Wandering is a common symptom of patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It can happen at any stage of dementia, including the early stages, with the patient becoming disorientated or confused about a period of time. Among patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, wandering can be extremely dangerous, but there are strategies you can take to prevent it from happening. However, in the event that it does happen, there are several options to ensure that your loved one returns safely. One such option is MedicAlert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return, a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service geared towards individuals with memory loss.
How MedicAlert + Safe Return Works
If an individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia wanders, the first thing a caregiver should do is call 911. Next, the caregiver calls the 24-hour emergency response line and a community support network is activated to help reunite the family member with the person’s loved ones. This community support network is made up of law enforcement agencies and local Alzheimer’s Association chapters.
MedicAlert + Safe Return Features
- One identification product, such as a necklace or bracelet, that serves two purposes- providing medical emergency information and assists in the event of a wandering incident.
- Through a private online account, or by phone, the member’s personal health records, lists of medications, conditions and allergies can be updated 24 hours a day.
- A national database that includes a photo and emergency contact information in case of wandering, to help reunite the family together.
- In the event that wandering, or a medical emergency, occurs, MedicAlert + Safe Return activates a hotline with resources of law enforcement, medical professionals and local chapter staff to assist.
There are other options, such as Comfort Zone and Comfort Zone Check-In, which act as GPR monitoring systems. These give the patient with Alzheimer’s the freedom and independence they want, but the security of family members to monitor the person’s location.