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Wandering: Addressing a Problem for People With Alzheimer Disease

Image for elderly GPS articleAlzheimer disease is a serious condition. It causes problems with memory and thinking. As it gets worse, Alzheimer disease may cause people to be confused. They may not know where they are or what time it is. Confusion can lead to wandering.

Possible Signs of Wandering

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer, be aware of certain behaviors. These could lead to wandering:

Be aware if wandering has happened before. It is more likely to happen again.

How Can You Prevent Wandering?

To help prevent wandering:

Be Ready for Wandering

Always be ready for the person to wander:

If your loved one is lost, call for medical help right away. Tell the police that your loved one has Alzheimers. If you have registered with Safe Return, also call them.


Alzheimer's Association

National Institute on Aging


Alzheimer Society Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada


Alzheimer dementia.EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alzheimer-dementia. Accessed October 12, 2021.

Home safety for people with Alzheimer's disease. National Institutes on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/home-safety-and-alzheimers-disease. Accessed October 12, 2021.

MedicAlert + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return. MedicAlert Foundation website. Available at: https://www.medicalert.org/. Accessed October 12, 2021.

Wandering. Alzheimer's Association website. Available at: https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/stages-behaviors/wandering. Accessed October 12, 2021.

Wandering and getting lost. Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Center website. Available athttps://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/stages-behaviors/wandering. Accessed October 12, 2021.

Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board   Last Updated: 10/12/2021