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Wandering can be frightening and stressful for both the individual with dementia and the caregiver, particularly if it occurs at night. Fortunately, there are strategies you can benefit from in order to manage wandering behaviour.
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  Strategies for Managing Wandering
Try the following steps:
Eliminate confusion
Allow safe ambulation (wandering)

Eliminate Confusing Environment
  • Identify rooms using pictures, signs, and decorations.
  • Surround the person with dementia with familiar objects.
  • Minimize clutter and noise and Maximize light.
  • Remove items that might trigger the desire to wander (shoes and coats near a door).
  • Use clocks to help orient to the time of day.
  • Provide written reminders to reassure the person with dementia about daily events.
  • Use reassuring, calm and positive verbal suggestions.
  • Avoid confrontation.

Allow Safe Ambulation
  • Allow the individual to wander in safe environments (e.g. in a fenced yard or in parks during the day).
  • Go for regular walks and provide regular exercise to help individuals burn off additional energy.
  • Place locks at the top of external doors.
  • Use warning bell or chimes to alert you when the door is opened.
  • Use protective covers or cloth wraps for door knobs.
  • Use safety gates.
  • Place identification on wanderer (e.g., clothing tags) and keep a current photo in case individual gets lost.
  • Contact your local Alzheimer Society and use the Alzheimer Wandering Registry.

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