New alert system to help families find missing seniors with Alzheimer’s
BALTIMORE — One of the worst scenarios for families caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease is a loved one wandering or getting lost. It causes immediate panic and concern, and unfortunately happens all too often. In fact, nearly 50 percent of some of these family members have experienced a loved one with Alzheimer’s wandering or getting lost, according to a new survey conducted by Home Instead Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network. Of those, nearly one in five called the police for assistance. To help families keep their loved ones safe, the Home Instead Senior Care network has launched a free tool, the Missing Senior Network, now available in Baltimore and on the MidShore.
Found at www.MissingSeniorNetwork.com, the platform enables family caregivers to alert a network of friends, family and businesses to be on the lookout for a missing senior. The service provides a way to alert the network of a missing senior via text or email. Families can also choose to post an alert to the Home Instead Remember for Alzheimer’s Facebook page, connected to 270,000 followers.
The Missing Senior Network is part of Home Instead Senior Care network’s new Prevent Wandering program, which includes resources such as insight into what may trigger wandering events, steps families can take to help keep their loved ones safe, and tips on what to do if a wandering event occurs.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, anyone living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is at risk of wandering.
“Wandering can happen at any time, and not just on foot
someone in a car or even a wheelchair could wander,” said Monica Moreno, director of Early Stage Initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association. “A person may want to go back to a former job he or she had, even though that job may no longer exist. Or, someone may have a personal need that must be met. There’s always a purpose and intent. It’s just a matter of identifying the triggers.”
For tips and program resources, visit www.PreventWandering.com, or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care officeto learn how family caregivers can help prevent and respond to wandering. You can find an office near you by visiting www.homeinstead.com/maryland.
To access the Missing Senior Network, visit www. MissingSeniorNetwork.com.