It was 2013 Mum was driving back from shopping on her usual route home when the unthinkable happened, she became confused and disorientated and consequently lost. We had noticed Mum forgetting things and a few oddities (and I’m sure she had too) however to become confused so quickly was unimaginable.
Mum panicked and drove around for hours until she finally found her way home, she hadn’t wanted to call us as she had no idea where she was for someone to come and help. I was interstate and other family member’s hours away and in true Mum style she didn’t want to bother us. Mum was left feeling vulnerable and scared.
We hear stories like this all the time, how people driving or travelling on mobility scooters suddenly become disorientated. According to the Alzheimer’s Association wandering and getting lost is common among people with dementia and can happen during any stage of the disease.
At the push of a button our emergency alert pendants contact 3 people and send them a text showing your location which makes help so much easier. The contact can call the pendant to check you are okay and direct you to a safe area until someone arrives. The pendant answers automatically in speaker mode which allows you to converse without having to dial or hold a phone so you can concentrate on looking at your surrounds. JNY Safety alert pendants work on a sim card allowing the wearer to access help any time they are out and about; they are not restricted to just around the home.
In Mum’s case she was only 10 minutes from her house and I could have directed her home even though I was interstate.
Wearing a safety alert pendant may seem unnecessary if you haven’t fallen or become disorientated however it provides peace of mind to the wearer and their families, it is discreet and much easier to access in an emergency than your mobile phone .
Who is at risk of wandering?
A list by the Alzheimer’s Association;
Anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering. Even in the early stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused for a period of time. It’s important to plan ahead for this type of situation. Be on the lookout for the following warning signs:
Wandering and getting lost is common among people with dementia and can happen during any stage of the disease.
- Returns from a regular walk or drive later than usual
- Tries to fulfil former obligations, such as going to work
- Tries or wants to “go home,” even when at home
- Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements
- Has difficulty locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom or dining room
- Asks the whereabouts of current or past friends and family
- Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets done (e.g., moves around pots and dirt without actually planting anything)
- Appears lost in a new or changed environment
You can access a help sheet by Alzheimer’s Australia HERE which looks at the wandering behaviour of some people with dementia, the reasons for wandering, as well as some suggestions for ways to manage it.
For information on our range of alert pendants go to www.jnysafetycare.com or call John Tel: 0416000194