When people with dementia walk - a guide for carers

Overview

Sometimes people with dementia walk – this is often referred to as 'wandering'. They may walk around the house, or they may leave their homes, sometimes at odd hours of the day or night. Perhaps they can't explain where they want to go, or their explanation doesn't seem to make sense. Often the person's walking can be frightening for the carer, who worries about him or her getting lost or hurt. Or the carer may be frustrated because of restless walking.

In Inverness, he had the roads, and he would come back. But on the island, it was so empty, and I wouldn't know where he'd gone. He could have gone along the cliff path, where the rocks were crumbling. … You're waiting for the worst. You're just waiting to hear what might have happened. You can't sit, you can't eat, you're just waiting for the terrible news. … So far the Lord has spared him. But there's a busy road not a mile from where we lived, and if he'd tried to cross it, well, I don't know what might have happened.

Carer, talking about her husband

Walking can be one of the most stressful issues that a carer of a person with dementia can face. But it may be possible to improve the situation both for you and for the person with dementia.

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