Online module

Case study – wandering behaviour

30 mins

1 week

Cost free

Certificate of Completion

Using a case study, we describe wandering in the context of dementia, explore how to use tools and models to assess it and strategies to trial.

Cost free

This module has prerequisite requirements

Further details below

Suitable for people working in:

Residential Care,  Community Care,  Mixed,  Respite Care

This module is part of the course:

Understanding responsive behaviours

Case study – wandering behaviour

Case study – wandering behaviour

This module is part of the course, Understanding responsive behaviours. Enrol in this module or complete the full course.


Before undertaking this module you will need to complete the following:

This module has five sections:

  • 1

    Understanding and assessing wandering

    • This section explores what is meant by the term 'wandering' in the context of dementia, and methods for assessing and measuring this behaviour.
  • 2

    Case study part 1

    • This section introduces Sharon who moved into residential care because of her unsafe walking.
  • 3

    Tools for assessing wandering

    • Using the Risky Wandering and Adverse Outcomes (RWAO) model
  • 4


    • We consider pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions and  consequences and risks.
  • 5

    Case study part 2

    • We continue Sharon's story and trial and track the effectiveness of interventions

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Outline the key elements to include when assessing a person with wandering behaviour
  • Use the Risky Wandering and Adverse Outcomes (RWAO) model to suggest the probable consequences of wandering behaviour in the case study
  • Select possible interventions that evidence suggests may be useful to trial in managing wandering behaviour
  • Identify successful interventions used in the case study and indicate how effectiveness could be determined.

Continuing Professional Development

A completion certificate for CPD credit is awarded upon completion of this module.


The Understanding Responsive Behaviours online course was developed at DTA, QUT by Prof Elizabeth Beattie, Liz Miles and Sandra Jeavons, with Martin van de Weyer and the Smart Sparrow team. This resource is based on a training program originally developed by the Queensland Dementia Training Study Centre at QUT.

The team acknowledges members of the expert panel who shared their advice and insights in video segments throughout the course:

  • Professor Nancy Pachana, Co-Director, Ageing Mind Initiative, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Eddy Strivens, Regional Geriatrician and Clinical Director, Older Persons Subacute and Rehabilitation Services, Cairns & Hinterland Health Service
  • Dr David Lie, Director, Older Persons Mental Health Service, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane

Getting started

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Version history

Published: 25 Oct 2019
Updated: 16 Mar 2023

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