Meandering; aimless or repetitive locomotion that exposes the individual to harm; frequently incongruent with boundaries, limits, or obstacles

Defining Characteristics:
  • Frequent or continuous movement from place to place, often revisiting the same destinations; 
  • persistent locomotion in search of "missing" or unattainable people or places; 
  • haphazard locomotion; 
  • locomotion in unauthorized or private spaces; 
  • locomotion resulting in unintended leaving of a premise; 
  • long periods of locomotion without an apparent destination; 
  • fretful locomotion or pacing;
  • inability to locate significant landmarks in a familiar setting; 
  • locomotion that cannot be easily dissuaded or redirected; 
  • following behind or shadowing a caregiver's locomotion; 
  • trespassing; 
  • hyperactivity; 
  • scanning, seeking, or searching behaviors; 
  • periods of locomotion interspersed with periods of nonlocomotion (e.g., sitting, standing, sleeping); 
  • getting lost

Related Factors:
  • Cognitive impairment, specifically memory and recall deficits, disorientation, poor visuoconstructive (or visuospatial) ability, and language (primarily expressive) defects; 
  • cortical atrophy; 
  • premorbid behavior (e.g., outgoing, sociable personality); 
  • premorbid dementia; 
  • separation from familiar people and places; 
  • sedation; 
  • emotional state, especially frustration, anxiety, boredom, or depression (agitation); 
  • overstimulating/understimulating social or physical environment; 
  • physiological state or need (e.g., hunger/thirst, pain, urination, constipation); 
  • time of day

NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)

Suggested NOC Labels
  • Safety Status: Falls Occurrence
  • Safety Behavior: Fall Prevention
  • Caregiver Home Care Readiness
Client Outcomes
  • Decreased incidence of falls (preferably free of falls)
  • Decreased incidence of elopements
  • Appropriate body weight maintained
  • Caregiver able to explain interventions can use to provide a safe environment for care receiver who displays wandering behavior
NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)

Suggested NIC Labels
  • Dementia Management

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