Operation Safe Return Program
Serving the Memory Impaired in Our Community
The St. John Police Department is partnering with the Alzheimer's Association St. Louis Chapter to increase efforts to meet the needs of individuals with memory loss in the St. John community. Safe Return is a program offered by the Alzheimer's Association that assists in the safe and timely return of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias who become lost. The program is a nationwide identification, support and registration program that works in collaboration with law enforcement at the community level. It provides assistance 24 hours, every day, whenever a person with memory loss is lost or found. Scholarship money is available to help offset the cost of registration.
Statistics show that persons with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more restless and agitated during the holiday seasons. The increased activity, noisy environments, and disruption in one's daily routine, may trigger wandering behavior. Nearly 60% of all person with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia will wander or become lost at some time during the course of the disease.
By being registered in Safe Return and wearing the identification jewelry, the chances of finding the lost person in a timely manner are increased. For safety and peace of mind, don't wait to register your loved one in Safe Return; enroll them now.
Tips to Reduce Alzheimer Wandering
People with Alzheimer's disease wander for many reasons. Here are tips to help care givers keep their loved ones safe:
- Be Prepared. There is no way to predict who will wander or why.
- Encourage Movement and Exercise. This will reduce anxiety and restlessness.
- Be Objective. Don't take the person's wandering behavior personally.
- Be Aware of Hazards. Places that look safe might be dangerous for someone with Alzheimer's disease.
- Secure the Living Area. Do what you can to make your home safe and secure.
- Communicate with the Person. Regularly remind and reassure the person that you know how to find them and that they are in the right place.
- Identify the Person. Have the person wear a Safe Return identification bracelet or necklace.
- Involve the Police. Have all important information about the person ready for emergencies.
- Be Prepared for Other Modes of Wandering. Wandering on foot is most common but people with Alzheimer's have also traveled great distances by train, airplane, and public transportation.
For more information about the Safe Return program or other services provided by the Alzheimer's Association, call 800-980-9080; or Contact Captain J. R. Morris at 314-427-8706, ext. 5 (Police Department).