The company of others who also have dementia is
often very comforting, so look for a good day
activity program. How do you know itís good? See if
people are having a good time. Talking like friends.
Enjoying the quality of the connection. Dementia is
often a lonely condition. The actual activity almost
doesnít matter as long as it clearly connects people
by the heart.
The goal of all this is to tire out your family
member so that restless dissatisfaction does not
speak so loudly to them. Maybe get them a good pet
friend, one of those older pets that are so
understanding and seldom get adopted..
By the way, donít forget to secure your doors.
You want to know when your person heads for the
great outdoors. This doesnít have to be
sophisticated. The things people I know have
used successfully have been:
- a set of brass bells hanging on a
- that cheap set of buzzer and five activators
that you can put on doors. Not at all expensive
-- I think around $7 and in most budget stores
and hardware places;
- a warning door chime;
- an ankle bracelet that sets off a perimeter
- Or for the cunning escaper, firmly locked
doors, deadbolted and you have the key.
If your person does get out, unnoticed by you, of
course you need to go find them. Before you do that,
call the police and give a description. Ideally, you
would already have lodged a photo with the local
police station just in case.
If you have already tagged them with a GPS unit,
then your search will be much easier. Check on-line
to find great prices on personal GPS systems. It's
something you can tag on the back of someone's pants
each day, for example. Not in pockets or a handbag
or wallet Ė which can be lost or stolen.
If you are looking for someone not tagged, know
that people with dementia are most likely to simply
continue walking in a forward direction. If you have
straight highways from your door, I'd follow those
first. If you're calling out for them, call by name,
not by role. So Frank, not Dad. That's because they
may be in a much younger time-zone state of mind
where they weren't a Dad.