All too often, I hear concerning stories about folks wandering off and/or getting lost. So, let’s explore the grounds and safeguards for this unfortunate phenomenon.
A common dictionary definition of the word Wandering is; to walk or move around in an indirect route or at no set pace. The key words here are to move around at no set pace. One common clinical definition of wandering is; that hyperactivity will cause a person to wander aimlessly to burn off the extra energy they are experiencing. The important statement here is to burn off extra energy. If we combine these two parts, the definition becomes; to move around at no set pace to burn off extra energy.
If a person is sitting around indoors for hours on end every day – they will need an outlet to burn off extra energy. The truth is that many caregivers aren’t able to keep up with the physical pace of their loved one, especially all day long. Keeping someone cooped up or scolding them for wandering off isn’t fair. Scheduling physical active routines, regular outdoor activities, and community outings are things we can look forward to during summer. . . especially after this season’s soggy start!
Many times, folks who have cognitive impairment can become lost in their own neighborhood and are unable to find their way home. The autopilot function in the brain starts to misfire making familiar surroundings and lifelong habits confusing. It isn’t unusual for folks to become uneasy when they’re not comfortable in their surroundings; especially when going to a new place. Let’s be sure there is plenty of room to roam, inside and out; where folks can meander safely. Below are two innovative products that I’m proud to promote.
Another great resource is Project Lifesaver.