Behavior: The New Runaways: Old Folks

Nursing home residents break out, if only for a day or two

Chicago police call them "wanderers," "walkers" or "repeaters." They are old people—some depressed, some senile, some merely looking for action —who stray from nursing and rest homes all over the city. In the past two years, 1,618 men and 802 women over age 65 have disappeared, if only for a few hours or a day or two. Says Arnold Levine, administrator of Chicago's Royal Gardens Nursing Center: "It's a very serious problem."

Most walkers are back within...

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