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Going a walk by herself


Registered User
Feb 5, 2019
My mum hasn't been out by herself since last July/August - one of the last times she got lost (ended up in a shop we never use), and the last time she had a fall at the front door and was lying outside a while. Since then I've had cameras installed at the door.

Obviously her confidence was knocked, but now she's at the stage she's not really capable (mentally) of popping to the shops etc herself. Any time she has left the house alone now it has been due to her hallucinations, "looking for her sister", "going to meet someone" etc.

With the good weather we have been going out together for short walks. Today I came home from work to find she had her shoes on, ready to go a walk. I still had some more work to do so suggested we go a bit later when I was finished, but she said she wanted to go now and could go on her own. To avoid any argument/anger (we've had enough of that!), I said no problem and said I would be here when she got back.

I let her go down the road a bit then followed her, who knew I had some stealth skills! It was fine, she basically went round in a big circle for 10/15 minutes. I ran back to the house and appear to have got away with it.

Now I'm wondering, next time I'm out and see her leave the house on the camera, should I rush home/alert the neighbours etc? Or wait a wee while to see if she comes back? She obviously has some confidence back but I'm just worried as the next time could be her in distress about something.

Does anyone else have experience of their PWD suddenly going out again alone after such a long time? (nearly a year!)

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
It`s a long time since your mother went out by herself @Louise83 and the camera will only show her by her door. This means you`ll have no way of knowing whether or not she`ll find her way home so it depends on whether or not you`re prepared to take the chance.

My husband used to go walkabout daily and after the first time he failed to find his way home, I made sure it was the last .

The first time he got lost he was given a lift home by a man in a white van who saw he seemed lost and offered him a lift home. You can imagine the thoughts going through my mind. This man could have been anyone.

After this episode whenever he went out I followed discretely. Sometimes he went to our son`s who then brought him home and other times he `met me by chance` and agreed to come home with me.

It will be difficult for you to decide what is best for your mum and whether or not she is at risk.


Registered User
Feb 5, 2019
Having thought on it, I think next time I see on the camera that she has gone out I'll head home and look for her, but not bother the neighbours or be seen to create a fuss.

It's so difficult as I know she wants to feel independent.

Thanks for your reply.


Registered User
Apr 16, 2018
Id be very careful if Mum makes a habit of going out on her own. Mum had to be admitted to a CH because fo her wandering in March. The carer kept reporting that she was out when they came for the 3 x a day visits. Neighbours brought her home, the police, strangers and another anonymous neighbor reported us to SS for neglecting an OAP. Mum had wandered down the road and got lost. We were unable to keep her in, day and night, it was impossible. The only option was a CH. So please be careful.


Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
It's impossible to predict unfortunately, but I think your decision to go round and discreetly look for her sounds a good one. You can also get tracking systems so you can see where she has gone, but that does depend on her not removing the tracker (they are available as pendants/bracelets, clips etc). My mother always removed hers, it never left the house!

I lived a long way from my mother so I couldn't check on her when she wandered and she was usually rescued by neighbours, except one time when she went to the high road and couldn't remember how to get home. She went into the optician and they rummaged through her bag to find her details, and called an ambulance which came and took her home. There is a limit to the how much neighbours will be willing to help, if it happens too frequently it becomes too much responsibility for them. My mother moved to a care home 2 years ago.


New member
Oct 18, 2019
We are strongly considering geo tracking technology. Mum has a Doro dementia friendly mobile phone which, because she likes it, she is inclined to take with her on her walks. These can be enabled to provide you with a location, or you can use a separate tracker, but I do take the point made above, that someone can remove them.

I have also experienced the lovely helpfulness of the village where Mum lives, checking and watching out for her, as well as the exasperation of some of her neighbours who think we should be there to prevent wandering. It is very difficult.


Registered User
Feb 5, 2019
I bought a keyring GPS tracker, but as said she has to take it with her! Any time she has wandered out she's not taken it. Most of the time she wanders out she's still in her dressing gown and slippers so can forget any hope that she has her house keys on her.
It's exhausting!


Registered User
May 7, 2019
I bought a keyring GPS tracker, but as said she has to take it with her! Any time she has wandered out she's not taken it. Most of the time she wanders out she's still in her dressing gown and slippers so can forget any hope that she has her house keys on her.
It's exhausting!
Can you not clip it somewhere on her dressing gown where she can’t find it?


Registered User
May 17, 2020
Hi we had one for Dad,it was always worn around his neck or like a watch..