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Know the risks Know the risks

Staying active and staying safe with memory loss.

Even though I have memory loss, that doesn't stop me from staying active and doing the things I enjoy. Of course, some days are better than others. Knowing how to keep myself safe is key.

The other day I was walking my dog and forgot how to get home. It happened without warning. It was pretty scary, especially because it had never happened to me before.

So now I plan ahead. It gives me peace of mind.

What happened to me may not happen to you, but it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Being prepared is the smart thing to do. Create a safety plan.

Finding your way

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Have a plan Have a plan
 Take our advice. We've been there.

I enjoy being active and being outdoors. Having a plan helps me stay in control and continue to enjoy these activities. Here’s what some other people with dementia do to stay safe.

“My son and I walk together every morning. We take the same route for the same amount of time. If I go alone, the route is familiar and I’m more likely to find my way home. If I’m gone longer than usual, he knows to come looking for me.”

“I like to take walks by myself but sometimes my husband comes with me. He doesn’t give any directions. He just goes along to make sure I still know where I’m going. I don’t always like it, but I know he’s right to be concerned.”

“I carry an ID card with me when I go out that says who I am and where I live.”

“I got to know the neighbours on my walking route and told them about my dementia so I can ask directions or help if I feel lost.”

“I carry a small pocket tape recorder to record reminders to myself about directions or where my car is parked.”

“My wife bought me a voice-activated cell phone. We taped our home phone number to the back of the cell phone so someone can call her if I need help.”

“I don’t go out of the house by myself in extreme weather. When I’m too warm or too cold, I don’t think clearly and I don’t want to get lost in bad weather.”

Quotes used with permission from Snyder, L. (2010). Living your best with early-stage Alzheimer's: An essential guide (pp. 87-88). North Branch, MN: Sunrise River Press 

Make a plan. It's the smart move.
  • Find a buddy - someone to come along with you, or someone who knows to look for you if you're on your own and overdue.
  • Carry identification - something that lets people know how they can help if you become lost - consider enrolling in MedicAlert® Safely Home®
  • Leave your picture and a description of yourself with someone you trust - something that can be passed onto searchers if you are not found by someone you know.
  • Consider carrying a device that will help people locate you in an emergency.

I have dementia tipsheet

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Funded by the Government of Ontario

Last Updated: 10/06/2016