Many people with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia — up to 60 percent of them — will inexplicably leave familiar surroundings and potentially endanger themselves. This tendency to wander means extremely cold weather can be deadly.
The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter provides information on how to prevent such dangerous behaviors. Ideas include installing motion alarms, moving door locks to a higher position or camouflaging doors with curtains.
Often sticking to a routine is helpful in keeping those with dementia from becoming overly stimulated and overwhelmed.
Should a loved one go missing, experts recommend calling 911 as soon as possible so that a Silver Alert or other public notification can be issued. Register with a medical alert program to provide first responders with immediate links to caregivers, medical records and the Alzheimer's Association.
To find out more, call the Alzheimer’s Association’s toll-free Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.