People living with dementia can display many behavioral traits that are difficult to manage, one of the most common and challenging is wandering.

People living with dementia can display many behavioral traits that are difficult to manage, one of the most common and challenging is wandering.

Dementia-related wandering can be described as aimless meandering, repetitive locomotion or purposeful locomotion that causes a social problem such as getting lost, leaving a safe environment or intruding in inappropriate places.

In this article we cover:

  • Why People Wander
  • Is Intervention Necessary?
  • Wandering Out of Safe Areas
  • Triggers - What Sparks Challenging Behaviours?
  • How to Reduce Wandering

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Lorraine 30th Jan 2018 Diversional Therapist
This information is very helpful. We have a resident who becomes very anxious and wants to go home to her family. It is very difficult to console her some afternoons as she becomes very fixated on leaving. I will try the home duties activity with her
Lori 25th Jan 2018 Activity
What are good activities at night other than music when they are sundown behaviors?
Elizabeth 9th Mar 2018 Assistant Activities Director
Especially for sun downing and other night time behaviors-I have have been implementing a relaxation program after 6 pm the lights in the living area are dimmed. We also use some aromatherapy diffusers as essential oils can be very helpful, The aides use lavender hand lotion and give hand massages , put on some relaxing music and this can be helpful for sundowners ,night time behaviors, wandering, Helping to relax and soothe. Hope that helps!
Talita 14th Jan 2018
Thanks so much for all your feedback, it is very much appreciated x
Marjorie 14th Jan 2018 Activities Assistant
We have a large facility that allows and encourages wandering. It is a physical outlet for those who have led very active lives, or like you say they are on their way “somewhere”. Eventually they relax and sit, sometimes we offer very lifelike dolls, or babies for them to take care of. We even have a baby buggy to push around which they enjoy. Several of them are “babysitting” like a grandparent might.
Anita 10th Jan 2018 Diversional Therapist
Great information. :)
Lori 10th Jan 2018 Activity
What do you say when residents won't get involved with activities because they say they are going home
Kim 10th Jan 2018 Diversional Therapist
Find a meaningful activity they like, hard to know what to say without knowing the person. What would have interested them prior, discussing this you may find that building a rapport with clients can initiate their contribution because they just want to join you.
Fazeeda 10th Jan 2018 Mental Health Nurse
Thank you for the article. A good information. May I ask, how about those who are still living in the community. How can we assist or advise caregivers regarding this wandering behaviors?
Solange 10th Jan 2018 Diversional Therapist
Hi Fazeeda, thank you for your feedback. Caregivers at home should find a support group to exchange advice. If wandering is severe they may have to install locks on doors and windows or purchase motion detection that can alert them when someone opens a door or window. Alternatively, they can hang bells on doorknobs. Also, they must make sure their loved ones have an ID with them all the time; there are ID bracelet, or pendant with a radio transmitter so they can track the person's location. Getting physical activities during the day helps them sleep well at night (though it does not fit everybody). Consider if there is a reason the loved one is absconding.
Enid 10th Jan 2018 AIN/Assistant Activities
Very helpful thank you
Lifestyle Salisbury 9th Jan 2018 Lifestyle
Good information.
Heather 9th Jan 2018 lifestyle officer
Thankyou for this helpful information