Posted on Apr 15, 2019
With old age come several challenges. That’s why no one wants to get old. One troubling challenge with getting old has a lot to do with how seniors get lost from time to time. It is a problem that comes about solely because of memory loss.
But while memory loss is part and parcel of getting old, it does not necessarily mean it is a healthy or normal part of the aging process. In the beginning stages of dementia or cognitive decline, an aging loved one may start getting lost often.
This is when you should consider taking preventive measures. Remember such conditions tend to get worse as the days go by. With that in mind, consider implementing the following lost and found action plans for your senior loved ones.
If your elderly loved one can still drive, consider investing in a good GPS device. Have the device activated on their car as well as their mobile phone. You will need to minimize the amount of driving that your loved one does as soon as you notice any early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Avoid Confusing Places
As one gets older, the familiar will sound and look unfamiliar. It may get worse for the senior who frequents places that look like mazes. Malls, sports centers and such like places can create anxiety and really disorient your loved one.
So what exactly do you do when a senior gets lost in such places? Your saving grace will be the GPS device mentioned above. Remember you do not have to spend much on such a device. As long as the device is traceable, you’re good to go.
Have a medical bracelet or ID tag made for your elderly loved one. Make sure that they wear them each time they go outside. Include the basic essentials like name, emergency contacts and Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Include too, their address as well as your own.
Make your Neighbors Aware
Alert your immediate neighbors and others around where you live that you live with a senior who is struggling with memory loss. Inform the local authorities too. Give them your phone number and request that they call you immediately if they see your senior loved one outside alone.
Labels for Clothes
Labels, just like ID tags, will make it easy for anyone who comes across your wandering loved one to contact you. Attach the labels inside the clothing of your seniors. Make sure the labels are in conspicuous places. The collar, belt loops and the breast pockets are all good examples of places you should put labels.
Familiar and Favorite Places
Make a list of your aged loved one’s familiar and favorite places. Places that are familiar to seniors are very important. Such places are likely to be their favorite spots. Former job locations, former homes, a popular fishing spot and their favorite parks are examples of familiar places that people suffering with memory loss problems often end up at.
Photos, Clothing and Contact Details
This may sound like a strange tip but it always works. Keep an article or piece of worn and unwashed clothing in a small plastic bag just in case the police need to use trained dogs to find your loved one. You can also keep a current photograph of yourself and your senior in one of their pockets with a map behind the photo, your names and contact details.
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