At times elders, especially those with dementia, may have episodes of wandering. This is when they walk around, but are unfamiliar with where they are going. They can get lost or end up somewhere that may be dangerous. For example, they may end up at a construction site or in the middle of the road at night.

Many times loved ones caring for an elder that has wandered would like to know how to treat this.

There is not a medication to treat wandering. It is recommended to help wandering with non-pharmacological interventions like;

   1. redirection and or distraction. An example would be, “Hey Mrs Pam! Can you come help me with this puzzle? I need your help. Will you please complete the puzzle with me?”

2. Memory care- sometimes elderly that wander may need to live in a locked memory care unit. Here they can wander as much as they would like, but they are in a locked unit with trained staff to help them. They are in a safe place.

3. Have a companion with them around the clock. Someone to spend time with them and give them activities, redirect them when needed and make sure they remain in a safe environment. There are caregiving services available through many different companies.

Be careful with attempting to use sedating medications for wandering. This may be considered a chemical restraint and can increase falls and confusion. Just wanted to share.

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