What is Wandering?
It is called wandering the act of wandering: to mobilize without direction or direction. The concept can be associated with the notion of prowling. For example: “For safety reasons in this sector of the hospital is forbidden to wander the corridors“, “The wandering of stray dogs annoys some neighbors, who demand measures from the government”, “The elderly man, affected by Alzheimer’s disease, left his house in the morning and started a wandering that lasted for more than ten hours, until he was found by his son”.
The idea of wandering is often used in the field of medicine to refer to the action that a person performs when walking aimlessly. This is a problem with individuals with mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or senile dementia.
These patients experience the need to walk and that’s why they can wander around where they are or even go out on the street to keep moving, even if they’re not heading anywhere. The conduct poses a risk as the subject may be misplaced and endangered.
This disorder is characterized by exaggerated and continuous movements, but in each person can have patterns of their own: for example, some manifest it without presence of anxiety, walking in circles or going from one point to another; others, however, move nervously, as if they wanted to stop but could not.
Especially in this last group of patients, it is given that their relatives are deeply distressed by wandering and do not know how to act to help them without making the situation worse. They usually seek to convince them to stay in the house without it looking like an imposition, or calm them down to prevent anxiety from reaching a dangerous degree.
In order to adequately deal with wandering in these people it is necessary to take into account the risks involved in each case: when it occurs inside the house, the fundamental point is to avoid distressing and becoming frustrated; if they go out on the streets, the situation is potentially more serious, as they can be lost, suffer a car accident or an armed robbery, among other possibilities.
In people with Alzheimer’s disease, wandering may also occur as a result of excessive noise or light, among other auditory and visual stimuli. On the other hand, it can also arise in the total absence of stimuli, something that leads to boredom or even the need to find someone to talk to.
You can also call a person’s type of gait wandering: that is, how you walk. Normal wandering involves actively controlling and coordinating movements, with voluntary displacement and according to the determined trajectory. Various organic disorders, however, can alter wandering and cause the individual to have limited movements or not be able to control them.
Seniors often have different disorders of wandering, although in many cases age is not the direct cause or even has a relationship with them. To treat this particular series of problems is usually used to increase motor activity through different therapies.
Since most people learn to walk in a short time and without any problem, it is not normal that we pay attention to each of the phenomena and mechanisms that are put in place during the wandering. Unfortunately, as we age everything becomes more difficult, and this includes the seemingly simple action to walk; when natural wear and tear is combined with disease, there is often a setback to lack of autonomy.