By: Yvonne Toth
Assistant Director of Sharing the Caring Adult Day Care
When an elder goes missing from a home it’s often reported in the news and sometimes without a happy ending.
The panic begins when a daughter wakes up in the morning and their dad is not in bed and they discover the front door is wide open. Or a husband comes home from work, the stove is on with a pot on the verge of burning and his wife is nowhere to be seen.
These are very scary moments, especially once the caregiver realizes the person they love is gone and they have no idea where they went.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 in 10 people with dementia will wander and this trend is likely to increase as the Baby Boomer generation, some 65 million people, ages. Currently, one in nine people are diagnosed with dementia.
Third Street Alliance’s adult day care staff have experienced people who care for a loved one with dementia and don’t see the signs of worsening dementia soon enough. They don’t think their loved one would wander and get lost. To a person without dementia, it’s incomprehensible a person could walk into their own back yard and not know how to get back into the house. But, sadly it is as simple as that.
Wandering can happen at any moment with no warning, but it is preventable by ensuring your loved one is never alone. Not only does providing company for your loved one with dementia ensure their safety, it also provides much needed socialization for individuals who often feel isolated.
Adult day care provides therapeutic experiences for your loved one, helping to prevent cognitive decline that leads to wandering. With a loved-one in an adult day care program, the care giver can rest easy knowing that caring, professional staff will provide a safe and engaging environment.