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This month, Omaha.com published a story about a missing 84-year-old man from Lancaster County. The man has Alzheimers disease and dementia. After being reported missing, he was found a day later in Lyons, Kansas. At Encompass, we hear stories like this all the time from families with loved ones suffering from Alzheimers. It is not uncommon for families to seek help after a terrifying experience like a loved one going missing. We know every patient and family have different desires or wishes“ some want to keep their wandering parent in their own home for as long as possible, others might want to find the safest facility for their loved one now. Encompass can guide you in the best direction, whatever the particular situation with your wandering loved one is. In the mean time, here are five instant things you can do to feel better about your wandering parent.

  • Notify your neighbors.
  • House alarms can alert you if you’re living with a wanderer.
  • Medical ID jewelry “like a bracelet or pendant“ is a good idea.
  • There are also GPS bracelets/necklace that can track a vulnerable person that I usually recommend purchasing through the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Make sure someone has access to an online bank account. In this opinion article from the Washington Post, the writer points out that some online banking accounts can give instant transaction information that can help locate your missing loved one faster.

There are other tricks that can be used depending on why they wander“such as putting a black rubber mat that might trick them into thinking there is a hole by the door and then they are less likely to try and exit through that door.”

For more information or a more personalized consultation, contact Encompass Omaha.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”

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The Huffington Post recently published an in-depth expose into the hospice world. Just scrolling through their key findings provides disturbing glimmers into this giant industry.

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Moving elderly parents to assisted living is a major transition. To help, we’ve created this “roadmap” to help with your journey.

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“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”

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Leaving their Home

Transitioning to a new home can be an emotional experience, especially if there is an attachment to the old home. Jeanette Franks, PhD, from A Place for Mom, shares an experience with a friend that found leaving her home emotional. Franks explains to make the transition easier the friend, held a dinner party in her house with family and a few close friends, and then they visited each room by candlelight, remembering special events, commenting on the changes over time, and saying goodbye.

Packing up tends to go more smoothly when children of elderly parents physically help them pack their possessions rather than instructing what can stay and what needs to go from afar.

Packing or Parting with Possessions 

When packing up possessions it can be better to err on the side of holding on to things. Sometimes people need more time with some possessions before they let them go. It is ok to have their new room a bit packed and that often makes it easier to discard things later. Old possessions also help make a new place feel more familiar which eases the transition.

Get to Know Important Staff

Often, what’s your job, what’s their job, and what’s somewhere in between is unclear. You and your parent may have carefully reviewed a lengthy contractual document full of legalese, yet are uncertain as to the difference between a nurse, an aide, and a resident assistant, for example. “ Jeanette Franks, PhD

To simplify matters, it is important to figure out whom your main point of contact will be when there are issues or information that needs to be passed along. Often this is a general manager or other top administrator. It is also important that that contact knows whom the main advocate for your elderly parent is. Keeping these roles clear will make communication stronger and easier.

What is Your Role in Assisted Living?

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”