Story told by daughter of MedicAlert + Safe Return Member
My mom passed away 6 years ago from a heart attack. Her loss was very difficult and unexpected; especially for my dad…
They were married for 56 years and he had a very hard time dealing with her passing. My husband and I decided with us being retired, and my mom being gone, that it would be best for my dad to come live with us.
Six years ago he was diagnosed with mild dementia, and over the years it has progressed. With age he began to forget things, which we thought was normal, until it began to happen more frequently.
He would leave the stove on, or turn the shower on and forget to get in. Three years ago we had our first big scare when he wandered off during a street fair and became disoriented. When a passerby asked him if he was okay; he had forgotten that my sister and I were there with him.
“MedicAlert Saved My Father’s Life and I will forever be Grateful”
As he began to become disoriented and wander more frequently, we began to fear for his safety. My sister had done some research about wandering and dementia. It was then we made the decision to get dad a bracelet and enroll him in the MedicAlert + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return program. Thank God we did.
Every year we fly out to the west coast to visit my mom’s side of the family during Christmas time. A few years ago while at the Airport, we were on a 4-hour layover. During that time, my husband, my sister, and I went to some of the small shops while my brother-in-law stayed with my dad.
My brother-in-law ran to the food court and told my dad he’d be right back since my dad was busy playing a game on the laptop. In just a period of 10 minutes, my dad had wandered 7 terminals away. When my brother-in-law returned to our departure gate my dad was gone.
He immediately panicked and started calling our cell phones. Within minutes of realizing he was missing, I received the call from MedicAlert saying they knew the location of my dad in the airport and he was safe with airport security.
When airport security found my dad, they saw his bracelet but asked who he was there with. He knew our names but often doesn’t remember our last names. Security thought it best to call MedicAlert instead of announcing it in the airport terminal.
Had it not been for the nice and patient MedicAlert operator contacting me; I would have gone into a state of serious panic. I don’t know what would have happened to my dad had he not been wearing his bracelet.