Re Nancy Stein’s great June 9 article, Strategies to deal with a wandering Alzheimer’s patient: Many of our homecare clients face the wandering issue. One issue that might contribute to the problem is “sun-downer’s syndrome,” where the patient might sleep during the day, and begins to get agitated in the evening, often leading to urge to wander at the worst time of day for finding a wandering patient.
Often, changes in medication and/or the schedule for its administration may help to mitigate this issue. Check with a doctor.
For those who can afford it, or have the right insurance coverage, having someone whose primary job it is to watch the patient is another possible solution. And creative alternative financial solutions are available.
What is not generally understood is the value that a family caregiver receives from even a few hours of respite a week.
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Friends and family, as well as professional caregivers can help to provide this respite.
Unfortunately, the illness can make extraordinary demands on those who try to help, something for which they are often unprepared.
Robert Kemper, owner, Miami-Dade office, Griswold Home Care, Miami