We can all help people with dementia find their way
A few weeks ago I was on my way home from an Alzheimer Society Board meeting about 8 pm. I was driving north on the Don Valley Parkway, a six-lane highway in Toronto. As I drove, I saw an elderly man driving a scooter on the southbound shoulder. I thought that it was a pretty foolish thing to be doing. Clearly, he should not have been on the shoulder of the DVP at dusk.
I was already well past him when the danger of his situation dawned on me, so I didn’t have time to stop to help him. I started thinking about Finding Your Way and what to do if you see someone looking out of place. I called 911 to report it. They said they would send police to help him.
Who knows if he had dementia or if he just thought scooting down the DVP in the near dark was a good idea? Either way, the Finding Your Way program made me think and assess and I called for help.
This is the hidden power of Finding Your Way. Everyone has a role to play in keeping people with dementia safer. In closing, I offer a challenge for you: if you ever see a senior who looks disoriented or generally out-of-place, don’t just ignore it. Your action could make all the difference.
CEO, Alzheimer Society of Toronto