Getting home safely: Phase 1 - Generating agreement on national policies and procedures for reporting a missing person with dementia.
Disease causing dementia can damage areas of the brain responsible for navigation which places people with dementia at greater risk of getting lost even in familiar places. There are currently no guaranteed methods of preventing people with dementia from becoming lost other than 24/7 supervision. Internationally and in Australia there is strong evidence that delaying a search for the lost person increases the risk of finding them injured, deceased or not at all. In the US, Canada and Scotland alert systems are already being used to inform police and the broader community that a person with dementia is lost. The Getting Home Safely Project aims to revise and develop a standardised approach to reporting a missing person with dementia in Australia to improve health outcomes for this vulnerable population. In Phase one we will be working with police, carers and people with dementia to develop recommendations for this new approach.
Dr MacAndrew has a joint appointment as Lecturer, School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology and Knowledge Translation Research Fellow, Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration.