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Wandering in dementia causes major difficulties for both patients and their carers. The term ‘wandering’ however, is vague and has no specific meaning. The behaviour of 29 patients in the community with dementia who had been classed as ‘wanderers’ was studied. The subjects were assessed using a semistructured interview with a carer. The findings show that the term ‘wandering’ covers a wide range of distinct behavioural abnormalities. A descriptive typology of wandering is proposed and the rates of each type are given. It is suggested that five fundamental components underlie the various types of wandering. Copyright © 1990 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Publication Date





239 - 245