Despite all the precautions one takes, it is possible the person with dementia may wander off unnoticed. Here are some tips for searching a missing person with dementia.
- Look within a one kilometer radius of where the patient was before they wandered.
- Check dangerous areas first near the home, ponds/lakes/wells, forested areas, tunnels, bus stops, terrace of buildings and water tanks, and roads with high traffic.
- Look within a hundred feet of a road, as most wanderers start out on roads and remain close by. Check bushes, ditches and nullahs carefully as the person may have fallen or become trapped.
- Search in the direction of the wanderer’s dominant hand. People usually travel first in their dominant direction. (ie. right handed person would turn right – usually)
- Investigate familiar places, such as former residences or favorite spots. Often, wandering has a particular destination.
- If you suspect that the person used a car or public transportation, you’ll need to consider likely places that are farther afield.
- Contact as many people as you can to enlist their help in searching and locating the missing person soonest. If the missing person remains stuck in a place they are unable to get out of, they may get dehydrated or hypothermia.
- Remember the dementia patient may not call out for help or even respond to your call.