As people age, they experience changes in their thinking and behavior that may require them to need the help of a long-term care facility. These institutions have staff trained in helping older people stay safe and healthy. However, long term care wandering is possible at even the best of facilities, and management should be ready to deal with this issue.
Why Do Patients Wander?
Wandering is not unusual for residents with dementia or other cognitive problems. These patients may find themselves confused about where they are and seek to get to somewhere familiar. For new residents in a facility, the change in environment may create fear, and the person may be trying to get to a place they know.
What Are the Risks of Wandering?
When a patient wanders away from safe spaces they are at risk for injury. Chances for falls increase in unfamiliar areas. If a patient wanders outside, he or she could end up facing hazards like traffic or bad weather. These could be dangerous problems. This is why facilities need to find ways to reduce wandering and invest in insurance in case something happens to a patient.
Taking the time to prevent and prepare for long term care wandering is a key part of making sure every patient is always as safe as can be.