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Causes of Wandering in Alzheimer’s Disease

September 8, 2021

Elder Care Palo Alto, CA: Seniors and Wandering

Do you have an elderly loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease? If so, it is very important that you learn about the causes of wandering. Wandering is very common in people with this disease. The more you can learn about it, the more you can prevent it or handle it properly with your elderly loved one.  

Searching for Someone or Something 

One of the most common causes of wandering in Alzheimer’s disease patients is that they are searching for someone or something. People with this disease have memory loss and confusion which is part of why they wander. One example might be that your elderly loved one wanders off to look for their spouse (who they may have forgotten passed away years ago). In your elderly loved one’s mind, their spouse just isn’t with them, but they are still alive. It is important to know that, sometimes, there is no convincing a person with this disease that what they are searching for can’t be found. However, you can try comforting your elderly loved one as best as you can. If needed, you can hire elder care providers to watch your loved one, so they can’t wander off.  

Visiting Favorite Places 

There are very few things that comfort someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. However, if your elderly loved one has a favorite place, they may want to go there when they are confused, frustrated, or upset. It is very important that you, the elder care providers, and everyone else that is involved in your loved one’s care knows where these places are. That way, if your elderly loved one does wander off, there is a better chance of finding them quickly.  

Not Understanding Instructions 

People who have Alzheimer’s often can’t understand instructions. For example, if you tell your elderly loved one to wait by the car while you go into the store. They may come looking for you after you have left. They can easily go the wrong direction and get lost. For this reason, it is important that you or an elder care provider keep an eye on your loved one while in public places. If your eldelry loved one is home and they misunderstand directions, there are some home safety tips that can help to prevent wandering.  


Unfortunately, there are many people who have Alzheimer’s disease that will wander off. As a family caregiver, if you learn about the causes of wandering and other aspects of wandering, you can help to prevent it in your elderly loved one. If needed, you can always hire elder care providers to help watch and care for your loved one. The better people keep an eye on your elderly loved one, the less likely they will be to wander off or get lost.  


If you or your loved one is looking for Elder Care in Palo Alto, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care. 

Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990  

San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777 

Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990 



Tags:Elder Care Palo Alto CASeniors and Wandering