My daughter Allie is a 20-year-old junior at Oregon State University. This summer, as she has the past two years, she is working as a counselor at a camp in McCall, Idaho. She shared a story of an occurrence at a recent "woman's camp," which should serve as a reminder to us all.
The camp was for adult women. One afternoon, some of the "campers" approached the staff and told them one of their members had wandered off and couldn't be found. They also told the camp staff the missing camper had mild dementia. Of course, the camp staff immediately acted and began an coordinated search of the camp grounds and road leading from the camp up to the main road. Fortunately, the wandering was quickly found and all was well.
This should serve as a reminder to all of those who are family members or companions of people suffering from dementia. You must always be aware of the potential for someone to wander away. You should always have a plan in place to search for the person if that happens. You should always inform those you are with of the potential for elopement so special precautions can be taken.
The incident at my daughter's camp turned out well. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.