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According to the Alzheimer’s Association 6 out of 10 people with memory loss will wander outside of the home and become lost. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of those who wander risk serious injury or death.
Wandering is one of the most common behavioral expressions exhibited by those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Soon we will be experiencing a change to nice weather and as a result, spring time tends to cause an increase in wandering for those with memory loss.
Unfortunately, when someone with memory loss begins to wander, it can quickly lead to an unsafe situation. When asked, caregivers will often state that when a loved one begins to wander, especially outside, it leads to added frustration and the primary caregiver is quickly drained from having to be on “high-alert” at all times.
At Azura Memory Care we take pride in our ability to safely and successfully care for those individuals who have wandering and other behavioral issues associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Our MOSAIC Training and Engagement Program educates our Team on ways to refocus and work with individuals who wander. Here are just a few tips for you to try too.
Enter their Wandering World: As a caregiver it is easy to become frustrated and blame your loved one for leaving the house. However, if you look at wandering as the disease trying to speak for your loved one, it may help you understand and provide you with the patience to enter into their wandering world.
For example every afternoon your Mother begins pacing and trying to leave the house. She says that she needs to meet the kids at the bus. Our normal reaction would be to explain to Mom that her kids are grown and that she doesn’t need to meet the bus any more. While in some cases this may work, in others it may increase Mom’s anxiety level and as result escalate her behaviors.
Validation, Refocusand Engage: Using the simple validation technique of asking her about her children may help to refocus her to a happier memory from which another conversation can be sparked, which could result in her being refocused from the door to the kitchen and engaged in a baking or cleaning activity.
You could also bring Mom a chair so that she can sit and wait for the bus, again providing her with another activity to do while she waits. Go for a walk with her, arrange for her “kids” to call and say they will be late or find an activity for her to engage in such as listening to music or another hobby that she finds enjoyable.
In all of these examples you are entering into her world, validating her feelings and redirecting her anxiety thereby diverting her from her need to leave.
Personal History: Use your knowledge of their personal history to understand the significance of their need to wander. Where do they want to go and why? Perhaps Mom is trying to go out to her garden. Are there ways that you can help them attain this goal, without it causing them harm or you frustration? Bring Mom a pot, dirt and flowers to care for or go for stroll through a park or nursery.
No matter what your solution, if you take the time and effort to enter your loved one’s world of wandering you will have listened to them in a whole way. Sparking a communication line with them that will help all year long!
My father has been here only a little over 2 months. The positive change in him has been DRAMATIC! I would HIGHLY recommend Azura........ I would give it 10 stars if they allowed it! This is the premier facility for any family member with cognitive issues! They do treat residents like family, believe it!
Review posted by Stephen Diedrich
The staff at Oak Creek are all fabulous! It takes special people to care for our loved ones. If has been a trying year for all and the staff at oak creek get a shout out for their kindness and compassion they give to my mom and the others. They have all gone above and beyond to make things seem as normal as possible for my mom! All of the staff have been so helpful and kind! They are all fabulous!!
Review posted by Mary Kubacki
"We want to thank you for the loving special care you took of our mother, Diane. It was truly mom's home and you all became part of our family. Everything was home for her....from the beautiful rooms, large sunny windows all around, good food made with love, fun and personal activities from people who really loved our mom. We would highly recommend your facility to anyone. The staff from the director, to the doctor, to the nurse, to the caregivers and the maintenance man were all extremely helpful, caring, loving and professional. There are not enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you. Your exceptional care, kindness, and love were beyond anything we could have imagined. You were part of our family, and we will miss you." - Gail Sommers and Deborah Guse
Review posted by Gail Sommers & Deborah Guse
Just moved my sister-in-law to Azura Stoughton on February 12th. I feel like I’ve found a little piece of dementia heaven. The staff has gone way beyond my expectations to meet her needs and take time to know her. Anyone who has dementia deserves the TLC they receive at Azura. I’m so impressed.
Review posted by Gail Aaroen
Thank you to the Azura Memory Care team, Sheboygan location for the amazing, loving care they provided my dad. They truly loved and cared for my dad as if he was their own. It is such a warm, loving, family environment I only wish we would have moved my dad there years earlier!
Review posted by Patti Bunch
Review posted by Ron Paxson
I have enjoyed working with patients at Azura Care as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The staff has been very helpful in sharing important information about the patients to make their therapy sessions as productive as possible. They are open to learning techniques to help keep patients safe and improve their ability to perform daily tasks with less assistance. Their interactions with patients show caring and compassion with a focus on the needs of each individual to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Review posted by Barb Eisenberg
The journey of caregiving for my Aunt started over 4 years ago. It has been a very long difficult journey. It is hard to watch and frustrating to watch a loved one decline, as well as for them to live the decline. My Aunt found her final peace at Azura Memory Care in Sheboygan. It was not only her peace but mine as well. I no longer had to worry about her care as I could see that she was loved by her Azura family. She passed away on June 21 and they knew how important that it was for me to be there, but I also found peace that if I was not there, she was with family that loved her. No words can express the appreciation for the care, compassion and love that they have for all their residents. God has opened many doors through my journey and the doors at Azura were truly a gift from God. This family made a difference in a long journey. I will always have them in my thoughts and prayers. They are where and doing what they are meant to do!
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