Some people who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s may start walking or “wandering with purpose”. They may walk around their house, go outside or leave their home at unusual times of the day.
Whilst walking itself can be a beneficial activity that helps to relieve boredom, reduce stress and give a person a sense of independence, it can be a challenging and stressful issue for friends, family and carers of someone living with dementia.
When out walking, a person living with dementia may become confused or disorientated and struggle to find their way home. This may put the person in danger and can be a worrying time for friends and family who are concerned for the person’s safety.
Not everyone living with dementia will go missing, but it is important to plan ahead for this type of situation whilst continuing to allow someone to enjoy their independence and freedom for as long as it is safe to do so.
If a person living with dementia wants to walk then you should try to find a solution that lets them do so safely. You may want to consider the reasons why the person is walking to then explore options to help them do it safely.
Options to consider include:
Included inside the scent capture kit is a Life History Form, which is based on the Herbert Protocol.
This form gives family members, friends and care staff the opportunity to record information about the person living with dementia such as their description, places they have lived before and the places that they might go missing. It is also encouraged to attach a recent photograph of the person to the form.
By completing this form now, important information is already available to be given immediately to the police and search teams if that person does go missing. if you would like more information about the Herbert Protocol, or you would like to request a longer and more detailed form, please contact your local police force.