nicky e

Registered User
May 25, 2004
My Dad has wandered twice now and my family are considering what we should do next. Does anybody have any experience or advice?

He is living in a small and friendly nursing home where he seems happy. However he has wandered away twice, once in the middle of the night when he was picked up by the police at three in the morning, and recently in the daytime when he was not found until 18 hours later.

The nursing home gave him an identity bracelet but he has taken it off.
Does anybody have any ideas about how we could keep some ID on him - is electronic tagging a realistic alternative?

He is physically fit , (he is 69) but unable to talk coherently anymore, so we are obviously very anxious when he is missing.

Our question is; should we keep him in the present home where he seems happy and there is some freedom, or should we move him to a more secure home, where he might feel unhappy and disorientated, but at least we'd know he was safe?

He was a keen mountaineer and loved the outdoors so we really don't want to lock him up!

I would really appreciate anybody's views.



Registered User
May 20, 2004
You have to go with your instincts - perhaps have a look around at alternatives - you may be lucky and find a suitable place that still allows freedom within its grounds. How long has he been suffering the dementia? Might he initially be upset but still be able to settle given time. If you have already gone through the mill settling him where he is then you may be in the hands of the home. If they feel they can't keep him safe then they might insist he is moved?

My Aunts home is only residential but they seem well organised on the security front. 2 large but fully fenced gardens for wandering in and a keypad on the exit door so that only those capable could get themselves out without help.

When Dad went into the local cottage hospital specialist ward for some respite they had an odd set of handles on the ward door that took a little ingenuity and dexterity to operate. One lifted upwards and the other down but had to be turned at the same time. Unfortunately although they worked for the other patients they were no match for him and we met him on his way out on several occasions (being pursued by the staff!). We smile when we look back but it did result in him being sectioned for a short period until his physical health deteriorated and he was no longer fit enough to do a runner.

I dread the day should it come if Aunts home say she would have to move into a more specialised place. However, it wouldn't be fair on the staff there if they weren't able to cope. We had one fright early on when I am told she was found at her bedroom window banging it with a large candlestick - fortunately the night staff were able to divert her attention on that occasion.

Dad and Aunt were both fit and active individuals before the AD set in and I found their sudden loss of freedom very difficult to cope never mind them! You never know, maybe your Dad will get through this difficult stage sooner rather than later.



Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
As a first course of action I would talk to the home to see if they can supply a more secure environment. Putting an ID bracelet on him only addresses the challenge of someone else knowing who he is.

It does not address the crucial matter of his safety. I am sure the home is legally responsible for people in its care and if he were to cause an accident, or be injured [or both] that would clearly not be a good thing. You might blame yourself for not taking action, and there's enough guilt associated with this disease without introducing more.

Whether or not the home is friendly, your Dad needs to be safe, and you need to be comfortable that he is so.

Is the home EMI [Elderly Mentally Infirm] registered?

I totally understand your quandary, but I do think you need to check out a few things to make your Dad safer.

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member