Even with today’s technology, it’s usually not too concerning if a senior parent occasionally gets lost. It’s actually something that can happen to anybody, regardless of age. However, occurrences like this can become a reason to worry if they happen on an increasingly regular basis. Below are some of the things you can do when your parent starts getting lost.
See What Your Parent’s Doctor Has to Say
First, give yourself and your parent some peace of mind by finding out if there are any medical reasons your mom or dad may be getting lost. In addition to Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related condition, possible health-related reasons for getting disoriented, confused, or lost include:
• Medication reactions
• Age-related cognitive decline
• Untreated infections
• Hearing and/or vision problems
• Head trauma that hasn’t been properly treated
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Lehigh Valley families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Use Nonintrusive Memory Prompts
If your parent isn’t keen on the idea of actively receiving help to avoid getting lost, steer him or her toward nonintrusive memory prompts. For example, you might write driving directions down on Post-it notes or encourage the use of GPS with voice commands. Techniques like these tend to work best if getting lost is related to mild cognitive decline.
Explore Options with Technology
Getting lost isn’t limited to driving. If dementia is an issue, similar problems may involve wandering outside the home, getting lost in crowded places, or having difficulty navigating through stores. In situations like these, your mom or dad may benefit from the use of appropriate technology, which could include:
• Alarms for doors leading outside the home
• Smart watches, rings, or bracelets so your parent can be tracked and quickly found if he or she gets lost
• Reminder apps
Recommend Local Senior Transportation Services
Understandably, many seniors are reluctant to give up driving altogether. Still, it may be necessary to encourage your parent to do this, especially if instances of getting lost can’t be minimized with some of the other methods mentioned above. One way to ease your concern and allow your parent to still have control over where he or she goes is by using local transportation services for older adults.
Transportation and monitoring your loved one’s whereabouts are just two of the many types of assistance a home caregiver can provide. In-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Increase Supervision as Necessary
Another way to help a loved one who’s getting lost is to provide or increase supervision. At the same time, you don’t want to make your loved one feel as if he or she is losing his or her cherished independence. You may be able find an acceptable happy medium by:
• Running errands together
• Using a remote monitoring system or service
• Considering in-home care so supervision can be provided when you’re not available
Experiment with Ways to Boost Cognitive Abilities
Even if your parent is in the early stages of dementia, there may be ways to boost his or her cognitive health, mental focus, and clarity. While every situation is different, some seniors may experience fewer instances of getting lost with cognitive-boosting efforts involving:
• Changes in diet
• The use of brain-stimulating apps
• Regular physically and mentally stimulating forms of exercise
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lehigh Valley live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Call us at 484-350-3874 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.