A total of 20% of cognitively impaired Veterans Affairs nursing home residents tended to wander through facilities, a new study finds.

The patients put themselves at high health risks and put additional stress on the nursing staff, according to the study in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study involved 15,000 cognitively impaired residents.

While wandering can have positive outcomes in a controlled setting, adverse outcomes could result, as well: an increased incidence of weight loss, fatigue, sleep disturbance, getting lost, injuries and untimely death.