most experts agree this is an important one. They believe seniors with Alzheimer’s wander in search of a solution to an unmet need. The older adult might be hungry, thirsty, in need of the bathroom, or experiencing undiagnosed pain.
  • Unfamiliar surroundings: For adults with Alzheimer’s, memory loss can make once familiar surroundings look unfamiliar. Everything and everyone seems foreign to them. The senior may wander in an attempt to find something that looks familiar. If your senior loved one has moved into your home, try to make sure some of their most familiar belongings—a throw, a chair, and family pictures—are strategically placed throughout the home.
  • Former Work Routines: A senior with Alzheimer’s may think they are still working and try to leave home to head off to work. Once they are outdoors, they might become disoriented and get lost. Keeping the senior busy at home with work such as dusting furniture, folding the laundry, or watering plants can help give them purpose and prevent wandering.
  • Unfamiliar faces: Because short-term memory is lost first, seniors with Alzheimer’s might remember friends and family as being younger and looking differently than they do today. They might leave home in search of people they know.
  • Chaotic or noisy environment: Alzheimer’s causes damage to the brain and makes it more difficult for people to process things around them. This is especially true in a busy environment. When the home is busy or noisy, the senior might become agitated and wander to get away from the chaos.

Pay Attention to Wandering Patterns

To better manage a senior’s tendency to wander, pay attention to patterns in their behavior.

  • Are there certain times of day when they attempt to wander more? If so, write down what is happening in their world at that time. You might start to notice triggers that make them more likely to try to leave.
  • If your loved one is still able to communicate verbally, ask them why they are trying to leave. Document and track their responses to look for patterns.
  • Do certain environments make them more prone to disorientation and wandering?

Secure Care for Adults with Alzheimer’s

If you are struggling to keep an adult with Alzheimer’s safe at home, it might be time to consider the support of a memory care community. At Legacy Senior Living, we offer dedicated memory care programming in Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.

With benefits ranging from a secure environment to home-cooked meals, we extend an open invitation to you and your family to visit and learn more.