Alzheimer Wandering Registry
The Alzheimer Society of Canada launched the Safely
HomeTM program in 1995 in collaboration with the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police and Municipal Police Forces
The Safely Home™ program is designed to assist police in
the safe and timely return of individuals with Alzheimer’s
disease and other dementias following an episode of
wandering. This voluntary registry houses key information
about individuals with dementia who are at risk of wandering.
For a one-time fee of $35.00, the person’s information such
as personal history, physical characteristics and places they
are likely to visit are entered into a confidential database that
police throughout North America can access. The Safely
Home™ program is free of charge to individuals who are
veterans. The Safely Home™ program is also linked to the
United States with their Safe Return program.
Individuals who are registered in the Safely Home™
program receive an identification bracelet. The front of the
bracelet reads, “Urgent See Other Side.” The back of the
bracelet indicates the person’s first name and “Memory
Loss, Call Police.” A registration number also appears on the
back of the bracelet. The registration number provides a link
to the Alzheimer Society of Canada database, which assists
the police in returning the individual home.
For more information on Safely Home™, including an
information package and registration form, contact your local
Alzheimer Society or visit our web site at
www.alzheimer.mb.ca or www.alzheimer.ca. You may also
call our toll free number 1-800-378-6699.
In order to understand wandering behaviour it is important to
have a clear definition. Silverstein, Flaherty and Tobin
(2002) define wandering as “movement by a person with
dementia, whether aimless or purposeful, on foot or by other
means, which occurs when certain cognitive losses and
environmental circumstances intersect, causing that person
to become lost in an unsupervised and potentially unsafe
setting” pg. 35.
Why might people with dementia wander?
Changed Environment - A person with dementia may
feel disoriented in a new environment such as a new
home or a personal care home.
Loss of Memory - Wandering may be due to a loss of
short-term memory. The person might go out to shop and
then forget where they are or why they are there.
Excess Energy - Wandering can be a way to using up
excess energy, which may indicate the person requires
Searching for the Past - As the person becomes more
confused, they may wander off in search of someone or
something relating to their past.
Expressing Boredom - As dementia progresses people
find it harder and harder to concentrate for any length of
time. Wandering may be their way of keeping occupied.
Continuing a Habit – People who have been used to
walking long distances may simply wish to continue doing
Adapted from Alzheimer’s Australia, 2005