Can an Alzheimer's Patient Wander and Die?

Can an Alzheimer's Patient Wander and Die?

Alzheimer’s sufferers typically wander and get misplaced. This conduct can occur at any time or at any stage of the illness. Simply because they’ve by no means wandered earlier than, does not imply they will not do it sooner or later. Wandering can generally end in demise.

The Alzheimer’s Affiliation estimates that 60 % of individuals residing with Alzheimer’s or a associated dementia will wander.

Give it some thought – 6 out of 10.

I can guarantee you if your beloved wanders away, you can not find them, and they’re misplaced to you, it will probably turn out to be one of the vital horrible and terrifying experiences of your life.

Think about your coronary heart pounding, a way of hopelessness, no thought what to do, a state of complete confusion. I do know what it looks like as a result of it occurred to me.

My Mom Residing with Alzheimer’s Wandered, and I used to be the one which was “scared to demise”

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer’s Studying Room

When an Alzheimer’s affected person will get misplaced whereas wandering; after which, is discovered the caregiver or the household often says,

Effectively, they by no means wandered earlier than.

They’re nearly at all times unaware that statistics present that Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers are liable to wandering. What number of Alzheimer’s sufferers wander every 12 months? One of the best guesstimate is about 125,000.

Most instances of wandering by no means get reported.

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What can occur. Contemplate these sobering statistics.

  • Of these discovered inside 12 hours, 93 % survive. Seven % do not.

  • Of these misplaced greater than 24 hours, solely a 3rd survive.

  • Of these misplaced greater than 72 hours, solely 20 % survive. One in 5.

Sobering Statistics about Alzheimer’s Wandering

Why do Alzheimer’s Sufferers Wander?

There are a protracted listing of motive why dementia sufferers wander. Two stick out.

First, Alzheimer’s sufferers typically need to go (get) residence. Take a look at the video under for extra details about this frequent Alzheimer’s Affected person conduct.

A second motive is as a result of Alzheimer’s sufferers typically turn out to be disoriented. This generally occurs due to a urinary tract an infection. Urinary Tract An infection, You Can Study From My Expertise

For a extra detailed listing of explanation why dementia sufferers wander, try this web page.Alzheimer’s Wandering Why it Occurs and What to do

How far can an Alzheimer’s Affected person wander? Fairly far.

Take a look at these four tales about lengthy distance wandering.

This one occurred in my neighborhood. A beautiful girl named Valarie goes lacking. Her neighbors did not hassle to report her as misplaced, they simply figured she was out someplace. Later within the day she was present in Miami about 75 miles from residence. She in all probability would have stopped when she obtained to Key West, however thankfully her automobile ran out of fuel and a policeman got here by.

Valerie was on her solution to the grocery retailer which is a couple of mile from her residence. She had been driving to the identical grocery retailer for about 20 years. Once I requested her neighbors if that they had seen something incorrect with Valerie, they stated no. Once I requested in the event that they had been anxious about her driving episode, they stated no. They simply figured she was getting outdated.

The one time Valerie drove her automobile was to go to the physician or go grocery purchasing. it appeared to everybody round her that she was in good well being.

A 12 months later and after getting misplaced whereas driving Valerie was recognized with possible Alzheimer’s illness. It lastly dawned on her household that that she might not drive or stay at residence alone.


Holly cow. Philip Orvan Kneifl age 67 lived in Texas.

He determined to leap in his automobile and go go to his sister in Kansas. He was lastly present in Mexico.

4 hundred miles into Mexico. What did his household say? They did not suppose his dementia was so critical. Lacking man with Alzheimer’s Wanders into Mexico .


One other wild wandering story. A person residing Alzheimer’s goes lacking in Denver. Three days later he’s present in San Diego. It seems he ran out of remedy and went to the Veterans Administration to get some new remedy. Once they regarded up his title within the pc he was tagged as lacking.

Because it turned out he was stationed in San Diego whereas within the navy. Which explains his ultimate vacation spot.

Distance from Denver to San Diego? About 1,078 miles.



This Alzheimer’s affected person obtained misplaced three occasions, all on the identical journey. Decide Lombard was 75 years outdated, and it was no secret that he suffered from Alzheimer’s illness.

Decide will get on a bus from Las Vegas on his solution to Detroit. The bus stops in Denver and Decide will get off and misplaced. The primary time he was misplaced after which the discovered, a social employee put him in a cab and despatched him again to the bus station. Did Decide get on the bus? No.

He began wandering round once more. The second time Decide was misplaced for 11 days earlier than he was discovered wandering round Denver. This time the police put him on a airplane after contacting his spouse. They gave the flight attendant particular directions. The household was ready on the airport when his flight arrived.

What occurred subsequent? His household did not see him get off the airplane. Decide was misplaced for the third time throughout one journey. Decide lastly wandered into his residence three days later.

When his household requested him the place he was he informed them “he was on a mission”.


Carole Larkin wrote an in depth article with a number of strategies on the best way to finest stop wandering.

Dementia sufferers typically Wander – Attempt these tricks to stop wandering by your beloved

Most Alzheimer’s sufferers that wander are discovered inside a mile and a half of their residence. These wanderers are sometimes on foot. Nonetheless, discovering them is commonly like in search of a needle in a haystack.

Please observe: I didn’t embody the tales of Alzheimer’s Sufferers that wandered and die. I made a decision to incorporate the statistics for wandering above as a substitute.

Take a look at these Subjects Pages from our Data Base. Subjects pages are designed to offer in depth data to help caregivers in the course of the day.

Why do Alzheimer’s sufferers cease …?

My mother has dementia and is imply

How do you discuss and talk successfully with a dementia affected person

Alzheimer’s Suggestions

Bob DeMarco is the Founding father of the Alzheimer’s Studying Room (ARR). Bob is a acknowledged professional, author, speaker, and influencer within the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Group worldwide.

The Award Successful Alzheimer’s Studying Room Data Base is taken into account to be the very best high quality, deepest assortment, of knowledge on Alzheimer’s and dementia on this planet.

Ranked #1 by Healthline for 7 straight years (2012-2018).

Search Our Award Successful Data Base for Solutions to Your Questions About Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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