It's heartbreaking--dying in the desert

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by TwoCatDoctors, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I live in the Southwest where there are cities with roads leading into the desert. From time to time we get stories on TV and in newspapers of families looking for their loved one who has Alzheimer's or Dementia and drove off in the car and can't be found.

    The afflicted loved will get into a car and drive off. Eventually the car is found way out on some road where they ran out of gas or the car malfunctioned and instead of staying on that road, they walk into the harsh desert and die (because of the impact of Alzheimer's or Dementia). Too many die in the desert. They're not found for a while. It's heartbreaking for the family and for everyone that hears about it on the TV and then much later ends up learning the fate.

    There's a story now of a man missing since June that had Alzheimer's for 8 years, demanded the car keys from his wife and she took them from the hiding place and gave them to him, and he has been missing since June when it was 105 degree heat and the heat only went up from there. Apparently his wife, like others, did not seek information on the ailment to know what to expect.

    So some organization is going to be a live chat about families, caregiving, wandering, etc. and maybe this will make a difference and save lives.

  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I'm so sorry about your Aunt. My Uncle (now deceased) somehow got out of the nursing home and wandered for about a half hour before police found him (and staff was out looking for him too). They somehow lost track of him and he got out a door that had not been re-locked after it was used.

    I went over every site you provided and they are extremely valuable for anyone who has a relative that is at risk for wandering or getting lost. It's great information and thanks for providing it!!!

    I urge everyone to look at the sites to see what is available in tracking/location devices because you never know when you may have a relative to take care of that develops Alzheimer's or Dementia and this technology could save their life. Your relative is worth it.
  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    A man with dementia went out for a walk Christmas Eve and never returned. So they have groups searching the desert for him, and asking folks to check their sheds and back yards just in case he "holed up" there. So sad.
  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    This is very sad. What a tragedy which possibly could have been prevented. I can't understand why the wife gave him the keys unless she was also struggling mentally. What a horrible way to die. It wan't his fault that he had Alzheimers and should have been watched.

    On a related subject, or I hope it is related, is impaired drivers continuing to drive when they shouldn't.

    My former FIL was driving when he was not suppose to, got into an accident and he did not remember it happening. His sister was with him at the time so the story was confirmed but I wonder why she even got in the car with him. She is the type of person who doesn't like conflict and has a hard time speaking up for herself. But still. She could have called the police.

    On a happier note, my father who is 91, passed his drivers license road test with flying colors, so I guess this does not just apply to the elderly.(edit. I have changed the above paragraph to say impaired instead of elderly.) He has made it very clear to my sister and myself that we take his keys away if he should not be driving.

    Don't even get me started with drunk drivers or teenage drivers.


    [This Message was Edited on 01/03/2011]

    LEFTYGG Member

    two women here in cincinnati got in a car to go to the mall. they got lost and went down some country road hardly traveled. it was weeks before they were found dead in their car. so sad thinking about how afraid they must have been. love gail