Memory Problems: Wandering

Overview

Wandering can pose a major problem for the caregiver and can be dangerous for a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia.

  • Use medical identification.

    Get a medical ID bracelet for the person so that you can be contacted if they wander away.

  • Try to figure out why the person wanders.

    The person may be trying to find something specific or looking for a familiar object. A person who wanders at a certain time of day may always have taken a walk or gone to work at that time.

  • Secure the area.

    Lock outside doors, and use alarms and other devices to alert you when the person wanders outdoors or into unsafe areas. Signs on doors may remind the person to stay inside.

  • Provide a safe place for wandering, such as an enclosed yard or garden.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: December 13, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Myron F. Weiner MD - Psychiatry, Neurology