Why Do People with Alzheimer’s Wander?

Many older adults with Alzheimer’s disease exhibit a behavior commonly referred to as wandering. It causes the senior to walk aimlessly around the house. It can also make them leave the house, which can result in them becoming lost. In some cases, seniors who wander have even died because of exposure to the elements or injuries. The behavior can make being a caregiver to an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease especially challenging, making it necessary to take special steps to keep them safe.

Home Health Care in Roswell GA: Alzheimer's and Wandering
Home Health Care in Roswell GA: Alzheimer's and Wandering

Understanding what causes wandering may allow you to lessen the behavior and know when it is most likely to occur. Below are some common causes of wandering in people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Looking for Something

Seniors may start wandering because they are looking for something that cognitive impairment prevents them from finding. For example, they may need to use the bathroom but be unable to remember where it is. They might also be looking for a person but lack the ability to ask caregivers where the person is.

Trying to Do Something from the Past

The older adult might be trying to follow a routine from when they were younger. For example, they may be trying to go to work, pick their children up from school, or go grocery shopping.


Just like everyone else, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease get bored when they have nothing to do. They may wander because they are trying to find something to fill their time.

Lack of Exercise

Not getting enough exercise can result in the older adult feeling restless. They may be wandering around simply to burn off some excess energy.


Older adults who are hungry may be wandering around the house looking for something to eat. The disease makes them forget where to locate food or how to ask for a snack.


Seeing or hearing things that don’t exist can be very frightening. Many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease have hallucinations that cause extra confusion. If your aging relative is upset or frightened for no apparent reason, a hallucination may be the cause.

Elderly care can assist with keeping an older adult who wanders safe. An elderly care provider can keep an eye on the senior to ensure they do not leave the house unattended or injure themselves while wandering inside. Elderly care providers can also help with preventing boredom and restlessness by keeping the older adult busier during the day. They can offer activities, such as playing games, helping with household tasks, and making crafts. An elderly care provider can increase physical activity by going for a walk with the senior or helping them to exercise at home.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Home Health Care in Roswell, GA, please call the compassionate, caring staff at Mothers Helping Hands Home Care. Call Today! M-F 8 Am to 8 Pm Call (678) 770-2313 We're Also Available 24/7: (678) 661-7362.





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