Some Virginia families have senior relatives who, for no apparent reason, get up and wander. They may walk around the house, a care facility, or try to leave a residence to go somewhere else. The problem of senior wandering is why nursing homes should pay attention to whether some of their residents wander. A senior walking around without supervision could fall, get hurt, or even die.

Aging Care explains the various reasons that seniors wander. Some seniors fall back into old habits or lifestyles when they get up and wander around. A senior might want to go out, exercise, or engage in a familiar activity. Sometimes family members can tell when a senior wanders at a particular time of day because the senior had commonly went somewhere or did something at that time.

Seniors may also feel compelled to wander to meet some need. An elderly person might feel hungry and go searching for food or drink. Sometimes it is as simple as needing to use the bathroom. However, some seniors also feel lonely. They do not like being alone and want to go find somebody to talk to. Boredom is also a motivator to wander around to look for something engaging.

Unfortunately, some seniors wander because of declining mental health. Sometimes an elderly person who stays at a nursing home may forget where he or she is and try to leave to go back home. Dementia may cause seniors to confuse the past with the present. They may think they need to go to work or pick up children from school, not realizing how much time has actually passed.

Virginia families should discuss wandering issues with a nursing home staff if they plan to put their loved one into one. Nursing homes can help prevent some forms of wandering by keeping residents fed and socially engaged. Proper security measures may also keep seniors from wandering outside where they could get hurt. If necessary, a senior with mental issues might require a special facility to stay in.

This article does not convey any legal advice. Because of the varying needs of Virginia residents, readers should only receive this information for educational benefit.