New alert sys­tem to help fam­i­lies find miss­ing se­niors with Alzheimer’s

Record Observer - - News -

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.Miss­ingSe­niorNet­, 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.Preven­tWan­der­, 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.home­in­­land.

To ac­cess the Miss­ing Se­nior Net­work, visit www. Miss­ingSe­niorNet­

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