January’s monthly training was the full-team CPR training, an annual event, during which everyone took the American Red Cross CPR recertification exam. The rest of the time was split between a well-presented overview and demo by Mike McMillan, followed by numerous stations. Team members refreshed (or learned new) skills in infant and adult CPR, choking, using AEDs, and taking vital signs. All of these skills, like most of those learned for SAR, are perishable and need to be practiced often in order to be used with confidence when the need arises.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return® guide describes Alzheimer’s disease as a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily activities. As Alzheimer’s progresses, individuals may also experience changes in personality and behavior such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, and delusions or hallucinations.
- Will usually (89%) be found within one mile of the Point Last Seen (PLS); half found within 0.5 miles.
- Will usually be found a short distance from road (50% within 33 yards)
- May attempt to travel to former residence or favorite place.
- Will not leave many physical clues.
- Only 1% will cry-out for help, and only 1% will respond to shouts.
- Will succumb to the environment (hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration).
- Will go until stuck; appear to lack the ability to turn around.
- Will usually be found in a creek or drainage and/or caught in briars/bushes (63%)
- Leaves own residence or nursing home, possibly with last sighting on a roadway. May cross or depart from roads (67%).
- Commonly has coexisting medical problems that limit mobility.
- Has previous history of wandering (72%).
||The Alzheimer’s Association has developed the Safe Return® program, a 24-hour nationwide identification, support, and enrollment program. The organization works with law enforcement to quickly identify and return to safety a person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia who has wandered, locally or far from home. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website for additional information on the disease.|