Advice on managing wandering

Tourist98

Registered User
Jul 4, 2017
6
Hello, my Dad has mixed dementia and has started wandering. He used to travel as a sales rep and appears to be reverting back to that. This morning he told my Mum at 6am that he was going 'up north' to meet people. He had no idea how he was getting there (he no longer has a licence and no car). Does anyone have any advice on how to stop him, please? I know you should always try to agree with what they say but it would be unsafe to have an 83 year old out and about. I asked him to plan his trip...route, visits etc in an effort to delay him but he just wants to be out. Mum even offered to go with him but he thinks we're treating him like a child. We're just trying to protect him. We have alarms on all the exit doors and a bolt but then he just gets cross and argumentative.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,558
Ireland
Hello, Tourist98.

This is a difficult problem for you and your mum. Wandering like this is almost impossible to prevent without causing great distress to the person. The only thing I can suggest is maybe following him at a discrete distance, and then after a decent time, "meet him by chance" and lead him home again, if you think that would work.

Take a look at this Alz Society factsheet on walking/wandering, and see if you can glean any good tips or advice there: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/download/downloads/id/1790/factsheet_walking_about.pdf
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
My FiL was still very physically fit and used to insist on going out on his own, often. It was impossible to distract or dissuade him, since he was apt to fly into a terrifying rage if opposed in any way. But he was liked a caged animal if he couldn't get out. More than once I was frantic, since we live not far from a busy road and he'd become somewhat heedless about traffic.
I remember phoning Dh to ask what on earth I was to do, and he said, just let him go, he'll probably forget where he was going and come back quite soon.
And in fact that was what happened practically every time, and he never did actually get lost or have or cause an accident.

When he finally went into a care home, we were very lucky to find one that would let him out on his own. They just made sure he had a piece of paper in his pocket with his name and address on, so if he did get lost - happened at least once - at least someone would be able to,let the home know.
However this was in a seaside Sussex town with a lot of care homes and elderly, and the locals were used to it!
 

Tourist98

Registered User
Jul 4, 2017
6
Thank you both for your advice. The factsheet is excellent and I was unaware of it. It is also reassuring to know that Dad can be allowed out and will probably come back OK. I like the idea of following at a discreet distance too!