Signs Someone with Alzheimer’s Might Wander

Those living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, could be at risk of wandering, which is why it’s important to watch for these common signs.

  • The disease itself. Anyone with dementia is at risk of wandering. This behavior can affect individuals in all stages as long as that person is mobile.
  • Trouble navigating familiar places. A desire to get to a certain place could prompt individuals with Alzheimer’s to go in search of where they feel they need or want to be.
  • Talk about fulfilling nonexistent obligations. If Dad keeps discussing going back to work, or Mom is talking about taking the baby – who is now an adult – to the doctor, a loved one could be at risk of wandering.
  • Agitation during the late afternoon or early evening. Sometimes referred to as “Sundowning,” individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias often become agitated and restless, even pacing, as fatigue sets in and are at greater risk of wandering.
  • Wanting to go home when they’re already there. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often go looking for home when they are already there.
  • Unmet needs. If a loved one wants to go to the bathroom, but can’t find where it is, that individual is at greater risk of wandering.