Five Reasons Your Senior Might Be Wandering

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Discovering that your senior is suddenly wandering can be absolutely terrifying for caregivers. Often people with dementia start to deliberately wander, either inside or even more frighteningly, outside the home. Here’s why it might be happening.

Portrait of the old woman on a green background


She Needs Something Specific and Basic

Basic needs are one of the biggest reasons your senior might start to wander. Things, like needing the bathroom or being hungry and being unable to meet that need on her own or communicate that need, can cause her to “search” for what she needs. This is where having a schedule can really help both you and your senior. A good schedule meets needs as they typically pop up.

Boredom Is a Big Problem

Lots of people think that people with dementia don’t get bored, but they can very easily get bored. Your senior still needs to be mentally stimulated throughout the day. She may also need to exercise a little bit during the day to help burn off excess energy. Talk with her doctor about some of the best ways to help her to manage boredom.

Emotions Are Running High

Big emotions can also cause your senior to feel the need to wander or even to “run away.” If something happens that causes you and others to become emotional, she may respond in a similar way even if she doesn’t fully understand what happened. Helping your senior to calm down and to understand what’s happening can help with this.

She’s Disoriented or Confused

It’s incredibly common for people with dementia to become confused or disoriented easily. This can happen even in familiar locations, which is one of many reasons why people with dementia really aren’t able to do a lot independently as the disease progresses. Your senior might be more confused in the afternoon than in the morning, so try to pay attention to when she does things like wandering so you can be a little more prepared.

Old Patterns and Habits Have Stuck with Her

For many people with dementia, older memories are the ones that are still crystal clear. Your senior may not remember that she’s retired and that she doesn’t need to go to work, but she may start to try to get ready for work on a daily basis and leave the house. There may be other factors contributing to this situation, but acting out those past behaviors can be difficult for her to understand.

It’s so difficult to manage wandering and all of the reasons it can occur. Working with home care providers can help you to stay on top of all of those variables, especially when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed yourself.


If you or a family member are in need of hiring a Caregiver in Aventura, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.

About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.