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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Resources to Keep Dementia Patients Safe

SPRINGFIELD -- Many families live with the fear of having an elderly family member with dementia go missing.

It was a morning filled with not only work, but worry for Kathy Howard.

"Tearful, cause he's a good friend," said Howard talking about 86-year-old Donald Titus, who went missing Monday morning from his Springfield home.

She is also his landlord. So when he didn't come home Sunday night, she alerted his family, who then called police. After a statewide alert, he was found safely in Pennsylvania. Howard says Titus is aware of his dementia.

"I'm losing it, I just can't think straight anymore. I keep forgetting. And just getting more and more paranoid people," Howard said about Titus. "Are taking his things or hiding his money, taking his money?"

His family has talked about assisted living, but Howard says, "he absolutely fights it. It's not one of those things where you can just got pick them up and say you're going to live here."

Those conversations are never easy, that's why the Alzheimer's Association wants families to know they can help.

"We know it's probably one of the hardest things families have to do, and really it comes down to safety. If there's any signs that the person is having problems with remembering where they are, those are the times we have to do that," said Carrie Mueller, Director of Development and Communication at the Alzheimer's Association Miami Valley Chapter.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, 30,000 people live with some form of dementia in the Miami Valley, and 60 percent of them will wander from home. That is why many Alzheimer's patients wear a bracelet for when they are found. Telling neighbors and "child proofing" homes will help, too.

There's also technology available.

"It's called Comfort Zone. There are other products on the market, as well, that's actually like a tracker. It's using technology similar to GPS where people would know where the individual is," Mueller explained.

And that is peace of mind Kathy Howard would love to have.   

"He's definitely going to have to go to assisted living. We feel sure because none of us want to do this and worry about him," Howard said.

 
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