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Alzheimer’s / Dementia

How A Child Is Missing and your local law enforcement agency cooperate in the search for an elderly person:

  • Once the law enforcement agency is notified of a missing adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the agency contacts A Child Is Missing. Law enforcement provides a description of the missing adult and their last known location.

  • A Child Is Missing uses this information to begin calling homes and businesses in the immediate area. This area can be expanded as needed. In fact, should there be the need to search in two or more locations, this can be done easily and simultaneously.

What is Alzheimer's?1

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Scientists have learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease in the century since Dr. Alzheimer first drew attention to it. Today we know that Alzheimer’s:

  • Is a progressive and fatal brain disease. As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.

  • Is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

  • Has no current cure. But treatments for symptoms, combined with the right services and support, can make life better for the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s. There is an accelerating worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, or prevent it from developing.

Out of the Ordinary:

Hutchinson, Kansas (Reno County) Police Department

The morning of Sunday, April 17, 2011, Sergeant Sack contacted A Child Is Missing Alert to report a 100 year old man missing from his residence in Hutchinson. The man’s wife reported that she had been at home with him the previous evening and when she had awoken that morning, he was gone. ACIM’s oncall technician placed out over 1,200 telephone alert calls to the community, asking anyone with information to contact Police. It was a typical case and a follow-up report was sent to the agency asking if our calls were of assistance in locating the man.

The notes sent back were not typical. The notes stated that the missing man had passed away 6 years ago and that the man’s wife was having problems and that while our calls did not assist in locating the man, the agency was appreciative. Our office shared the report with heartfelt sympathy for the wife of this man. While the follow-up report did not mention Alzheimer’s or Dementia specifically, it brought to mind the terrible disease. A Child Is Missing is about community and law enforcement working together. ACIM’s alert calls can help minimize the trauma of situations such as these by helping the community that knows these Alzheimer’s and Dementia sufferers and law enforcement work together.


References:

  1. Alzheimer's Association
    http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp
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