A Resident wandering about in an adult family home is a serious concern. There are many people who reside in such environments that can suffer from wandering, and as a result can put themselves at risk.
Therefore the adult family home needs to be prepared to help prevent the chances of wandering occurring.
The first step you should take is to understand at what times of the day the resident is more likely to start and why they might be wandering. There are many reasons why a resident may start to wander including:
• Attempting to fulfill former regular activities (e.g. work, hobbies).
• Has difficulty in a new environment / feeling lost.
• Attempting to find familiar faces (e.g. family, friends).
Once you have this information, you can take action.
The first thing you should do is to talk to the resident and let them know that things are as they should be and you are there to support them. This is especially important if they are looking for familiar faces or have a sense of being lost.
You and your staff should plan activities to keep them occupied at times when they are more likely to start wandering. Their activities should be available in open areas, as well as in rooms and should be designed to engage the audience with something that they will enjoy.
If the resident starts wandering at night-time, for a couple of hours before they go to sleep limit their fluid intake and ensure they have the chance to use the bathroom. You should also install night lights throughout your adult family home, in case there is an emergency.
You should monitor all the adult family home doors, hallways and delivery areas with closed circuit television. There are monitors that are available which will illuminate, should a resident relocate to another area. These sensors can then alert the staff at the facility of the resident’s movement.
You could also place a motion sensor on cabinets, drawers or other places where personal belongings are stored. When the sensor is triggered this can alert staff that the resident is up and about and perhaps planning to wander.
Preventing wandering in an adult family home does take a lot of planning and your team should be alert. However, it is a process which is necessary and worthwhile.