Wander Walking – a contentious issue

This is something I had not thought about before, but wow this is so relevant and overlooked. This is an excellent new blog by someone newly diagnosed with Alzheimers and well worth a look at – Which me am I today.

I just had to reblog this post because it is so so important.

I remember when I lived at home when I was 16-19 I NEVER stayed in any night. I would walk and walk, streets I had not walked down, the beach (such as it was), anywhere. Okay it was to get away from my mother, but no matter I loved walking, and wandering. I love wandering, being alone allows me to think, and enjoy what’s around me. Who knows when I am no longer able to explain this then it will be classed as ‘Dementia Wandering’ without reason.

Which me am I today?

Wander walking is something carers struggle to accept as a positive activity for those of us living with dementia.  Why do people with dementia get labelled as ‘wander’ walkers when everyone else in society simply ‘walks’? Maybe someone out there could enlighten me.

I’ve spoken to many carers who quote this as being one of the most challenging and stressful symptoms of those with dementia – the person simply walks aimlessly at any time of day or night. Carers have to go searching and police can be involved as the safety of the person is often a cause for concern.

It must be very traumatic for those carers who have the continuing worry that this might happen. Drugs are often used to sedate those with dementia to stop them walking.

From the point of view of someone with dementia, I love walking. If anyone tried to stop me walking, no…

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Author: Gill

I photograph things that take my eye.

8 thoughts on “Wander Walking – a contentious issue”

  1. Hi, I found your site because you commented on my mum’s blog! Lovely words and I can’t tell you how important it is to me that people with dementia get their voices heard rather than people talking on their behalf. Thanks to people like you and my mum hopefully things will change! All the best, Gemma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gemma. I must I think your Mum’s blog is brilliant, I just had to re-blog this one because it is something I had not even thought of! 🙂


  2. My dad is no longer able to walk but when he was still mobile he often walked around the house at night though I realised it was never aimless wandering. He had a purpose and although he wasn’t always able to articulate it sometimes he let me know why he was walking about after midnight. Once, he was looking for his hay rake (after we’d had an early evening look at old photos of his father’s farm in the 1920s), once he was looking for a lost puppy and sometimes he was getting ready to go to work. What surprised me was how sure-footed he was at night, not needing his walking stick for walking frame. Keep on walking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds just like your Dad was looking for his lost past..I can understand that. The time when he could do these things. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good Grief.

    My paternal Aunt wandered all over the place the whole of her adult life until she passed away at 72 and I love wandering around in the great outdoors on my own…..feeling the wind in my hair, observing the birds in the gardens, listening to the waves down the beach.

    I love people watching too. How sad that walking and wandering on one’s own is seen as a ‘problem’. I guess if a person has dementia or Alzheimers or any other memory issues, the important thing is that they always carry identification.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think walking and wandering is much underrated and how sad it is that because of a diagnosis (any diagnosis not just dementia) wanting to wander aimlessly just enjoying it can be seen as a problem. I know in dementia people wander but it is still not an issue – just a problem that needs a solution so that they stay safe.


  4. Thank you Meredith. There is so much we don’t understand or realise about how dementia twists behaviour by listening to those who live with it, and learning more and more can make it easier to understand it. 🙂


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