If you care for someone with dementia, your biggest fear likely involves the person going missing. And that fear is justified—one in six people with dementia will go missing at some point during the course of the disease.
That’s because as the disease progresses, changes in the brain will impact the person’s ability to communicate and recognize their surroundings—even in familiar places. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help keep the person as safe as possible at home and in the community.
Here are our top four tips:
- Sign up for MedicAlert® Safely Home®—Specially designed for people with dementia, the service combines MedicAlert’s well-recognized engraved bracelet with its 24/7 Emergency Hotline service. If a subscriber goes missing, hotline specialists at MedicAlert can provide emergency responders and police with the person’s photo, physical description, emergency contacts and vital health information, helping to assist them home more quickly. They can also notify the missing person’s caregivers or family to let them know their current situation and whereabouts. Learn more.
- Keep a current photo of the person on hand—and be sure to update it every six months to reflect their current appearance.
- Make your home dementia-friendly—The home is an important place for everyone, including people with dementia. A familiar environment can help the person connect with the past and maintain a sense of who they are. However, some practical changes may need to be made to keep the home “dementia-friendly. Learn more.
- Consider locating technology— Locating devices are electronic tools that can be used to follow a person’s movements or to identify a person’s location. No device or system can guarantee that a person with dementia will not become lost or that they will be found. However, the use of locating devices may represent one part of your family’s overall strategy to keep you or the person you support safer. Learn more.
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