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Preventing Those with Dementia from Getting Lost Tip #6: Flag Access to Bicycles, Riding Mowers etc.

If you're caring for loved ones living with dementia at home, preventing them from getting lost or hurt is a top priority. 

 

You may have hidden the car keys or removed the car, but keep in mind your loved ones might decide it’s a good idea to find another mode of transportation. Believe it or not, caregivers have told me many stories about their loved ones hopping on a riding mower, tractor, bicycle, or 4-wheel drive vehicle and heading down the road.

  • Be sure to monitor their ability to use these alternate vehicles safely and block access if they can’t be safe - or there is any chance they could leave your property and get lost or be involved in an accident. One can get quite a distance in one of these alternative vehicles!
  • Remember that abilities and needs can vary greatly among individuals with dementia, and safety concerns can change as the disease progresses. Continually assess your loved ones’ risk for getting lost or injured if they leave the home.
  • Do whatever you can to minimize the chance that they’ll be in danger and have a plan in place outlining what you’ll do if they get lost, including notifying authorities, friends and family.

Don’t delay; preventive measures are well worth it when it comes to protecting our loved ones, and a crisis can happen so quickly and unexpectedly. 

 

Have you experienced your loved ones getting lost and/or injured? Share your stories in the comments below! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

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