Critical Wandering – Part V

Today concludes our series that reviews the Critical Wandering Presentation that Marilee Dorn gave at the WCDAN monthly meeting on March 14, 2017.  All material from this series is taken from Marilee’s handout.  This post discusses recovery issues.

Marilee DornMarilee stressed that there is a significant increase in morbidity and mortality if the wandering person is not located within twelve hours.  Promptly notifying Law Enforcement and/or a professional Search and Rescue organization is important.  Be prepared to provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • Location where the individual was last seen
  • The likely direction of travel (obtained from security camera, witnesses or access to exterior doors)
  • Photograph and/or description of individual, along with clothing
  • If the individual had access to a vehicle or public transportation and was used to using transportation
  • Address of past home address and/or work place, or favorite destination

Early publicity efforts are likely to be important, urging anyone who has seen the individual to report.

Establish containment points.  Patrol area roadways, paths, sidewalks, rail lines, and other travel aids nearby.  Systematically and thoroughly search nearby areas, including dense brush.  Repeat searches of the home and surrounding area and roadways, making sure to look in possible hiding places.

Early use of trackers and tracking dogs, preserving any verifiable clues, and video surveillance from area businesses may be important.

Two final prevention notes – Law Enforcement and first responder agencies may participate in programs which have a tracking device for the individual who has been identified as at-risk for critical wandering.  Check with your local agency.  Participation in Medic Alert and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return program may also be appropriate.

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