00154 Wandering

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00154 Wandering

Definition of the NANDA label

Wandering, repetitive or purposeless walking that makes the person susceptible to injury; it is often incongruous with boundaries, limits, or obstacles.

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

Defining characteristics

• Frequent and continuous movement from one place to another, often going to the same places.
• Persistent wandering in search of lost people or inaccessible places.
• Chance wandering.
• Wandering through private or unauthorized spaces.
• Wandering leads to unintentional leaving the home.
• Long walks with no apparent destination.
• Walking or pacing the room restlessly.
• Inability to locate landmarks in a familiar environment.
• Locomotion that cannot be easily avoided or reoriented.
• Follow or accompany the caregiver.
• Entry into foreign environments.
• Hyperactivity.
• Search, search or review behaviors.
• Periods of locomotion interspersed with periods of rest (eg, sitting, standing, lying down).
• Get lost.

Related factors

• Cognitive impairment, specifically memory deficit, disorientation, poor visual-constructive (or visuospatial) ability, language defects (mainly expressive).
• Cortical atrophy.
• Premorbid behavior (eg, outgoing, sociable behavior; premorbid dementia).
• Separation from familiar people and places.
• Sedation.
• Emotional state, especially frustration, anxiety, boredom or depression (agitation).
• Insufficient or excessive physical or social stimulation.
• Physiological state or need (eg, hunger, thirst, pain, urination, constipation).
• Time of the day.

At risk population

• Premorbid behavior

Associated condition

• Alteration in cognitive functioning
• Cortical atrophy
• Psychological disorder
• Sedation


• Self-care, AVD.
• Dream.
• Cognition.
• Communication.
• Neurological status.


• Surveillance.
• Active listening.
• Environment management: security.
• Health education.
• Promotion of family involvement.
• Behavior modification: social skills.
• Relaxation techniques.
• Management of hallucinations.

This diagnosis will retire from the NANDA-I Taxonomy in the 2021-2023 edition unless additional work is completed to bring it up to a level of evidence 2.1 or higher.

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