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Grandma going out for walks on her own
My grandma has mid-stage Alzheimer. She often goes out for walks by herself when no one is home. I am worried she will get lost one day.
The problem is my family can't afford a full-time caretaker to watch over her throughout the day when we are at work. We also don't want to lock her in like a prisoner. Personally, I feel like it's good for her to get some fresh air, sun, and exercise. Better than her sitting and watching TV all day right? I just want her to be able to return home safely.
What should I do? Is there some kind of GPS device that can be turned on remotely by a family member to lead her back home?
Nothing is available to lead her back home that she would know how to use or even remember to use, but you can place a GPS device on her to find her when she doesn't come back home. A smart phone with a "find the device" app, or a GPS bracelet or tracker will work. But really going out alone is not good for a PWD.
Walking and exercise is absolutely a good thing-but not alone-so many things can go wrong, from falling, to muggings and abductions, crossing or walking into traffic, getting lost in the city or woods, walking into ponds, getting overheated or freezing -why take the chance? Better to get her a sitter for the times she is alone and have the sitter and her take walks together.
We got mother a companion caregiver (they are cheaper than someone who provides help with ADLs) to stay with her once we knew she could no longer be left alone. The likelihood of a fire at the house was very slim-but when mother could no longer figure out how to use the phone or what to do in an emergency, or find her way back home-we knew we could not leave her alone. Good luck!
rlin...you are a wonderful granddaughter for caring for her. My suggestion is to find out all resources available.
Call Alzheimer’s Association 24/7/365 1-800-272-3900 to find out the resources in your area.
Call your county “Council for the Aging” . We have a daycare program where they have a mini bus that comes and picks up the PWD and takes them to the daycare for the day for activities and socialization. Cost is dependent on income of PWD. And a number of other programs.
Our local Alzheimer’s Association has volunteers that will come to the home as companions for a very small fee.
They will send you a fair amount of information based on the services offered in your area.
Maybe your grandmother has another relative or friend that would be willing walk with her on a schedule that is mutually convenient for both.
Just a few ideas ...but it truly isn’t safe for her to walk on her own, mostly because of the possibility of her getting lost or hurt. My DH would get lost the minute he turned a corner and I was with him.
She is lucky to have you to care for her.