First time here !


Registered User
May 13, 2008
Portsmouth, England
:) Hello everyone - I am very glad to have found you all! My 86 year old father has Alzheimers he lives alone generally just about managing with frequent visits from the family - he refuses to consider living with my husband and me. He walks for miles every day and is physically very fit. Recently he has started coming to my house at all hours of the day and , more worrying, the night - he has no idea of what day it is or what time. I am really worried about him - mainly about him walking the streets at night. Any suggestions as to how I can help him ?


Registered User
Aug 13, 2007

Hi, there my 65-year-old mother and law just to do the same every morning at six o’clock walk out and visit the neighbours. We talk to our community nurse and she that the worst thing you can do is stop them instead you have to call their attention on to doing other things like cuddle the cat or do the washing together. We talk the neighbours and they understood her condition. For the time been she stop doing this it was only a face of the illness.

The thing is we do live with her and her husband is something that none of us wanted but down to these circumstances, we have to look after her until she required professional help. none of us like this but there is not another way. She cannot look after herself and we all have to face it.
The same for you and your father he might not like it but he is putting him self at risk and you would not have peace of mind.

I hope that my advice help you
Take care


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
I wonder if there is anyway that you can track your Dad, I know that there are mobile phones that parents can get that tell them where their kids are...maybe there is something like that you could get that you could attach to him as a bracelet or could his door opening some how be connected to a sensor that would alert you? I know they may seem to like way out ideas...but you never know whats possible these days with technology.
If you can get to know his neighbours perhaps you could give them your phone number so that they can ring you if they see him going out at night...and if they are friendly enough they may be able to go out and have a chat to him until you can come distract him back into the house. A lot of hard work I know, but thats dementia for you...
Its wonderful however that he is so active, cherish that at least!


Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
coast of texas
..wandering devices

I don't have the same problem (tho I can honestly say I wish I had it for a few moments).

If you look in the resources section of the forum and look for a thread called "wandering devices" follow all the leads you may find something that can help you. I'm not going to try to explain it as I have never seen it, but within that thread you may find someone who can help you.

Best of luck




Registered User
May 13, 2008
Portsmouth, England
Thank you all so much for your swift replies. All the suggestions sound good and I will be looking into all of them. I know I am lucky my father is active and healthy at the moment but mentally I can see a deterioration almost every day. His latest obsession is 'saving money' to the extent that he will not keep his fridge switched on and has diconnected (somehow) the little red light on his storage heater that shows it is on because 'it all costs a lot of money'! As you say in other posts - a sense of humour is a must! Hope I will be able to take part fully in this group now I have found you. Best wishes from Sue


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Sue

I just want to welcome you to TP.

I'm afraid I can't offer any advice, I care for my husband, so my problems are rather different. But I think you need to be preparing yourself for the fact that your father may not be safe living alone for too much longer, and be looking at alternatives.

It's a hard decision, but if he's wandering at night, you have his safety to consider.

All the best,


Registered User
May 1, 2008
Dublin, Ireland
Hi Sue,
My Dad is an avid walker too. walks so much during the day but thankfully not too much yet at night. He did go through a phase of getting up very early (5am) and setting off the alarm (my sister lives next door to him and puts his alarm on every night). We started to put a sign on the door at night that said "Don't go out until Helen comes in" or something like that. It took a while before he stopped trying to go out early, I think the alarm started to get through to him.... (though he did it again this morning because he went to bed very early the evening before). We try to keep him up as long as possible so he sleeps well and long. He gets up about 7 -7.30 now (or 8 if we are lucky :))by which time we are in with him most days.

Occasionally he is disorientated/distressed/having a bad day as far as Time and Reality are concerned and wants to go out very early or very late but if we go with him for a short distance we can often get him to settle. One of the few things he gets almost aggressive about is if we ever try to stop him walking. It is what makes us hesitate so much about getting him into full time care. It would destroy him not to be able to walk. This evening he wasn't back after 50 mins (normally he is back after 20 mins or so, or 40 mins if he does two rounds of the block !) so I went looking for him and found him on one of his routes, and he said he couldn't find his way home. He would have made it eventually I reckon but I never like to leave him out too long.

We and his carers go out with him sometimes, but not always, as he can be a bit obsessive about it going back out almost imediately he has come in. but having monitored him for some time now, he has modified his routes the more confused he has become. he does shorter walks more frequently now and we regularly ask if if he is going astray.

I am not sure that Dad could be termed a "wanderer" as such and has vascular dementia rather than AD. Walking is one of the few things that he does (along with praying) and it would be sad to try and stop him.

Its hard work keeping up with him but his quality of life is not so bad.