Jo H

Registered User
Dec 30, 2004
West Midlands
Hello this is my 1st post! I am an Occupational therapist currently studying for an MSc in Ageing and as part of my studies I am looking at walking or what is often labelled "wandering" in people who have dementia.

There is alot of "medical type research" out there but very little appears to have been carried out to get the carers perspective or indeed the perspective of the person doing the walking!

If you are caring for someone who walks/ wanders I would be very interested to hear about your experiences, why you think they walk/wander, what impact it has had on you and the person you care for and what coping strategies you have employed or been advised to employ.

I look forward to hearing from you or reading your replies in this forum,

Many thanks. Jo H


Registered User
Mar 31, 2004
hi Jo

I can offer my experiences of wandering. My Mum was a prodigious wanderer when she was still at home, and would walk for miles and hours. She would disappear whilst I was out walking the dog, let alone while I was at work. We would search the streets, call out the police - then she would reappear, or I would get a phone call from someone. I frequently had to go home from work, about 20 miles, to retrieve her from wherever she had gone. It was all incredibly stressful. fortunately, my boss was brilliant about it. Eventually Mum started going to a Day Centre six days a week, but even then I had to lock the door, and leave a key in a key box on the outside of the house, so that the carers could take her. All of my neighbours were on Mum watch before that - retrieving her before she went too far. I was very lucky. Whenever she wandered she seemed to me to be going to the area where she grew up - I think she was trying to go home. She led a charmed life, and never came to harm, and I was constantly surprised by the kindness of strangers who went out of their way to bring her home.

hope this helps.