She Cannot Keep Still..anyone Come Across This


Registered User
Apr 12, 2008
Hello and thank you for popping in.

I have posted threads in this forum with regard to my sister in law,so if you have read them you will get an idea about her. Anyway, the fact is whenever we visit her she always has something new to add to her problems. She is happy and content in the NH, so it is nothing to do with that.
Last week we had the non stop getting up and going to the toilet(over 20 times in two hours), thats stopped now thanks to a pill the doctor prescribed to help her to go in the morning. Now, its a case of she keeps constantly getting up and walking round, with or without visitors there. This may not seem a problem but it is, because she is going to hurt her legs, so the doctor said, plus with the constant getting up she had a fall this morning because she is getting more giddy on her feet. I know the doctor will be called out again in the morning, probably more pills on top of what she already takes.
Please, has anyone had the same problem with a loved one of theirs with a dementia.
Any information on this would be most welcome.
Ps: She was dianosed with Vascular Dementia last summer, but the symtons she shows has been noted to be more like Parkinsons????


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Yes - my mother was like this until right at the end. She used a walking frame and had appalling arthritis in her hips but nothing would stop the constant motion. She said (when she was able to explain it) that it simply felt better when she was moving. I did wonder whether it was a form of Restless Leg Syndrome - something that I suspect she had suffered from without treatment for many years. Her dementia was due to strokes, so vascular in origin as well.

P. S. Here's a fact sheet if you're interested
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Registered User
Apr 12, 2008
Thank you, Jennifer,

For the website link.
I have browsed it, and I am now going to print it off for it is valuable information.
Funnily enough, S-I-L drinks coffee as her only hot drink, but I wonder if this would be even a consideration...I doubt it.
I think next time I visit, I will try to find out from her how her legs feel, without the power of suggestion to her.
Once again thank you:)


Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Kim62

My Mum walks constantly, is obsessed with getting into the kitchen whenever she notices, the kitchen door open, she is off.

She is in an NHS continuing care dementia facility.

She is not the only patient to continually walk. There are at least 3 others, I have seen. Unfortunately, sore legs or not, I think for some, this is just a symptm

Even with seditives and anti-psychotic drugs, Mum is still walking around.

I am grateful she is still on her feet, as opposed to, in the Psychiatric ward in hospital, when she was soo medicated, I was told "she didn't have long"



Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
coast of texas
I am reading your thread with great interest as mom is the opposite. MOm is in stage 7 and curling into the fetal position and we do therapy to keep her joints and tendons "limber".

She was never a walker.

My question would be for a Dr. Is stopping them from walking really better or is it more convenient to care for them. I know the falling issues and all, but from a body wise standpoint. Do you see what I mean? I mean, we need exercise..they do to.

My second thought would be could this be an obsessive compulsive disorder, moms dr. had warned me that as her dementia progressed so would her OCD.

Just wondering out loud....HUGS to all.


Registered User
Apr 12, 2008
I too thought walking about would be better, but apparently the doc feels that this is actually going to cause her more harm. She tends to jump up suddenly, wobbling in the process, and this may cause nerve damage.
Also,when she reaches an obstacle, like a door or wall, she tries to continue walking.

Her actions remind me of a caged wild animal that paces up and down through boredom.


Registered User
Jan 29, 2006
Hi Kim62

My mum was like this! We live in a bungalow and mum would constantly walk up and down all day long, I couldn't stop her! Even when I sat her down to feed her she would constantly try to get up. As I cared for mum at home it was easier for me to let mum get on with it, I only ever made mum sit down when she had got so tired that she would begin to walk bent forward so for her own safety I would sit her down, but I really felt it was like an overwhelming need for her to do it. Unfortunately mum wasn't able to communicate why she needed to walk endlessly. This phase of mum's condition lasted about 8 months, it stopped because mum fell and broke her nose and this made her lose her confidence, but sadly the need to wander went but then the agitation and scratching started which to me was frustration at being unable to wander anymore.

I'm sorry that my post isn't very postive after re-reading it, but just thought I would share our experience.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Even with seditives and anti-psychotic drugs, Mum is still walking around.
Side effects of some anti-psychotic drugs does make people want to walk around more .

So Kim if your mother not on any anti-psychotic drugs you can rule that out .

Last week we had the non stop getting up and going to the toilet(over 20 times in two hours),
going to the toilet a lot and really urinating she should be check out for diabetic as going to the toilet a lot is a symptom of diabetic so being tested for that can rule that out . Or is she going to the toilet & not urinating ?

She tends to jump up suddenly
My mother does that and if if she does not have something to grab on to she fall , because she gets moment that she still think she can walk unaided . Some time when I am in the kitchen talking to my daughter , she appears at the kitchen door one hand holding on to the wall and no Zimmer frame . My daughter was amazed , but if she observe closer she notice my mother can not turn around to go back into front room , I have to guide her to turn around without losing her balance , then needs to hold on to the wall to keep her balance .

I wonder if that why in some nursing home I been to they have hand rail on both side of the corridors , because some people with dementia do not want to give up the ability of walking, until the brain damage take its all away . sounds like your mother a fighter Kim :)
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Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Hi Kim62,
Although my husband is in E.M.I. Unit he will persist in walking back and forward along the corridors.
Peter has lost so much weight and skin and bones, so they have doubled his fortify drinks and each time he passed Nurses Station they give him biscuits.
When I go to visit, he does not know who I am and he will not sit down but keeps pacing. Doctor gave him a drug to calm him down but all he did was sleep and when talking to Manager, Consultant and myself we decided it was better that he kept packing.
Good Luck


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
Hello Kim,

My husband has been constantly walking for about 4 years now! He walks until his back gives way. Then he continues walking but leaning heavily to one side and almost falling down. The staff at the excellent NH he is in do not try to stop him. They couldn't even if they tried. I visit him every day and this is the only time he will sit down , although we do have to move from room to room every few minutes. He will sit down to eat a meal but he does wolf down the food so fast this causes him to burp a lot. He is also on a lot of medication to calm his anxiety attacks but this does not stop him pacing along the corridor endlessly.

Both on the Hospital EMI ward and at the home there are quite a few other residents who constantly pace and I really think this is part and parcel of the disease in some sufferers.



Registered User
Mar 13, 2008
My Grandma did this for weeks and weeks. (grandma's lewy bodies have affected her so quickly within a matter of months she has changed dramatically) She would rush around, walk into things especially doors etc. as if she had no concept they were there.

When she was admitted to hospital the nurses found it very difficult lookin after her as she was falling everyday (luckly not hurting herself), they eventually had to have an extra nurse on the ward to sit with her and keep her calm and aid her when she was walking. dont think we've (family) walked as much lol.

One day it all changed, she got in bed on an evening as we were leaving and she hasnt got out of bed since, that was almost 5 weeks ago now, she just lays there and moves her legs as if exercisin but this is also slowing down.

she is now in a lovely NH but she doesnt know where she is, the move didnt affect her at all, she was asleep when they picked her up and was asleep when she arrived. she's now sleeping approx 22 hours a day, but the restlesness still continues in a way.


Registered User
Jan 1, 2007
Newcastle upon Tyne
My Dad's the same - I've just seen him today. He won't stop walking, day or night, despite having bad hips, knees and back. Up and down the corridors, then he bends over the handrail and pants - he looks as if he is going to pass out. He will one day, I know - he has blood pressure problems. He seems to be looking for something - a way out maybe, because he tries all the door handles. Or for a solution to something. He's in his own world. Today he said he was tired and I managed to get him to lie on his bed - but it lasted only a couple of minutes and he was off again.

My Mum is showing the same signs. Although she's still at home she can't sit and talk to me without getting up and wandering off to get something or show me something.


Registered User
Feb 20, 2008
West Yorkshire
Dear Kim
My Dad wanders incessantly, To the point where he exhausts himself. When I visit, he will sit down for about 10 minutes then he has to be off again. I end up trailing up and down with him, one patient even told me off because he thought I was making Dad walk up and down! He has always been a wanderer. When he was living indpendently he once wandered off for a long walk, but ended up falling in a ditch:)eek::eek:)He managed to tell me about his 'adventure' and it scared the living daylights out of me. On Dads ward there are other wanderers as well, sometimes causing traffic jams at major junctions. One lady has to use a zimmer frame and this is no barrier to her wandering. I just accept that is part of the dementia. Who can say why they do it? Is it better that they say motionless in a chair the whole time?
take care


Registered User
Apr 19, 2008

Hi Kim,

I dont think my mum is advanced as some others I have read about but still she cant sit still for toffee! She is always getting up and rushing about, she seems unable to sit still unless she can convince someone to play at cards or scrabble - after a fashion. If we have a drink in a cup and saucer she will take the saucer away as soon as we pick up the cup and go in the kitchen to wash it up, then she will come back and stand beside you until you empty the cup so she can whisk that away too! She must wear herself out because when she does eventually sit down she goes straight off to sleep. At this point we have to go and check the dishes really are clean and not just put straight back in the cupboard. Mum will often mither my dad to take her out somewhere but as soon as she gets there she starts on about going home again. I feel like I'm moaning now but this is what life is like and you have to laugh about it or you cry. Keep your chins up everybody,


Registered User
Apr 12, 2008
Thank you..Everybody.

You have been wonderful to write about your own personal experiences, and I suppose Im just relieve we are not alone in this. It does seem to be rather a common problem, the constant need to walk.

Yes,I agree, there are the funny side of things. Just because a person suffers with a dememntia, does not mean to say they lose their sense of humour. My sister-in-law does provide moments of laughter through what she says. And she loves the staff to have a joke with her, and she may even 'wind' them up too.:D


Registered User
Apr 12, 2008
Just an update as at 18th June

Hello Everyone

I thought I would just keep you up to date on my sister-in-law, and hope that this will help others in some small way.
You have read about the problems we were encountering with her, well things have changed somewhat, over the pass 3 week.

While on holiday I received a phone call, on my mobile. S-I-L had got the owner of the home to phone me, as she felt it was urgent. When she came on the phone, she was all a fluster and full of apologies for not visiting.

She had to tell me about how her and her friend nearly had their bags snatched while on holiday. I asked if she was 'alright', 'Oh yes' she replied, 'I was going to make sure the cheeky ****** did not get our bags.'
I had to laugh, but obviously this 'episode' had awoken her, in a sense. Anyway, she assured me she would visit soon.
When the owner came on the phone she told me the true account. S-I-L had misplaced her handbag and the staff on duty were searching for it, found eventually.

My hubby and I also took her out for a couple of hours one afternoon, to have tea with a friend. In the time we were out she only went to the toilet TWICE. Usually when we visit it can be horrendous her always getting up to go to the loo. She sat on her friends sofa, and apart from a slight stutter she held a conversation with us. With the occasional search in her bag for her key.

She no longer mentions her home, that she lived in for nearly 40 years, in fact she wants to buy a 2 bedroom flat near her friend.

Through these months of experience I have found it best to not burst her bubble with negative responses.
:)For instance, she wants a two bedroom flat, we have promised to look out for one.:rolleyes:
:)She needed a key to her flat (bedroom) she lives in now, we gave her an old key from her house.:rolleyes:
She just needed to have a key in her bag.
She wanted money in her purse, so we put her £5 worth of change in the purse.:rolleyes: Expenses are actually billed to us monthly.
She wants to go on holiday this year,so we told her as soon as the doctor says shes ok to go:eek:.
S-I-L still having tests to diagnose which dementia she has.
:DWe keep her topped up with the treats she likes. Stored in the kitchen with her name on.

By doing these things in life for her, we tell ourselves its not hurting anyone in the long run.
If we were to be truthful, it would cause her to be stubborn - upset - and no doubt pleading with us she is ok. And why put her through continuous misery, when she seems to now be at peace with her life as it is now.

I wish you all well and strength to cope.

I will keep popping in here to read the forum, but for the present, all is calm and I intend to make the most of it. No doubt, I will be back on again Posting...but for the present...shhh;)