Wandering




  • Outlines the various types of ambulation (wandering) and includes a visual representation of the travel patterns of some wanderers
  • Discusses the causes of wandering including the physical, psychosocial and environmental causes
  • Outlines the positive aspects of wandering
  • Informs nurses on how to care appropriately for wanderers using medication, planned activities, visual barriers and more
  • Includes a tabulated summary of wandering assessment and strategies

Wandering is regarded by caregivers as one of the most troubling behaviours of those in their care (Cantes & Rigby 1997). For health-care professionals working in long-term care, the question of how to deal with frail people who wander is a constant challenge. In this chapter, learn more wandering including its types, causes and how it can be effectively managed.


Contents include

  • Communication
  • Types of wandering behaviour
  • Causes of
  • Positive aspects of wandering
  • Care of the wanderer
    • Medication
    • Exercise programs and planned activities
    • Behavioural modification
    • Enhanced environment
  • Management of elopement
    • Tracking
    • Visual barriers
    • Bringing back residents
  • Implications for nursing practice
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Author / Editor Biographies

Claudia Lai is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is a clinical specialist in gerontological nursing and has a special interest in dementia care. Claudia's research interests include issues in long-term care including restraint reduction, wandering behaviour of people with dementia, interventions in improving the psychosocial well-being of people with dementia and the use of information technology in care. In addition to teaching nurses and caring for older people, Claudia volunteers her time with the Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease and Brain...
Before moving to Hong Kong, David Arthur worked in Australia for 17 years in the fields of mental-health nursing and nursing education. He is now professor in the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a visiting professor in the School of Nursing at the Peking Union Medical College, Beijing. David serves on the editorial boards of a number of international nursing journals and is convener of the East Asian Forum of Nursing Scholars. He has co-authored a text on mental-health nursing and has published numerous journal papers on different aspects of nu...

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