Jan 8, 2010

Alzheimer's Lost and Found Department

The missing man was finally found in Mexico. Four hundred miles into Mexico. What did his family say? They didn't think his dementia was serious.


A person with Alzheimer's takes off and they finally locate them far from home.
By Bob DeMarco

These stories never stop amazing me. A person with Alzheimer's takes off and they finally locate them far from home.

How about 83 year old Clarence Newbury. Clarence lived from Alzheimer's disease.

Clarence got in his car to drive down the street to visit his son. Fifteen hours later he is finally found seventy miles from home walking down the highway. When the police found him he said, my car won't start.

His car was out of gas.

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Previously, I wrote about Philip Orvan Kneifl age 67. Philip lived in Texas.

He decided to jump in his car and go visit his sister in Kansas. He was finally found in Mexico.

Four hundred miles into Mexico. What did his family say? They didn't think his dementia was so serious. Go here to read this story.

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How about Judge Lombard. Judge Lombard was 75 years old, and it was no secret that he suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Judge gets on a bus from Las Vegas on his way to Detroit. The bus stops in Denver and Judge gets off and lost. The first time he was lost the found, a social worker put him in a cab and sent him back to the bus station. Did Judge get on the bus. No.

The second time Judge was lost for 11 days before he was found wandering around Denver. This time the police put him on a plane after contacting his wife. They gave the flight attendant specific instructions. The family was waiting at the airport when his flight arrived.

What happened next? His family didn't see him get off the plane. Judge was lost for the third time during one trip.

Judge finally wandered into his home three days later. When his family asked him where he was he told them "he was on a mission". Go here and here.

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Another Denver favorite. A man living Alzheimer's goes missing in Denver. Three days later he is found in San Diego. It turns out he ran out of medication and went to the Veterans Administration to get some new medication. When they looked up his name in the computer he was tagged as missing.

As it turned out he was stationed in San Diego while in the navy. Which explains his final destination.

Distance from Denver to San Diego? About 1,078 miles.

Remarkably right?

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Finally, in my neighborhood. A wonderful woman named Valarie goes missing. Her neighbors didn't bother to report her as lost, they just figured she was out somewhere. Later in the day she was found in Miami about 75 miles from home. She probably would have stopped when she got to Key West, but fortunately her car ran out of gas and a policeman came by.

Valerie was on her way to the grocery store which is about a mile from her home. She had been driving to the same grocery store for about 20 years.

When I asked her neighbors if they had noticed anything wrong with Valerie, they said no. When I asked if they were worried about her driving episode, they said no. They just figured she was getting old.

The only time Valerie drove her car was to go to the doctor or go grocery shopping. it appeared to everyone around her that she was in good health.

A year later and after getting lost while driving Valerie was diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's disease. It finally dawned on her family that that she could no longer live home alone.n 

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Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room