Deterring and Preventing Alzheimer’s Patients from Wandering out into the Cold
Posted on January 06 2014
With the temperatures expected to drop lower than they have been in the last 20 years, it’s extra important that we help protect our loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
Statistics from the Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association indicate that sixty percent of the estimated 4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s will become disoriented, wander off, and get lost. Alzheimer’s patients tend to become disorientated to time and places, not recognizing their surroundings (sometimes even while standing in front of their own home). Not recognizing their surroundings can cause Alzheimer’s patients to wander off, which can be deadly. While wandering, they become exposed to the elements such as dehydration, starvation, exposure to extreme heat and humidity or excessively cold temperatures, and like what happened to one Michigan man, they can also wander into pools, lakes, and streams and drown. While some Alzheimer’s patients may never wander, others may wander repeatedly, sometimes walking for miles and even crossing county lines.
With the National Weather Service predicting that by Tuesday morning at least half of the lower 48 states will have wind chill readings of below zero, deterring and preventing Alzheimer’s patients from wandering off can be a matter of life death. With temperatures and wind chills being so low, exposed flesh can freeze within just minutes of exposure.
Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s can be very challenging, but thankfully there are products available to help. Mountainside Medical Equipment offers a variety of alarms (such as the Alzheimer’s wandering motion alarm and the door stop alarm) which are designed to alert caregivers when an Alzheimer’s patient attempts to wander off. For more products designed to assist Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers, check out the Alzheimer’s section of our website today or call us at 1-888-687-4334 to speak with a Medical Supply Professional for assistance.