Summer is a time for vacations and spending more time outdoors, but it’s also a time to be extra vigilant if you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia.
The fact is people with dementia can become lost, often without warning, and have no idea how to get home. This can be a frightening experience for the lost person and for their families. For this reason, the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation and the Alzheimer Society of Canada have come together to launch the MedicAlert® Safely Home® program. Available nationwide, the program is designed to quickly identify those who are lost and assist in a safe return home.
“This new program is an essential resource for keeping people with dementia safe. Registering with the program is an important step family members can take in supporting people with dementia who are at risk of wandering and becoming lost,” explains our CEO, Mimi Lowi-Young. “By collaborating with Canadian MedicAlert Foundation, we’re answering a need which will become even more critical as our population ages and more Canadians develop this disease.”
MedicAlert Safely Home members select a MedicAlert ID to wear at all times. Through a unique 24/7 emergency hotline, inscribed on the ID, first responders are granted immediate access to that person’s complete medical profile, as well as emergency contact information. When a member with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia is found — even if they’re unable to answer basic personal questions like where they live — MedicAlert will provide critical information and immediately notify emergency contacts.
“Anyone living with Alzheimer’s disease should have a MedicAlert membership,” says Robert Ridge, President and CEO, Canadian MedicAlert Foundation. “In addition to helpingensure that people with dementia can find their way safely home, the sophisticated MedicAlert database stores full medical information including what medications they are taking, information about allergies or conditions and a record of their medical history.”
Ridge adds that, all other reasons aside, registering for the MedicAlert Safely Home program
provides families and caregivers with invaluable peace of mind, knowing that those in their care are as safe as possible.
Julie Foley, whose husband Lowell has Alzheimer’s disease, couldn’t agree more. “There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease so safety is absolutely essential. It’s one of the first things we discussed when my husband was diagnosed. This new program is an easy and subtle support which provides both of us reassurance. Every minute counts.”
Learn more about MedicAlert® Safely Home® at www.safelyhome.ca.