Getting lost (GL) is a serious problem for people living with Alzheimer's disease (PwAD), causing psychological distress in both PwAD and caregivers, and increasing the odds of being institutionalized. It is thus important to identify risk factors for the GL events in PwAD. Between April 2009 and March 2012, we invited 185 community-dwelling PwAD and their caregivers to participate in this study. At the baseline, 95 had experienced GL (Group B); the remaining 90 (Group A) had not. We focused on the incidence of GL events and the associated factors by way of demographic data, cognitive function assessed by the Cognitive Ability Screening Instrument (CASI), and spatial navigation abilities as assessed by the Questionnaire of Everyday Navigational Ability (QuENA). After a 2.5-year period, the incidence of GL in Group A was 33.3% and the recurrence of GL in Group B was 40%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the inattention item on the QuENA and orientation item on the CASI had independent effects on the GL incidence, while the absence of a safety range was associated with the risk of GL recurrence. During the 2.5 years, the PwAD with GL incidence deteriorated more in the mental manipulation item on the CASI than those without. We suggest that before the occurrence of GL, the caregivers of PwAD should refer to the results of cognitive assessment and navigation ability evaluation to enhance the orientation and attention of the PwAD. Once GL occurs, the caregivers must set a safety range to prevent GL recurrence, especially for younger people.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes