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Health department offers Alzheimer's Safe Return enrollment     Send a link to a friend

[JUNE 28, 2004]  Alzheimer's disease causes millions of Americans to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. Many people cannot even remember their name or address. They may become disoriented and lost in their neighborhood or far from home. It is common for a person with Alzheimer's to wander, many repeatedly, during the disease process. This behavior can be dangerous, even life-threatening, to individuals and stressful for caregivers.

There is help. The Alzheimer's Association Safe Return program assists in the safe return of individuals with Alzheimer's or a related dementia who wander and become lost. Safe Return is a nationwide identification, support and registration program working at the community level. Safe Return provides assistance whether a person becomes lost locally or far from home. Assistance is available 24 hours, every day, whenever a person is lost or found.

The Logan County Health Department is now a Safe Return enrollment site. The registration fee of $40 can be paid by the Senior Issues Task Force of the Healthy Communities Partnership for those unable to pay this one-time-only, lifetime fee. Registrants and caregivers will receive the following: an engraved identification bracelet or necklace and iron-on clothing labels, a caregiver checklist, key chain, lapel pin, refrigerator magnet, stickers and wallet cards, and for an additional $5, caregiver jewelry that, in an emergency, alerts others that you provide care for a person registered with Safe Return.


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Alzheimer's disease causes gradual, irreversible changes in brain cells. These changes cause difficulties with memory, decision-making, personal care activities and communicating, both in expressing thoughts and understanding what others are saying. Approximately 59 percent of Alzheimer patients living at home wander from time to time.

It is estimated that there be as many as 700 Logan County residents suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The Safe Return program assists in helping those who wander get home in a safe and timely manner.

Call the Logan County Health Department's Safe Return coordinator, Peg Gilmer, at 735-2317 for further information or to register for this service.

[Logan County Health Department
news release]

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