New tool to help loved ones find missing senior citizens who wander off

Posted at 6:29 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 18:29:16-04

If you have a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer's disease, the fear of having them wander off and getting lost is very real.

It happens all too often and that's why it's important to take precautions.

Home Instead Senior Care has launched a new, free tool to help find missing seniors who may wander off.

You can sign up at

It enables family caregivers to alert a network of friends, family and businesses to be on the lookout for a missing senior via text or email.

You can also choose to post an alert to the Home Instead Remember for Alzheimer's Facebook page that is connected to 270,000 followers.

Lisa Rogers, who now works for Home Instead Senior Care, says she wishes she had a tool like that when her mom went missing repeatedly. Her 78 year-old mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia 5 years ago.

"You're not alone. Being alone is scary to think I'm alone and doing this by myself," she says.

Rogers says the Missing Senior Network is free and easy to use.

There are also common triggers that may cause someone with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia to wander:

  1. Delusions or hallucinations
  2. Over stimulation
  3. Fatigue, especially during later afternoons and evenings
  4. Disorientation to place and time
  5. Change in routine

Detroit Police say there are things you can do in advance of your loved one going missing.

"Keep photographs as current as you possibly can. I would ask you take pictures regularly at least once a week in their favorite pajamas or sweater or whatever they like to wear the most," says Director Michael Woody with Media Relations.

Here's a link to support resources from the Alzheimer's association.