“Wandering’ refers to a cognitively impaired person moving about a nursing home or long-term care facility aimlessly and without appreciation for what he or she is doing.

A nursing home resident’s propensity to wander should be identified in an initial care plan.  Residents who are most likely to be wanderers are those who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s or who may be heavily medicated.  Most frequently a nursing home resident who wanders, falls and gets injured.

It is up to the nursing home staff to provide a safe and secure environment for all residents.  In the case of a nursing home resident who wanders and receives injuries, the nursing home most likely did not:

  • Provide an adequate number of staff to supervise residents
  • Train nursing home staff on how to identify wanders
  • Train the nursing home staff on how to supervise the nursing home residents
  • Did not use bed, wheelchair or door alarms
  • Re-direct the nursing home resident to another activity

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