One of the most crucial aspects of senior care today is providing a safe and secure home for residents. For memory care facilities that house residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia, this often means more than just keeping strangers out of the community—it can mean keeping the residents safely inside.
“Wandering,” as it is most commonly referred to, is a tendency found among many elderly people who experience memory loss, and it can be one of the most challenging behaviors to manage as a caregiver. Aside from the stress and fear that can accompany losing track of a loved one, the loved one with memory loss could wander into an unsafe situation.
“On the evening of December 16, with single-digit temperatures and a wind chill lowering the temperature even more, my dad untethered himself and walked out of the facility,” says Jennifer Pape of her family’s experience when her father, who was staying in a senior care community, wandered out of the facility and into a winter night in 2004.
“Thankfully he was seen in a parking lot of a nearby shopping mall and a good Samaritan called 911…The community had some technology in place to prevent patients from leaving without a family member, but the staff was inattentive. It was frustrating and upsetting for my mom and my entire family,” says Pape.
Luckily, locking technology and alert systems have improved since 2004, but staff training and diligence is still one of the most important factors contributing to resident’s safety in an assisted living or memory care facility. At Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit Assisted Living and Memory Care, every exit door will be fitted with an electronic locking system that prevents exit or entry without a designated key fob, and the 24-hour licensed nursing staff will be notified when unauthorized exit or entry attempts are initiated. Personalized care programs will help staff understand and monitor individuals who are at risk of dangerous behaviors like wandering.
Finding a community that you trust to support and care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is paramount to your peace of mind and your loved one’s safety.
As always, the well-being of you and your loved one is our top priority. If you would like to learn more about Cross Creek’s safety features, call us at 816.607.5700.