In addition to providing information to our agents, we seek information our agents can use when serving the needs of their clients. With that in mind, this article will look at elopement in elder care facilities – who is most likely to do it, and what can be done to prevent it.
One of the primary risks for seniors residing in elder care facilities is their ability to put themselves in harm’s way by leaving the facility unaccompanied and unobserved. Referred to as elopement, this risk primarily affects those with dementia, who may be looking for someone or something familiar. What can an elder care facility do to prevent elopement of its residents?
Understand the Reasons
It is important to understand why a person wanders, so the facility can take appropriate steps for prevention. Many elderly individuals with cognitive issues may wander for reasons, which, on the surface, may not be clear. They may be trying to meet an elemental need such as using the bathroom or getting a drink of water. They may be reacting to something they do not like in the facility’s environment. Or, there may be medical conditions behind their wandering.
As a national insurance wholesaler providing coverage for elder care facilities, it is important to stay abreast of rehabilitation methods. Dancing enhances both cognitive and physical abilities, so it is ideal as a method of rehabilitation. As people age, certain physical characteristics can change, and even decline. Staying active, both physically and mentally, can help slow the progression of disease and prevent decline in seniors.
Gait is considered the sixth vital sign. Any measure below 2 feet per second is of concern for older adults. Seniors with slow gait are more likely to be:
- Dependent on others for care
- Prone to falls and the resultant broken bones
- Dependent on pain relief medication
With this in mind, researchers at the University of St. Louis looked into dance as a way to potentially increase and stabilize gait. Additionally, they wanted to find out if dance could help reduce pain and stiffness in the hips and legs in the elderly.