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Disorientation to Place | Management Strategies

  1. Safety becomes a major concern when an Alzheimer's patient develops a lack of orientation. Make sure that the person you care for cannot leave the house without you knowing it. Baby monitors stationed strategically can help track their movement in the house, so that you do not have to keep your eyes on him or her constantly. Place warning bells on doors leading to the outside to let you know when the person is leaving the house. Other technologies such as Global Position Systems are available, but they can be quite expensive.

  2. If the person you care for is having difficulty finding their way around the house and can understand what they read, place labels on the entrance to each room to tell the person which room they are entering. If the person you care for is unable to read labels, use photographs to cue them. For example, a picture of a toilet on a bathroom door may be helpful.

  3. Place objects which are used often in areas which are easily visible for the person you care for. For example, if you place a telephone in each room, that will makea telephone easily accessible to the person.

  4. When the person you care for leaves the home without you, ensure that they have proper identification with them at all times. This should include their name, address and telephone number, so that if they become disoriented, they may be assisted by those around them.

  5. Install secure locks on all outside windows and doors, especially if the person is prone to wandering. If the person you care for can open a lock because it is familiar, install a new deadbolt which they are not familiar with, higher up or lower down on the door. Remove the locks on bathroom doors to prevent the person from accidentally locking himself or herself in the bathroom.

  6. Remove items from sight which can trigger the desire to go outside, such as boots, shoes or coats.

  7. If the person you care for is prone to wandering and attempts to leave their home setting, keep a recent photograph on hand in case of emergencies. Also helpful, is to notify close neighbours and friends to help you keep a close eye on them.

See Also:
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Disorientation to Time
Symptom Library > Everyday Activities > Driving
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Unsafe Actions
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Wandering
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Last updated December 4, 2018
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