That feeling of dread that parents experience when they lose their child at the grocery store can happen to us again as adults, especially if our elderly parents have Alzheimer’s and are prone to wandering. So, what can you do if the unthinkable should happen?
The fact of the matter is that 6 out of 10 Alzheimer’s patients (over half!) will often move around aimlessly or try to leave the immediate area, causing more confusion thanks to memory loss and other physical disabilities associated with Alzheimer’s. If this happens to your loved one, here are some things you can do to help bring them back safely:
- Use Technology:
There are a lot of great technologies that can help both you and law enforcement in locating your loved one. Such things include Medical ID bracelets that can help Good Samaritans to better help your family member or friend, phone alert technology that alerts those in a community about a missing person, as well as track systems that make use of satellite or cell technology to locate a missing person.
- Begin search and rescue efforts at once:
Around 94% of people that have wandered off are often found close to their homes or wherever they went missing from, so focus any early search efforts in that particular area.
- Have identifying information:
Be sure to keep a recent photo and medical information on-hand in order to give to law enforcement or other volunteer searchers.
- Ask neighbors and friends for help:
People with Alzheimer’s often struggle in identifying themselves, so it’s important to have as many people as possible to help in the search who know what your loved one looks like and can identify him or her.
- Find familiar places:
A loved one might go to the places they know, like old homes, favorite restaurants, or places of worship. If any such places are close by the area, they’re likely a good place to look first or to talk about with police and law enforcement.
- Follow the hand:
with Alzheimer’s often head off in the direction of their dominant hand, so it’s a good idea to start looking in that particular direction first.
While it can be and is often a frightening time when a loved one has wandered off, following these steps can better help you to be able to organize searches and know what to do in case just such a scenario should happen. And while it can be easier said than done, it is important, also, to remain calm. Keeping a level head will help you to concentrate and remember, it’s often made more difficult to search for a lost loved one if we ourselves are breaking down because of it.
If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.