Losing a family member suffering from dementia is a real, and scary, threat. The Home Instead Senior Care Network recently surveyed more than 1,100 family caregivers and found that 50 percent had experienced their family member wandering or getting lost.
“These frightening occurrences lead families to call our office and ask for help,” said Tracy Fazzolari of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Hunterdon and Warren counties. This office joins the rest of the network in announcing a new way to help keep family members safe.
The Home Instead Senior Care network has launched a free tool, the Missing Senior Network, available online. 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, via text or e-mail. Families can also choose to post an alert to the Home Instead Remember for Alzheimer’s Facebook page, connected to 270,000 followers.
“This resource was created to help families understand the risk of wandering and have a tool that empowers them to quickly take action if a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia wanders,” said Fazzolari.
The Missing Senior Network is part of Home Instead Senior Care network’s new Prevent Wandering program, which includes information and resources to learn more about why their loved ones wander, steps to keep them safe, and 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 additional tips and program resources, visit www.PreventWandering.com, or contact Home Instead Senior Care 908-835-1400 or 908-788-6705.