‘It was really scary for us’: The concerns over those wandering off with dementia

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 8:20 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The fears and concerns regarding those with dementia wandering off can impact a family and a community. Kyle Olson’s dad, Dewey, had Alzheimer’s and his wandering would create a scary situation.

“It was really scary for us,” said Olson. “My dad would get it in the car. He thought he was at home but he wasn’t at home.”

These types of situation are not rare. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in 10 people living with dementia will wander at least once. Recently a woman in Detroit Lakes, MN, was reported missing after wandering away. Thankfully, law enforcement was able to find her. But sometimes it can end in tragedy, especially during the cold winter months.

“We know that wandering can happen outside, we know it can happen in public places. We need to be careful with this population in general.” said Tanya Ferber, the owner of Senior Helpers.

Olson said the Alzheimer’s hotline helped him and his family throughout the process.

“Realize that you are not alone that there is so many people out there, check out online. Join a support group.” said Olson.

Organizations like Senior Helpers are there to aide those with different forms of dementia.

“So many amazing resources in our community you are so not alone.” said Ferber.

For more information and resources, click here for Senior Helpers and click here for the Alzheimer’s Association.