Looking after a family member who ‘never sits still’ 


Caring for a relative with dementia who seems to ‘never sit still’ can be challenging.  Helping carers with useful strategies and advice requires a better understanding of the types of behaviours that families are trying to manage.

Led by Professor Elizabeth Beattie, researchers at the DCRC-Consumers and Carers are inviting carers to take part in a survey to share their experiences with ‘wandering’ behaviours.




What is wandering?

Wandering behaviours are diverse…..

For some carers, a relative with dementia seems to have difficulty sitting for long periods and may appear to prefer to keep moving.

Others may find that their relative walks back and forth, not really going very far but never really sitting.

And there may be some carers who have to search the neighbourhood for a relative ­.­

These are all examples of wandering.

Wandering can be quite challenging to manage and can place the person with dementia in dangerous situations. Families can worry especially if a person is at risk of getting lost, or lives in a neighbourhood that has features like a busy road or poorly maintained footpaths.


The importance of research

The difficulty of managing wandering behaviours can sometimes be a factor in a family’s decision to consider placing a person with dementia into residential care.

By asking families directly about their experiences, the research team hopes to address gaps in knowledge about the range of behaviours that carers experience and the ways they try to manage these behaviours. A better understanding of these issues may help families to keep relatives with dementia at home for longer.

Prof Elizabeth Beattie,
Study Lead & Centre Director
DCRC-Consumers & Carers


Prof Beattie plans for the results of this study to be used to develop and test a new in-home intervention for supporting carers and preventing adverse outcomes of wandering. The findings will also provide information about the burden of care and concern shouldered by family members in the community. 


This research involves taking part in a survey. It can be completed in privacy and online (via the internet) and by anyone who cares for a person with dementia in the home, and considers that person to wander or walk excessively.



Project Contact Person:

Mrs Margie McAndrew




DCRC Project Page

Carers' strategies for caring for people with dementia who wander

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