Alzheimer’s disease can erase a person’s memory of once-familiar surroundings and make adaptation to new surroundings extremely difficult. As a result, people with Alzheimer’s sometimes wander away from their homes or care centers and turn up — lost, frightened and disoriented — far from where they started, often long after they disappeared.
Three out of four people with Alzheimer’s will wander at some point during the course of the disease. Wanderers who get lost outdoors may become injured or even die of exposure. This risk increases dramatically if the weather is very cold or very hot.