MedicAlert Encourages Americans to ‘Mind Our Elders’ While Recognizing Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the Alzheimer’s disease. With no cure, this number is expected to increase dramatically over the next two decades. MedicAlert Foundation is taking the opportunity in June — Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month — to raise awareness about the growing number of Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Six out of every 10 people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia will wander and become lost. This often raises alarm and creates immense fear for loved ones/caregivers of those living with the disease. Our 24/7 Emergency Services will work to ensure both you and your loved one are reunited, should a wandering-related incident occur.

Protect Your Loved Ones in the Event of a Wandering Incident

MedicAlert and the Alzheimer’s Association have partnered to deliver MedicAlert®+ Safe Return® membership to help families with live, 24/7 assistance for people with dementia who have wandered or may get lost. During a wandering situation, we will work with family members and caregivers, the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and law enforcement in order to bring the person with dementia home.

MedicAlert Reunites Married Couple After Husband Wanders Off During the Night

“I was definitely thankful that Larry had his necklace. MedicAlert is a lifesaver for reuniting us.”

What was intended to be a relaxing stay at his daughter’s new home during the President’s Dayweekend escalated into what could have resulted in a nightmare.

Charles and his wife, Annie, were visiting their daughter when one night Charles got out of bed and left the house with no knowledge of the area, his daughter’s name or her new address.

“I don’t know how long he was gone, he just woke up and left,” said Annie. “I don’t know what made him decide to get up and go out for a walk.”

24/7 Emergency Response and Safety of a Medical ID Response System

According to Annie, Charles had been suffering from dementia for about 10 years. Thankfully, a bystander noticed Charles walking in the middle of the street — clothed but barefoot — and immediately called police.

When the officer arrived, he noticed Charles’ silver MedicAlert medical ID necklace. He immediately called MedicAlert. Annie, who was asleep and unaware of what was happening, received a surprise phone call around 2 a.m.

“I was half awake when the police dispatcher called, but when he said they had my husband, I woke up fast,” said Annie. Later that morning, Charles was brought to his daughter’s house unharmed. (or something else in this spot but the sentence was not right with “The morning…”

“He has a routine of walking around our neighborhood at home without getting lost,” said Annie, “but the possibility of something like this happening in unfamiliar places is why we never leave home without his necklace.”

Be Mindful of Your Own Health While Caring for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Your role as a caregiver to a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be overwhelming.  Although you may become consumed by keeping track of appointments with doctors, medication schedules and an exercise regimen for the individual with the disease, it is priority to take care of your own mental and physical health as well.

The following suggestions offer some guidance on how to maintain and improve your caregiving relationship:

-          Take time for yourself.

-          Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s disease.

-          Set realistic goals for yourself and your loved one.

-          Do not put your life on hold.

-          Have someone you can confide in.

-          Help people with Alzheimer’s disease participate in activities and other group events.

Connect with your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter for more information and resources on Alzheimer’s disease and safety. Call 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org. 

About our charity
MedicAlert protects the health and well-being of millions of members worldwide through our trusted emergency support network. We educate emergency responders and medical personnel - our partners in everyday emergency situations. And we communicate your health information, your wishes, and your directives to ensure you receive the best care possible.