Patient Education

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Memory Problems: Wandering

Topic 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.

Get a medical ID bracelet for the person so that you can be contacted if he or she wanders away.

  • Try to figure out why the person wanders. He or she 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.
  • Lock outside doors, and use alarms and other devices to alert you when the person wanders outdoors or into unsafe areas.
  • Provide a safe place for wandering, such as an enclosed yard or garden.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: September 23, 2020

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

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