Wandering outdoors in lockdown


New member
Apr 3, 2020
I live with my mum she’s 85 diagnosed 3 years Alzheimer’s. I work part time lock down has brought me a whole new set of problems. Mum loves to walk for miles I have a tracker on her so I can go and get her if I think she’s too far. Recently she’s been brought back by police because people keep reporting her probably out of concern. Was told by Alzheimer’s society to let her carry on with her walks as it’s impossible for me to stop her and still go to work but the police don’t understand they see her as vulnerable with regards to Coronavirus and think I should be trying to keep her in. Just not sure what I am supposed to do at my wits end.


Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
Welcome to DTP @Poppy95
It‘s incredibly hard to keep a person in when they don’t understand why & lots of our members are experiencing the same as you.
Please keep posting as you’ll get lots of support here.


Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
Hi @Poppy95, welcome to the forum. Have you registered Mum's details with the Police (I did this with my Mum)? Is there anyway that perhaps you can go out with Mum for a daily walk in accordance with the guidelines? You would then be able to manage the situation (i'm assuming she doesn't appreciate the social distancing protocol). I can understand your concern - it's a really difficult situation.


New member
Apr 3, 2020
Hi can’t believe my post was a year ago. Still going through the same problems and mum is inevitably worth. I do try to go for a daily walk with her but she’s very bossy has no clue where she is going so we end up walking in circles plus she doesn’t always want me with her so it’s sometimes an awful experience. Police are still being called and they have been so good with mum they know her now and have a great rapport with her. They have made another referral to social services so I’m going to ask for more help but in the past they’ve been pretty useless. Fingers crossed they help.I’m looking in to day centre and respite and possibly full time care as she cries a lot seems very lonely she needs help coping with the Alzheimer’s. My son and I live with her at times my hearts torn to shreds with the guilt of a care home I seriously think I might need counselling after all this. Any way appreciate the replies thank you


Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
My fingers are crossed for you as well.
It certainly does seem that looking into options such as day care and/or respite care would be a good idea. Although with COVID it is harder I started looking for a Care Home before my Mum needed it. For me I just needed a ‘plan B’ in place as I knew the day would come at some point.
My relationship was not particularly close with my Mum so I did not have a strong guilt although we have become closer since her diagnosis. However I always knew there would be a time I could not care for my Mum so I saw a Care Home as a place where she would be safe and it was my job to find the best one for her. Mum was not happy at home - she was scared and lonely most of the time even when Carers were going in when I was not there. ( we lived 70 miles apart)
Remember not all Care Homes are bad, there are some fantastic one out there and many residents thrive - hopefully soon the visiting restrictions will be reduced further which will make it easier for the relatives.


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
She might love the company and activity of a care home. Ask around about the homes in your area to get an idea of which ones are good.


Registered User
May 30, 2017
Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
Hi @Poppy95 , it is disheartening to see how a year later the problems which worried you haven't found a solution.
Your mum might have been reasonably safe in her wanderings in the past, but now that the situation seems to have worsened, she may need to be more controlled. I wouldn't rule out the idea of a care home.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
hello @Thomasina
a warm welcome to DTP
good question, as sometimes there's no way of persuading
so maybe look into a door alert so you know when the door has been opened ... dad had a Carephone system which linked to his landline, it had a separate speaker so an operator could speak with dad to hopefully persuade him back inside and they also contacted me so I could go and check on him ... there was also a tracker linked in and it could be set so there was an alert if he went beyond a certain distance
there are other GPS trackers too ... have a look at this site

as for getting back home ... it can be a waiting game, following and hoping your help will be accepted when tired
or get ahead and approach saying eg 'how lovely to see you here, I'm off back for a (treat) won't you come too, I'd enjoy the company'
or catch up with a coat, stick or any useful item and ask if you can go for a walk too, steering you both back home
best not to show you are concerned, keep it lighthearted ... and be ready to back off if you are greeted with negativity so as not to build up resistance

if the wandering is at night or dangerous, call the police for assistance


Registered User
Jun 10, 2020
Thank you Shadrack for the advice. It is good to be in touch with people who know what you are going through.

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