Nighttime Wander Detection and Diversion for Dementia

Brief Abstract:

Persons with dementia (PWD) often lose their sense of time, resulting in night-time wandering. In the Canadian context, leaving the home in the middle of the night can result in serious injury and even death. Caregivers of persons with dementia have told us that they sleep with “one eye open” – every time the bed moves they worry if tonight is the night their loved one goes missing. This leads to poor sleep in the caregiver and accelerates burnout – resulting in earlier institutionalization for the PWD. This study will design an off-the-shelf solution that redirects the PWD back to bed and only wakes the caregiver if they enter a danger area or leave the home. This will help keep the PWD safe and help the caregiver sleep better and avoid burnout.

Contact Information:

Frank-D. Knoefel, MD, FCFP (COE), BSc, MPA
Physician / Médecin Programme Mémoire Bruyère Memory Program, Soins Continus Bruyère Continuing Care
Senior Investigator / Chercheur principal
Institut de recherche Bruyère Research Institute
Co-lead / fondateur projet TAFETA project


Sandra McKay, PhD
Director of Research
VHA Home HealthCare
416-489-2500 x2208


Affiliated Organizations: