Sep 6, 2009

A Las Vegas Man with Alzheimer's Found Wandering Around Denver (Twice)

This is a story about Alzheimer's and wandering. You might be surprised to learn stories about Alzheimer's and wandering occur everyday across America and the world.

Wandering, A Las Vegas Man with Alzheimer's Found Wandering Around Denver (Twice)
This story includes: Judge Lombard the man suffering from Alzheimer's, Lombard's niece Pandora Coleman, a social worker, and the good Samaritan.

You will surprised to learn that Judge Lombard started in Las Vegas, and got lost in Denver. He was on his way to Detroit via bus. He arrived in Denver on August 17.

The first time around, Judge Lombard got off the bus and started wandering around Denver. After he was found the first time, the social worker--following instructions given to her by Lombard's wife--gave him a printout of a bus schedule, called a cab for him, and showed him where to catch the taxi to get to the bus station.

Want to guess what happened? He started wandering around Denver for a second time.

On August 29, 11 days later, Lombard's niece Pandora Coleman called Denver police and filed a missing person's report. Judge Lombard was lost. Fortunately, he was once again lost in Denver.

Police Detective Joseph Campbell organized the missing person search.

When Judge Lombard was found "he was starving," said Detective Campbell. What did Detective Campbell do?

First, he took him out to breakfast. Next, he took him to Denver Health Medical Center to receive treatment and care. Finally, Detective Campbell arranged to have him flown to Detroit to avoid the risk of Judge Lombard getting lost for a third time.

Detroit police were notified about his arrival time.

It would be easy to vilify the niece, especially if you never lived Alzheimer's from the Front Row.

This story is just another example of how difficult it can be to recognize and deal with dementia and Alzheimer's. Most of us are ill equipped to deal with Alzheimer's disease when it strikes. We have little or no experience with the disease.

It would be easy to vilify the social worker that sent him back to the bus station. Why? Did she receive any training that would allow her to deal effectively with situations like these? Probably not.

You could vilify the system that sticks its head in the sand when situations like this are occurring daily. But, you might have to look in the mirror first, we are all in this together and we are all responsible.

Or, you might decide that the real hero here is Detective Campbell--the good Samaritan.

I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Related Content

Can an Alzheimer's Patient Wander and Die?

The Alzheimer's Bus STOP

Alzheimer's Wandering Why it Happens and What to do

Sobering Statistics about Alzheimer's Wandering

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room