|Not to belabor a point, but last week, my roommate Woody suffered a stroke. A few days later, he took off headed towards Florida. He was found a day later, wandering around a small town an hour away from here completely disoriented.|
He was not wearing his Medical ID pendant. We had taken it off in the ER a few days earlier for a chest x-ray, and had never put it back on him.
He was carrying a pocketful of calling cards I had given him, but there was no information on him that indicated what medical conditions he had or who to call.
MEDICALERT + SAFE RETURN PROGRAM
The nurse-practitioner who is treating Woody suggested that I enroll in the MEDICALERT + SAFE RETURN program run by the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org). By enrolling in the program, you get a special MEDICALERT bracelet explaining that the wearer is "MEMORY IMPAIRED" and gives a number to call.
Woody's medical ID pendant did not list "memory impairment" as a medical condition, and that is important.
There is another side to that. When I called the police, a "Missing Persons" report was filed, but to the best of my knowledge, a "Silver Alert" was not called. "Silver Alerts" are called at the disgression of the supervisor, who apparently didn't feel it was needed.
Having the Alzheimer's Association on your side could help you to reach the threshold needed to get a "Silver Alert" called. You call them toll-free, after calling "911".
CAREGIVER MEDIC ALERT
The nurse-practitioner who is treating Woody also told me that as a caregiver, I should wear a special MEDICALERT bracelet indicating my status as a caregiver.
The idea is that in the event that something should happen to me, it's not enough for medical personnel know what medical issues I have. Someone needs to take care of Woody.
The bracelets are available on the Alzheimer's Association website at alz.org.