Canary how horrendous .Wandering and getting lost was a game changer for mum. She started going out during the day and kind neighbours would bring her back, but then she started going out in the middle of the night , in the freezing cold, dressed only in her nightwear (and on one memorable occasion, wearing only an unfastened dressing-gown) and banging on random peoples doors at 3.00am because she was lost . She would not allow carers in her home, notes on the door didnt work, and she wouldnt agree to having a door alarm, so I started looking for a care home.
In fact, she had a TIA first, so she ended up in hospital and went from there to a secure care home. Everyone (doctors, Social Services and me) was in agreement that this was where she needed to be. She was angry that she wasnt allowed out on her own and spent the first few weeks "packing to go home", but the care home got a DoLS and by 6 weeks mum had settled and was happy there. She lived there and thrived, made friends and once told me "they all love me in here". She was right - they did. I have no regrets.
my dad did similar last yr banging on hes neighbours doors of hes old block of flats .kicking there doors and looking through there letterbox he had the old neighbours out who were in shock as they had no idea he had dementia
you were lucky your mum settled lots of pwd dont