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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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Memory Problems: Wandering - Topic Overview

Wandering can pose a major problem for the caregiver and can be dangerous for a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia.

Get a medical ID bracelet for the person so that you can be contacted if he or she wanders away.

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Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

The brain and spinal cord are surrounded by a clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid is produced and stored in cavities in the brain called ventricles. It circulates around the brain, moving from ventricle to ventricle. The purposes of the fluid are to cushion and protect the brain and spinal cord, to supply them with nutrients, and to remove some of their waste products. Any excess fluid drains away from the brain and is absorbed by veins at the top of the brain. Hydrocephalus...

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  • Try to figure out why the person wanders. He or she may be trying to find something specific or looking for a familiar object. A person who wanders at a certain time of day may always have taken a walk or gone to work at that time.
  • Lock outside doors, and use alarms and other devices to alert you when the person wanders outdoors or into unsafe areas.
  • Provide a safe place for wandering, such as an enclosed yard or garden.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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