What is Wandering?
People with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may
wander, become disoriented and be unable to find their way home.
They can become lost even in familiar settings such as outside the
house in local streets, at a shopping centre, travelling on public
transport or on an outing or drive to an unfamiliar place.
Wandering can happen at
any time or place and can put
the individual at risk if they are not located and returned home in
reasonable time. Wandering is quite common amongst people with Alzheimer’s
disease and others types of dementia and can be very worrying
for families and carers who are concerned for the person’s safety
and well being. The person’s failing memory, disorientation and
declining ability to communicate may make it impossible for them to
remember or explain the reason for why they wandered.
People with Alzheimer’s disease and other
dementias are at risk of wandering and perhaps becoming lost in
their surroundings. Some individuals experience agitation and/or
restlessness and feel the need to keep moving to alleviate this
feeling. This restlessness is frequently goal directed. For
instance, the person may wish to revisit a place that holds special
memories for them or a place where they felt secure (e.g.: their old
home, previous accommodation or place of work). Knowing about
these special places and ensuring that this knowledge is readily
available to Police can save vital time in locating a person who is
More information on wandering
can be obtained
Web site: www.alzheimers.org.au
National Helpline: 1800 639
Web site: www.carersaustralia.com.au
National Helpline: 1800 242