Wandering

Barney18

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
37
Essex
My OH is 56 and has been diagnosed since 2010. I don't know what stage he's at and I don't really think it makes any difference anyway. We sold our house and bought one with our daughter and her husband so that we would have downstairs accomodation and constant care. My daughter has a young family and we decided she would not go back to work and be the full time carer. Up until a couple of weeks ago hubby was happy to sit and watch telly but now he has lost interest. He spends hours constantly wandering from room to room and as he's very unsteady he falls over a lot. Has anyone had similar experience and any idea how long this stage lasts?
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,011
Scotland
I think you need to put in place other stimulation eg the groups run by Alz Soc or day centres. For men there are Football Memories groups which are very popular and the singing groups your daughter and the children would enjoy as well as your husband. This illness does not go away so you have to start looking for alternative ways to give everyone a break as early as possible.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,669
England
Our experience is that it does not stop. My husband was a wanderer at home, in the assessment unit and in the nursing home. It only stopped when an infection stopped him walking altogether.

I felt my husband was always looking for something, he may never have known what it was or it was just that home was no longer familiar to him and he was exploring, seeing everything for the first time, day in and day out.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,491
Yorkshire
Jaymoor may well be right - so marionq's thoughts of other stimulation at daycare or clubs etc may help him and your daughter, who has her young family to watch out for as well.
Do contact SS to have an Occupational Therapist visit, s/he may well have ideas about adaptations or supports to help with his unsteadiness - maybe a Physiotherapist too?
 

joggyb

Registered User
Dec 1, 2014
119
My OH is 56 and has been diagnosed since 2010. I don't know what stage he's at and I don't really think it makes any difference anyway. We sold our house and bought one with our daughter and her husband so that we would have downstairs accomodation and constant care. My daughter has a young family and we decided she would not go back to work and be the full time carer. Up until a couple of weeks ago hubby was happy to sit and watch telly but now he has lost interest. He spends hours constantly wandering from room to room and as he's very unsteady he falls over a lot. Has anyone had similar experience and any idea how long this stage lasts?
As others have said, I wouldn't rely on 'this stage' passing any time soon. My dad has been wandering for two years now, and shows no sign of stopping. At his care home there are a few others who do the same - one chap seems never to sit down.

Would your OH accept a walking stick or frame, perhaps, so as to reduce the risk of falls? Is there anything else you could do around the home to make falls less likely - e.g. put up grab rails, remove steps, etc? Just a thought.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
Sorry, but can only say same as others. My mum is a wanderer, the need to do so stops for a while, but always returns and like you I get so worried that she will have a fall. When this first started I found a drive in the car helped and stopping somewhere for a cup of tea. These days distraction does not work and is usually only intense for a few days then it stops so the best I can do is make sure the floor has no trip or fall hazards, a lock on the garden gate, just in case. Its one of those areas where we carers have to make the adjustments and try to work round it.

I did try day care, but for other reasons, did not work, shame because our locally day care centre is amazing.
 

Barney18

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
37
Essex
I think you need to put in place other stimulation eg the groups run by Alz Soc or day centres. For men there are Football Memories groups which are very popular and the singing groups your daughter and the children would enjoy as well as your husband. This illness does not go away so you have to start looking for alternative ways to give everyone a break as early as possible.
Hello Marionq, my hubby absolutely refuses to go to any day centre or group. He can get very agitated and aggressive so it's really not worth the extra stress. I agree about the extra stimulation but it would have to be at home. He can't talk anymore apart from the odd word and can't follow a conversation so I don't really know what there would be for him. We can't take him out because he refuses to go in the wheelchair and if he falls over it's a right job to get him up again. I was just hoping the wandering would pass and he would go back to sitting down again
 

Barney18

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
37
Essex
Our experience is that it does not stop. My husband was a wanderer at home, in the assessment unit and in the nursing home. It only stopped when an infection stopped him walking altogether.

I felt my husband was always looking for something, he may never have known what it was or it was just that home was no longer familiar to him and he was exploring, seeing everything for the first time, day in and day out.
Hello Jaymor, I think my hubby is wandering because he's so fed up being in the house but as I've stated above it's so hard to get him out because of his walking. He thinks we're trying " to do him in" if we take the chair out and he becomes quite violent so I gave up on that.
 

Barney18

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
37
Essex
Jaymoor may well be right - so marionq's thoughts of other stimulation at daycare or clubs etc may help him and your daughter, who has her young family to watch out for as well.
Do contact SS to have an Occupational Therapist visit, s/he may well have ideas about adaptations or supports to help with his unsteadiness - maybe a Physiotherapist too?
Hello Shedrech, the daycare or clubs won't work for us because of his mobility and communcation problems. Occupational Therapy have been round and they've put in place blocks on the sofa, a shower chair and other equipment. He was referred to the "falls" clinic but after an assessment they said it was an inappropriate referral as he couldn't undertand or follow the advice they would give. I think if the wandering doesn't stop as others have suggested it will only stop when he can no longer walk :(
 

Barney18

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
37
Essex
As others have said, I wouldn't rely on 'this stage' passing any time soon. My dad has been wandering for two years now, and shows no sign of stopping. At his care home there are a few others who do the same - one chap seems never to sit down.

Would your OH accept a walking stick or frame, perhaps, so as to reduce the risk of falls? Is there anything else you could do around the home to make falls less likely - e.g. put up grab rails, remove steps, etc? Just a thought.
Hello Joggyb, no unfortunately not, despite falling over at least once a day he is still refusing any walking aids. I discussed this with the OT who said in her experience this was quite common.
 

Barney18

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
37
Essex
Sorry, but can only say same as others. My mum is a wanderer, the need to do so stops for a while, but always returns and like you I get so worried that she will have a fall. When this first started I found a drive in the car helped and stopping somewhere for a cup of tea. These days distraction does not work and is usually only intense for a few days then it stops so the best I can do is make sure the floor has no trip or fall hazards, a lock on the garden gate, just in case. Its one of those areas where we carers have to make the adjustments and try to work round it.

I did try day care, but for other reasons, did not work, shame because our locally day care centre is amazing.
Hello Tin, thank you for the reply, it is a constant battle always.
 

ElizabethAnn

Registered User
Jan 4, 2014
189
North Hampshire
Both Mum (AD) & Dad (VasDem) are prone to falling. They're 20 odd years older than your OH. They both were very anti wheelchairs and walking frames initially, but we got them and kept them in the house.

As with a lot of things that we suggest to them, what is an absolute "no", one day, becomes a "yes" the next (and of course vice versa!) . So it may be worth having them around with a gentle question about going out for a short walk in the chair every now and again.

I never cease to be amazed at the different answers that I get to exactly the same question on different days or even on the same day.

Mum is not very mobile, but she does wander around the house. I think it's because she is looking for something she recognises as she often doesn't think it's her home. They've lived there for about 40 years.

They also find TV programs difficult to follow, but there are certain programs that work and of course can be repeated almost daily. Some of the best ones for M&D are You've Been Framed (great to see them laugh) and some of the general entertainment programs like Strictly Come Dancing and the Bake Off. We've also watched the Men's final at Wimbledon a few times :) So it may be worth recording a few that you think OH will enjoy.

Does he like music ? played quietly in the background, it can be calming...

Mum only wanders when she is not entertained... Even sitting in the same room as her whilst peeling veg seems to keep her calm.

It's a very difficult and full time job... Not quite sure how your daughter manages when she's got a young family to look after too...

Perhaps some paid help (introduced as friends) could help entertain him?

Elizabeth.
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
He can't talk anymore apart from the odd word and can't follow a conversation so I don't really know what there would be for him. We can't take him out because he refuses to go in the wheelchair and if he falls over it's a right job to get him up again. I was just hoping the wandering would pass and he would go back to sitting down again


Hope you don’t mind me asking so Just to get a bit of history of your husband background in life before dementia

I am wondering what skills, hobbies jobs did your husband have?

Then maybe somehow could be put into place now to occupy in his hear now moment .


Never forget people with dementia are not all alike every person with dementia is a unique individual and has individual strength,problems preferences and needs