Dementia – How to deal with wandering

dementia - how to deal with wandering

Dementia – How to deal with wandering


What is wandering?

Wandering is a common behaviour or symptom for people living with dementia.

The term “wandering” is used when people living with dementia start to walk about without a purpose due to confusion, agitation or frustration. “She is wandering”.

How can you prevent wandering?

If the person living with dementia lives at home it helps if there is enough space to create a “track” they can follow.

Another good tip is to have a plan of activities during the day at the usual time they tend to wander. Sometimes there is a pattern. It is well known that people living with dementia become more confused in the afternoon (5-6 PM). If you have some activity planned during that time it might help. Try to find something to distract them.

What can make people living with dementia wander?

Sometimes if they can’t communicate their needs people living with dementia become frustrated. This can be a contributing factor to wandering. Maybe they need to go to the toilet and can’t find it. They are hungry but lost the ability to prepare food. Something upset them (a TV programme, a noise, memories). If you look careful you can see what triggered them to become agitated and wander. Most of the time there is a cause.

Other tips

Make sure the car keys are not accessible.

Sounds bad but make sure the doors are locked. On many occasions people living with dementia wandered out the house and went missing. Sometimes they were found by the neighbours or police but on some occasions, they lost their lives.

If there are chances that they go out (early stages of dementia) use wrist GPS trackers. The person living with dementia can also wear something that would identify who they are. If someone finds them, they would know where to bring them back.

Wandering is just something that comes along with dementia and there is not a lot it can be done about it. The doctor can prescribe some medication to reduce the agitation and the anxiety at that time of the day. Let them wander, let them walk, it is helping them to get rid of some energy.


Special thanks to Mr. Jack Hartley for this article. Linkedin account -> here.








(Visited 129 times, 1 visits today)
Tagged on: