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Dementia and Safety series – Making a Plan in case your loved ones Wanders away from home

This is the final topic in the Wandering Section of my Dementia and Safety series – Making a Plan in case your loved ones Wanders away from home

The stress experienced by families and caregivers when a person with dementia wanders and becomes lost is significant. I know in my cases when my mothers wandering went from just wandering around the house all day to just going outside in her pajamas. I've had to get to know the neighbors next door. As well as other individuals that my folk knew numbers since I was long distance.

Have a plan in place beforehand, so you know what to do in case of an emergency:

  1. Keep a list of people to call on for help. Have telephone numbers easily accessible post it in a safe place just in case your loved one is know to move things.

  2. Ask neighbors, friends and family to call if they see the person alone. Even have them maybe to come by just to check to see if my loved one is okay.

  3. Keep a recent, close-up photo and updated medical information on hand to give to police.You may also want to invest in a polaroid camera. Yes, I know old school and in the world of facebook & instagram why would you want that? Well if your loved ones wanders off you may not have the time to share a link to your social media site you may want a couple of pictures that you can hand out.

  1. Know your neighborhood. Pinpoint dangerous areas near the home, such as bodies of water, open stairwells, dense foliage, tunnels, bus stops and roads with heavy traffic.

  2. Sometimes it's just not the neighborhood that you have to be worried about maybe you live in a rural area where your loved one live where there maybe be wild animals around.

  3. Is the individual right or left-handed? Wandering generally follows the direction of the dominant hand.

  4. Keep a list of places where the person may wander. This could include past jobs, former homes, places of worship or a restaurant.

  5. Provide the person with ID jewelry. Enroll the person in MedicAlert®+ Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®.

6. If the person does wander, search the immediate area for no more than 15 minutes.

7. Call "911" and report to the police that a person with Alzheimer's disease — a "vulnerable adult" — is missing. A Missing Report should be filed and the police will begin to search for the individual. In addition, a report should be filed with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer's Association Safe Return at 1.800.625.3780. First responders are trained to check with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer's Association Safe Return when they locate a missing person with dementia. You do not need to be enrolled in MedicAlert+ Alzheimer's Association Safe Return in order to file a missing report.

What have you done to plan for the time that your loved one may wander away? Please share your tips in the comments section. Next Part of this Dementia and Safety Series: Driving. Thanks for reading my blog post and as always #StayStrongandEncourages as we continue to "Fight the Memory Thief".

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