Those of us with older parents worry about our parents wandering and getting lost and harmed, and this is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. Some Seniors worry that our spouses will wander. Many who are lost get mugged, attacked, and even die. Local governments spend tens of thousands searching for lost Seniors, and the longer it takes to find them, the more dangerous their predicament becomes.

Six in 10 people with dementia will wander.

One of the most challenging, life-threatening issues related to the care of the person with cognitive loss is the occurrence of wandering, wherein the person strays into unsafe territories and may be harmed. A person with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented, even in familiar places. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous. Anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering.

Even in the early stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused for a period of time. It’s important to plan ahead for this type of situation. Studies vary on the prevalence of wandering in institutionalized dementia patients but is estimated that 11 % to 24 % wander.

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Falls Are Serious and Costly for Seniors

This is the post excerpt.


2004 - 2013, United States Unintentional Fall Death Rates per 100,000 All Races, Both Sexes, Ages 65+  Source: 2004: 41.15, 2005: 43.12, 2006: 44.8, 2007: 48.47, 2008: 50.91, 2009: 51.54, 2010: 53.76, 2011: 55.36, 2012: 56.07, 2013: 56.96

My wife’s friend fell in her apartment and couldn’t get up or reach her phone. Two days later, her friend realized that something was amiss and called the Emergency Services, who had to get in through the third floor window to rescue her. She was hospitalized for ten days, and the doctor said that one more day would have killed her.

My wife fell on the curb on her way to Aqua Fit.  She couldn’t get up! She didn’t have her phone with her. She had to wait until a caring passing motorist and his wife stopped and helped her.

  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Each year at least 250,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually. 

What Can Happen After a Fall?

Many falls do not cause injuries. But one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own.

  • Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures.
  • Falls can cause head injuries. These can be very serious, especially if the person is taking certain medicines (like blood thinners). An older person who falls and hits their head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury.
  • Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.

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