If you have a loved one that is suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you have likely worried about them at times, as the condition is unpredictable. You never know what they’re going to remember as each day progresses, or what they might do. The fear of something happening to a loved one, especially one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, as they usually can’t do much for themselves by the time the illness really hits them, can be one of the worst fears a person can experience. But, what if there was something you could do about it? In this Guide on Wander Bracelets for Elderly with Dementia will explore that solution for wander risk.
The good news is those wander bracelets will not affect the amount of care the person needs regularly but might lower your anxiety about what would happen if you fear your loved one with dementia did do something like wander away. It is also possible, due to one or another reason they were put into a situation that may seem overwhelming to them, and they were not able to find a way out.
Initially, it might be a struggle for people with dementia who didn’t know them to help, as they likely don’t remember their address, but, getting them a wander bracelet might help lower your (carers) anxiety, because although it can’t stop them from absconding or doing something else like that, it might just solve your problem of finding them or having somebody be able to help them a little more.
Let’s discuss and dig further, and talk about exactly what these bracelets are, and exactly how they can do the things that I just mentioned.
But, for anything, let’s find out what is wandering and who are at risk of wandering.
What is Wandering? Who is at Risk?
Wandering is when a person walks or roams around aimlessly.
With Alzheimer’s or Dementia patients, it’s a lot more dangerous, as they may not know where they are, where they’re going, or even who they are, so no one is really able to help them either. That is because they often don’t remember their address, and occasionally don’t remember their name too.
At-risk can mean two different things.
It can mean who is at risk if somebody who has this kind of trouble wanders, and that answer is anybody. Anybody can be affected by this.
The other thing at risk can mean is who is at risk of wandering/being or becoming a wanderer, or in other terms, who is more likely to wander. Well, that answer would be the elderly, but most people who have some form of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
There are many reasons for this, the most common of which we will discuss today.
Now that you know who is at risk of wandering/who is more likely to wander, you might be asking yourself why they wander? Well, let’s talk about that next.
Tip: Pressure ulcer prevention in the elderly is also very important.
Why Might the Elderly Wander? Causes of Wandering
When it comes to reasons or causes for wandering, there’s quite a few of them, and everyone is different. There are many different causes of wandering, and it just depends on who you are and what triggers you personally. But, I can tell you the most common reason and cause for wandering is stress and/or fear, or any other strong, negative emotion they might be experiencing.
These emotions trigger something in the brain and make people want to wander, and of course, they listen to that part of them that wants to wander, as they don’t know any better. It’s a real problem, and something you need to watch out for in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
Tip: This is our Guide to Mobility, Daily Living and Walking Aid Options for elderly.
Why Do People with Dementia Wonder?
But, everybody has different reasons for wandering, and there is always a reason. Even if the person doesn’t consciously know why they did it or why they have the urge to do it. As I said, everyone has different reasons for wandering; however, the most common reason is confusion. In situations that create fear or stress, they tend to get confused, and it’s overwhelming to them. In cases like this, it’s a natural response to wander away, especially because they don’t know what they’re not supposed to.
They just do what feels right to them at that moment, and that’s how a lot of wandering happens. As I said, there are many reasons people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia might wander, but this is the most common, most typical reason people with these two illnesses might wander.
When confusion is involved, people often find that Alzheimer’s and Dementia symptoms get worse, especially wandering. So, be careful about confusing and overwhelming places, as they can make symptoms worse, and increase their chances of wandering, making it more likely they’ll wander off.
Tip: When caring for elderly always stick with a Safe Bath Chair, Shower Seat or Bench.
How to Prevent Wondering? Tips to Prevent Wondering
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to wandering. Different people have different reasons and causes for wandering, just like different people have different things that can prevent them from wandering.
It’s really all about who they are, their dignity, behaviours and personalities. Different things work for different people. But, there are definitely some tips and tricks that you can try to attempt to prevent wandering.
Lots of the typical tips to prevent wandering have had many positive results when they were used, showing they usually do work. So let’s talk about the typical, most important one.
The thing that can lower the likely hood that they’ll wander is if you avoid confusion. The most important way to do this, I talked a little bit about in the paragraph above this but will go into more detail now.
The most important way: avoid overwhelming and confusing places. This includes big, open places, places with a lot of people, or a lot of things and objects or items (like a mall or any other type of big store(s) like that), and places that might be hard to navigate in other ways.
Any place that could be overwhelming in any way is a good thing to avoid, as it confuses them and makes the symptoms worse.
Now let’s turn into wander management options.
Tracking Devices for Wander Management
The modern wander bracelets are actually tracking devices.
They’re monitoring devices that are also bracelets, so a tracking device you can wear, or give to someone else to wear (like a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia). That is the best way to describe them.
They make it easy to find the patient if they end up wandering off. In other terms, these modern wander bracelets basically double as a GPS device so you can locate the patient if they wander off and you’re unable to find them. It is a way to locate the patient, and bring them back home safely. These modern wander bracelets are a lot more high-tech than the original ones, specifically one type, which we’ll get to soon.
But right now, let’s discuss what exactly a wander bracelet is, and how it can help you if an Alzheimer’s or Dementia patient in your life tends to wander, or is at risk of wandering.
Tip: While wandering bracelets are popular, tracking management does not stop there. There are wander watches, wander alarms, chains, shoes, soles, pendants, key tags, and even lipsticks goes in lady’s handbag.
What is a Wander Bracelet?
A modern wonder bracelet is a bracelet that is designed for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. They wear the bracelet, and in case they wander off, the bracelet has a GPS tracker in it, so you can track them and find out where they are, and go find them.
It’s a creative idea, and it’s a brilliant idea to get one if you know someone who is suffering from one of these two illnesses, even if just to lower your anxieties about what they might do and about what might happen to them if they were to wander off.
Now, let’s discuss the types of wander bracelets that are out there, and later we’ll discuss how you might go about choosing one for your loved one.
Types of Wander Bracelets
Well, in the end, they all do the same thing, so in that sense there doesn’t seem to be different types, meaning each type does roughly the same thing, so there’s nothing to tell you that is significantly different about each wander bracelet.
There aren’t really different “types”, but there are different brands that make them. These brands include the following: itraq, Project Lifesaver, Angel Sense, GPS smart sole, etc.
Although these are all different brands, and all of those brands wander bracelets have a different name on them due to the fact they’re all made by different brands, they all do roughly the same thing, and can all be very helpful and very much effective. They can all do their job, and do it well.
So, as I mentioned earlier, these bracelets are a lot more high-tech than the original wander bracelets which were mainly name, address and contact engraved bracelets. They’re a lot more high-tech than all of there is no water bracelets, but especially the ID bracelet, that not only Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients used to wear, but many other people wore as well. These are much more advanced, and they’re specifically for wandering, specifically in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
Let’s discuss the differences between those types of bracelets now.
ID Wander Bracelets vs Modern Wander Bracelets
An ID wander bracelet and a modern wander bracelet are very different from each other.
Although they are both made for people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they each have a bit of a different approach.
ID Wander Bracelets
An ID bracelet is basically a bracelet that has the person’s information on it. It has their name, address, and maybe a contact number of somebody in their family or somebody who takes care of them. It’s basically an ID that you wear on your wrist, it’s their identity, and it makes it so in case they wander off and can’t remember those things about themselves, somebody will know the information so they can still help them.
Tip: You’ll be amazed how a Wonder Sheet can help your loved one get into and out of bed.
Modern Wander Bracelets
Whereas modern bracelets are basically GPS trackers, so if someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia wanders off and you need to find them, you can track them to see where they are. This is good because it’s likely you’ll realize they’re gone before somebody else realizes something’s not right. That means that they are in need of assistance, so that’s one reason these bracelets can really help, and why they’re especially important. They can be more helpful and have more of an effect than an ID bracelet or any other type of wander bracelet.
Now, let’s discuss how you pick out the right wander bracelet for your loved one.
How to Choose the Right Wonder Bracelet for Your Loved-ones Needs
There are many factors you could consider while choosing the correct wander bracelet for your loved one, but what you should remember is: in the end, the modern wander bracelets all do roughly the same thing. So, most people seem to go with what they can afford. That’s usually what it comes down to how expensive it’s bracelet is, and how much they can afford to spend that one.
Each brand has a different price for their specific wander bracelet. The price depends on a few things, including
- how well-known the brand is,
- how high-tech it truly is (even though most have the same basic features on them) and
- how breakable the device is.
- Battery Life,
- Features like video/voice-over capability, smartphone integrity, temperature sensors, motion sensor and many more.
Less high-tech, more straight to the point and basic wander bracelets can be good because like I said, they’re less high-tech which makes them easier to use. However, maybe you would prefer one that’s high tech, they break easier. So, it’s really all about how you personally feel about things like how advanced in technology they are, and the price of them/what you can afford.
I hope you find the perfect wander bracelet for your loved one soon.
Tip: Diabetes Medical Alert Bracelets are different from GPS wander bracelets.
In conclusion, if you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and you have anxiety about them wandering off, or even just believe there’s a possibility of them wandering, it would be a smart move to get them a wander bracelet. Like they say, especially in situations like this, better to be safe than sorry.
This is a great investment if you have a loved one suffering from one of these two illnesses, as you’re basically investing in the life of somebody you love, and that’s the most important investment of all.