9/2/07 Aging Persons with Alzheimer’s and Dementia: What You Should Know, An Introduction
Article History and Related Information
When researching missing persons in the news on the internet on nearly a daily basis, I began to notice that out of a number of new stories, there would almost always be one or two that was about a missing elderly person, often one with some form of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Sometimes they would be found quickly and alive, and sometimes not. The resources used by the local authorities and the family, and the speed of the response typically made the difference between having a happy reunion, an unfortunate discovery, or a cold case with a family who waits, not knowing the fate of their missing loved one.
It was these stories, the effected families who sought Project Jason’s assistance, and our own family members who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, who inspired this article, the purpose of which is to give some guidance to these families, and to those who serve them in their time of need. This includes law enforcement (LE) and other assistance organizations. If we can provide information that either prevents a tragic loss or brings about a quick and positive resolution to even one case, that is certainly worth the effect. Life is our most precious commodity, after all.
The information covered includes:
Alzheimer’s and dementia statistics
Search and Rescue’s contribution
Solutions using technology
Response makes a difference
Assistance from national and local organizations
Legislation provides an answer
This article has been submitted to the trucking magazine Through the Gears to be published in their September 2007 issue. This is a free trucking magazine with a circulation of 150,000 that is distributed at approx. 2,500 locations nationwide, mostly truck stops. You can find it in the free trucker's publication area rather than with the paid magazines.
In the September issue, our featured missing persons, Shirley Hunt and Bryon Freeman's photos and profiles will also be featured as a part of Project Jason’s 18 Wheel Angel program.
We will also have the special 18 Wheel Angels posters uploaded on our site during the month and until Byron and Shirley are found. http://projectjason.org/18wheel.shtml
Aging Persons with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Increase Missing Person Statistics
By Kelly Jolkowski
Day in and day out, all across the country, headlines inform us that someone is missing. The occurrence of elderly missing appears to be on the increase as many of those headlines announce. As we know, our population is aging, and with that increase in number also comes an increase of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, in 2007, it is estimated that there are now more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. This includes 4.9 million people over the age of 65 and between 200,000 and 500,000 people under age 65 with early onset Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Six in 10 people with Alzheimer's disease will wander. Many people cannot even remember their name or address. They may become disoriented and lost, even in their own neighborhood. Wandering is among the biggest challenges caregivers face. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Crime Information Center (NCIC), there are 50,930 active missing adult cases in the United States as of January 31, 2007.
(The NCIC does not have statistics for the number of elderly missing nationwide)
Go to Part I