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AARP Expert

Preventing Those with Dementia from Getting Lost Tip#2: Make Sure They Can Be Identified

If you're caring for someone living with dementia, there is always a chance they could get lost and unable to find their way home. Be sure your loved ones have some form of identification on them, in case they encounter someone who can help but are unable to share their name, address, medical conditions, and other pertinent information. Multiple forms of identification, emergency contact numbers, and disclosure of their medical diagnosis of dementia are a good idea, in case one form is removed or lost.


You might get an ID bracelet or pendant, or one that laces into shoelaces or attaches to a watchband, as well as identification inside their clothing and in their wallet. For my dad, who had Alzheimers, my boyfriend suggested a very simple Road ID bracelet with a comfortable wristband like the one he wore when he went running. I purchased one for my dad, and he wore it for eight years, never trying to remove it.


Also be sure you have recent photos in case they are needed for identification in a search effort to locate an older adult who is missing.


Hope this is helpful! Check out my other tips, here in the AARP online community, for preventing those with dementia from getting lost here! 


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving


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