10 thought-provoking links on dementia “wandering”


The image above is of my mom heading back to her kitchen from her garden in summer 2010. She loved to be outside. She adored being on the go. She rarely sat still. In the early and mid “stages” of Alzheimer disease she walked for an hour every day. Then she went into a “care” facility, where she was labelled a “wanderer.” She was prescribed antipsychotic drugs to stop her from walking around, exploring her environment, and doing what came naturally to her.  The drugs seriously impacted her quality of life. It wasn’t long before she was physically restrained by being confined to a wheel chair, in addition to being chemically restrained by the drugs. This tragedy is partly why I became a dementia care advocate.

Here are ten links I hope will make you think:

1 ) “wandering” is not a symptom of dementia

2) please remain seated for the rest of your life

3) 20 questions to ask yourself about “wandering”

4 ) stop in the name of love

5 )  37 alternatives to the dementia “wanderer”

6 ) #1 reason people with dementia try to escape

7 ) 20 behavioural expressions for which antipsychotic medications are unwarranted and ineffective in people who live with dementia

8 ) walk a mile in my alzheimer shoes

9 ) 10 ways to get to the bottom of behaviour and problematic situations in dementia care at home and in LTCFs

10 ) death by recliner

P.S. Dear everyone who uses pejorative and damaging labels to describe the behaviour of people who live with dementia, PLEASE STOP. Thank you.

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  1. Pingback: 25 things motorcycle riders and people living with dementia have in common

  2. Dear Susan I think that your article of wandering is really good and so true! And I find it amazing amazing how prejudice often wears camouflage clothing (or is it just that prejudice is a bi-product of empathy blindness?) Even in my books, I have in the past erroneously referred to wandering as a characteristic of Alzheimer’s… but not again! One should rather say that unnecessary restraint measures taken by staff curtail the movements of people with Alzheimers disease, are characteristic of many environments in which they are “cared” for.

    Do you realise that you have now increased my work load…? i now have to go and redo the draft of a book that I have written on Alzheimer’s… But thank you!

  3. Too true. Active people are going to remain active, and that’s incredibly important to honour. We need to bring Alzheimer’s care to the point where each individual gets specialized treatment, as much as possible. By the way, Amazing Susan, how do I get BANGS cards? I want BANGS cards!!

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