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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 15

Journal 7, July 2013
pages: 432-435

Wandering in a Dementia Special Care Unit: Behavioral Aspects and the Risk of Falling


     Background: Wandering is a common phenomenon among patients with dementia. While traditionally considered to be a behavioral problem, it also includes fundamental aspects of motor performance (e.g., gait and falls).

    Objectives: To examine the difference in motor function and behavioral symptoms between patients with severe dementia who wander and those who do not.

    Methods: We conducted a retrospective study reviewing the medical records of 72 patients with severe dementia, all residents of a dementia special care unit. Motor and behavioral aspects were compared between "wanderers" and “non-wanderers.”

    Results: No difference was found in motor performance including the occurrence of falls between the wanderers and non-wanderers. A significant difference was found in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances, which were more frequent among the wanderers. There was no preference to wandering at a certain period of the day among the patients with sleep disturbances who wander.

    Conclusions: In a protected environment wandering is not a risk factor for falls. Sleep disturbances and wandering co-occur, but there is no circumstantial association between the two symptoms.

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