Oct 21, 2013

Dementia Patients Will Wander and Hopefully Run Out of Gas in a Good Place

I want to encourage everyone of you to read, then share, this story about a man living with dementia who wandered away and was missing for 20 hours.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

A Word to the Wise is Sufficient

I just read a terrific article in the Washington Post and I wanted to make everyone aware of it.

The article describes the events of a man who wandered from Reston, VA to Baltimore, MD, and then to Washington, DC where he ran out of gas and was finally found.

He was missing for 20 hours.

How do you think you would be feeling if this happened to you?

Would your heart explode?

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Here are some interesting facts from the article:
  • The Fairfax County police launched an all-out search for the man almost immediately after being notified that he’d been missing for about three hours. This involved more than 60 police officers, members of the fire department, the police helicopter, the police bloodhound, the police bike team, and a fire department boat. A large command post was established at Lake Anne Elementary School. Cruisers with license-plate readers were deployed. Everywhere you turned in Reston, there was an officer on foot, parked at an intersection, or driving through the neighborhoods, cul de sacs and parking lots.
  • The banks couldn't or wouldn't help. Meaning they would not divulge the location of his credit card or debit purchases.
  • He didn't take his cell phone with him or he might have been found quickly.
  • The Project Lifesaver Program is available where he lives but he wasn't enrolled and there is a long waiting to get in the program due to a lack of funding (ever hear that one before?).

read and then considering sharing it with everyone you know in the Alzheimer's community.

Please read the very last line of the story closely.

Note: After reading this article I thought gee, I wish I could still take a ride like that with my Dad, or Mom. So I believe there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye.

Note 2: You cannot allow persons living with dementia to drive alone on their own. Sooner or later they will take off if you do so.


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Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
You are reading original content +Bob DeMarco , the Alzheimer's Reading Room