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Date: April 1, 2022

Author: Robert Kreek

Unfortunately, one of the things that family caregivers have to worry about if their elderly loved one has dementia is wandering. This is when the elderly person walks or runs away. Sometimes, you may be watching and it won’t be that big of a deal. However, other times, it could be when you take your eye off from them or when they are home by themselves. If you are a family caregiver for someone who has dementia, it would be helpful to learn as much as you can about wandering.

Causes of Wandering

One of the first things that you may want to learn more about is the causes of wandering. There are actually many things that can cause someone with dementia to wander off. Some of the most common causes for this include:

  • Feeling lonely
  • Feeling stressed or anxious
  • Feeling afraid
  • Being hungry or thirsty
  • Going to look for someone
  • Feeling bored
  • Feeling overwhelmed

As you can see, many negative feelings can cause someone with dementia to wander off. They may also go looking for a certain person that may not even be in their life anymore. With the help of Alzheimer’s home care services, hopefully, there will be fewer chances for your elderly loved one to wander off.

Recognizing the Warning Signs

Luckily, there are often warning signs that an elderly person who has dementia is going to or might wander off. Learning what these warning signs are can help you to stop this from happening with your elderly loved one or at least reduce the chances of them wandering off. Some of the warning signs that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • They are yelling or screaming
  • They are talking non-stop about someone they love or want to see
  • They seem lost or confused
  • They aren’t sure where they are at, even when in their own home

If you notice any of these issues with your elderly loved one, they may be about to wander off.

Preventing Wandering

As noted above, there are numerous causes of wandering and signs that your elderly loved one may wander away. If you can recognize those, there will be a much better chance to prevent wandering with your elderly loved one. It may also be a good idea for you and/or a companion care provider to take your elderly loved one to the doctor regularly to have their cognitive functions assessed. That way, you will know if they need more supervision to prevent wandering.


Now that you know more about wandering with dementia, you can do more to help prevent it in your elderly loved one. It is also important to have a plan in case your elderly loved one does wander off. That way, there will be a better chance of finding them quickly.