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Wandering Behaviour in Aged Care Settings

Nurses who work with elderly people are familiar with individuals in residential care who are described as ‘wanderers.’ Episodes of wandering that result in a person being lost or injured are a common cause of admission to residential care, and care givers around the world have identified wandering as a significant cause of stress to staff and families. This chapter provides a basic insight into this complex phenomenon, how it can be effectively assessed and suggests a range of management options that can significantly reduce risk to the person wandering and reduce the level of stress to those caring for them.

Contents include

  • Defining wandering
  • Persons who wander
  • The importance of a wandering history
  • Assessing factors that influence wandering
  • Observing wandering
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Author / Editor Biographies

Elizabeth Beattie is currently a member of the research facility at the School of Nursing, and project director of the Wandering Behaviour Research Team, University of Michigan (USA). She has an extensive clinical and educational background in psychogeriatric nursing gained in Australia, the UK and the USA, and has worked with individuals with dementia, their families and caregivers since 1982. Elizabeth's research focus is wandering behaviour related to dementia, and her current research is on the impact of wandering on functional abilities, such as eating, in nursing home residents.

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