Q. My mom, who has Alzheimer's, has begun to wander around the house. I am worried that she will go outside when I am not looking and get lost.
Wandering around the house may be irritating to the caregiver, but not necessarily unsafe for the patient. In this case, you may need to adjust your anxiety level about wandering. On the other hand, some wandering can be dangerous and must be prevented: going into areas of the house that are off-limits, especially stairwells, decks, hot tubs, and swimming pools; leaving the house alone via a window or door to go outside; or leaving your yard or property.
You can prevent many instances of wandering by carefully selecting child-safety devices for your home that effectively restrict adults. Some caregivers have "outsmarted" the person who has a desire to escape with novel solutions, such as hiding items like purses, shoes, or glasses that the person would always take with them if they left the house. Or, you may want to acquire comfortable chairs that are difficult for the Alzheimer's patient to get out of! Bean bag chairs and recliners are pleasant to sit in, yet restrict movement out of the chair.