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Lost and Found a Alzheimer's Story

Updated on February 22, 2010
 A PRAYER TO ALL WHO SUFFER WITH THIS DISEASE...and their families
A PRAYER TO ALL WHO SUFFER WITH THIS DISEASE...and their families

a. Completely involved or absorbed; rapt: lost in thought. b. Bewildered or confused: I'm lostcan you start over?

Being lost can be a frightening thing to anyone, young, middle age or the elderly. One may be be Lost in Love, or Lost in Religion. or Lost in desires. There are many ways of becoming Lost.

She was just plain lost! In as much as she didn't know where she was , it was mid-December, actually Christmas Day and she remembered she needed one more gift for her new friend, the man she was now having breakfast with everyday, the man whose feet and legs she would rub because they ached, the man who made her feel like a woman again.

It was very early in the morning and she hadn't slept well, just waiting for some day light so she could walk to the J.C.Penney store a few blocks away. She had been in there a few days ago and spotted a nice sweater she thought he might like. but wasn't really sure of his size.

Living in an Assisted Living Facility she was able to come and go as she pleased, though they tried to keep each resident's where about's logged in and out of the register book. Providing the residents remembered to sign it. It was located right beside the front desk, making it a bit easier to watch these demented elderly folks as they would come and go.

She bundled herself up with her coat, gloves, scarf and grabbed her purse, she had a mission and wanted to get it done before he came to pick her up for breakfast. Since it was Christmas and a fine meal was planned she hurried out the door, not even thinking about the book she was supposed to sign in and out of.

Brrrr...it was cold, very early in the morning and still a bit dark. She was a good walker so she hurried her steps to the store. She arrived a bit out of breath and very excited, only to find the store was "Closed for Christmas Day". "oh dear" the thought ran through her head."Where do I go now"? She looked around and saw lights across the street so she headed that way. As she walked up to this new store she found it also "Closed for Christmas Day". "Oh dear, where do I go now"? She knew there must be some stores open, she just had to find one, he would just love the sweater, and it was the only thing she wanted to give him.

It wasn't long before she realized she didn't know which way to turn anymore, and she began to cry. She just stopped at a corner and stood there in a dazed, shivering stance.

Her daughter received a phone call from the Assisted Living Home, and they told her they couldn't find her Mother, they had searched every room only to realize she was truly missing. The daughter told them she would be right there!! She hung up the phone with tears and fright in her eyes and dressed quickly and was on her way.

The policeman was on his daily route and drove past this lady standing at the corner, shivering and looking a bit forlorn. He turned around and stopped to question her. He asked her if she was lost and she said "Yes I am , sir" "Where do you live ? Ma'm" he asked. She gave him an address , he put her in the car and took her home , or so he thought.

There were many cars parked in front of this house, so he left her in the police car and went to the door of the house and knocked. A woman opened the door and was surprised to see him there at this time of day. He explained he found this woman standing on the street corner and she said she lived here. The owner of the Condo asked what her name was, and informed him they had bought the condo from her 3 years ago, and that she didn't live here anymore.

The policeman thanked her and went back to the his patrol car, only to find the lost woman gone!!! He radioed into headquarters what information he had and a description of the woman , he began searching again, knowing she couldn't have wondered far in such a short time. He did find her a couple of blocks away , picked her up again and took her to the Police Station.

This being a small town he began to question her about her name and birth-date, which she answered without hesitation. All the officers wife's had brought in some goodies for their husbands,being it was Christmas, and they offered her some. Readily she excepted the pie, it was her favorite, along with a nice hot cup of coffee. He was a young handsome policeman and very gentle and she took to him immediately.

One thing was she did not have any kind of Identification on her, which really she did have, but just always emptied her purse ,usually forgetting to put important things like that back in it. The policeman went to the phone book and searched for the Assisted Living homes in town, calling each one to see if she was a resident there.

About the time he connected with the home she lived in, her daughter arrived and was frantic. Asking questions. "How could you let her get away!" "What have you done to find her!" "What do we do next!" "Where is my Mother!" Drawing a crowd and making everyone aware of the fact someone was lost. They tried to calm her down and assured her the police had found her and she was on her way back. When they arrived her Mother told the handsome Policeman to come back and visit her anytime, and thanked him for the pie and coffee. Simply un-aware of all that had gone on and smiled at her daughter. "Merry Christmas" she said.

A lesson well learned and her daughter was informed about a GPS band that could be worn around the wrist or the ankle and if she ever wondered off again they could locate her in 10 minutes time. Needless to say when the Holiday was over, the band was placed on her ankle, it was a safety measure and though she didn't get Lost ever again, it was a big relief for her family, knowing she was wearing it. It was water proof and the battery was checked every 5 weeks by the Police to make sure it was working and replaced often.

A reminder to all families dealing with Alzheimer's loved one's, they can be quick, and find a way out no matter how much you try to keep them in. In our own denial of this disease, we need to learn all we can, and support groups are so helpfull.

It wasn't long after this that she was placed in an Alzheimer's Facility, where she could not leave on her own.

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    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      OH Thank You dear ripplemaker...I am so trying to write 2 stories right now and one is mostly about my mom and her Journey into Alzheimer's and through it...In fact I need to go see her in a few..Bless you my dear...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi G-Ma, you still amaze me with how you are able to relate all these things. I know it can resonate and be of help to people facing a similar situation. You continue to inspire... love and light to you! :)

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Thank You Dolores...and SAGE:o) Hugs G-Ma thank you too...

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 

      8 years ago

      Dolores - A truly amazing heartwarming and touching story. You brilliantly captured the experience of what it is like for someone with Alzheimer's. Christmas Day, no less a perfect example of no recollection that the store might be closed amongst many other things. I have known many people with Alzheimer's. It is very disheartening for both victims, family members and their friends.

      I always enjoy reading your hubs, you are one of my favorite hubbers. Reated this one up!

      Great Job!

      Sage

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hugs right back at you G-Ma, it's been too long since I read one of your hubs. Just forgot to mention that I love the beautiful photograph at the top of the page.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Dolores...Yes it is and it is on the rise...sadly, however much new research is in progress and there is always HOPE.Thank you for commenting...it is something I deal with daily...God Bless them all...caregivers included...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      G-Ma, one of the many things I thank God for is that neither of my parents went into dementia. They suffered, but always knew what was going on. A dear friend of mine had Alzheimers, and it was heartbreaking to see this smart, hardheaded woman become helpless and confused. A poignant story and one that is too common.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Awww ty Muley...Miss you...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • muley84 profile image

      Michael A Muehleisen 

      8 years ago from Miami,FL

      Hi G-Ma! this is a gripping story. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      MM & Art 4...thank you for stopping by and I know I am not alone in this. In the beginning I was so un-educated about Alzheimer and now just want to help anyone else dealing with this Disease...God Bless:O) hugs G-Ma

    • Art 4 Life profile image

      Art 4 Life 

      8 years ago from in the middle of nowhere....

      Great hub...I too, have been affected with Alzheimer's..I took care of my mom for 5 yrs...this was a wonderful story...many hugs

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 

      8 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Wonderful hub - loved to read it...

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I am so sorry my dear...but Please DO NOT think you are failing her, I know you are doing all you are capable of...and honestly God is in control, though one may question this at times.

      Being cold is part of being old, because we don't move around like we used too, and meds aren't always the best answer, in my opinion, and not being changed can give them a Urinary infection, which can in turn effect there moods. If you have a Nurse in the family I know you know more then I do...

      As I said My parents did plan ahead for themselves, unlike me, so I just pray this doesn't happen to me...Again my sweet lady my prayers daily and am always here...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      8 years ago from US

      You have been lucky I promise you, believe I have been down every avenue, if you get time you can look at all the horrible things my mom,(I have talked to others with same experiences) so I also have been through. Now she is hours from me and my only fight I can have is over the phone, and occasionl visits where I always find faults.Her not being fed good or stinking so bad you know it has been 12 hours or more since changed, always cold as ice.My sister is a retired nurse and even she has said its so hot in there..and it is indeed but Mom is not! I talked to my Mom on phone about a week ago and she was moaning in pain.. so they have promised to increase her med and told me what it was...she was already suppose to be on that months ago. Three years of this alone, it could kill me before it does her, I stay upset, I burn and itch as my blood pressure goes so high and depressed....but thank you. She is suppose to be there for theraphy from broken hip she got in hospital where recoverying from blood clot on brain from falling. You are the last one I should complain to, I do think assisted living would have been best if I had only known then.To get her back near me would cost about $10,000 because she has to pay out of pocket 3 months until she is a resident here as she had to where she is now...Im sorry..I do go on..I love her so, and now I am failing her.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Violetsun...yes it is a big thing and they have to be treated with care, love and dignity. I do all I can to make thngs ok, but it is very difficult watching her die.

      I always read comments...aren't we suppose too??? LOL

      Yes the ID bracelet was a great help, I use a cane and she is faster then me, so when I would take her out I always was worried, however she stayed close to me, but at times when clothes shopping she would get away amongst the racks of clothes.

      Other times I would go to stores that had wheelchairs and push her around, because it was easier on her, when she got to the point it was hard for her to walk for a long time.

      It has come to the point now I can't take her out anymore, and I miss that. She just can't figure out how to get in the car and she acts afraid...so we just visit where she is living. They do have a great physical activities schedule though to keep their blood circulating, which in turn helps keep them warm and moving...

      OK I better stop, I can get carried away on this subject...My Love and Prayers to you sweetie...:O) g-Ma Hugs

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Polly..as long as you have durable power of Attorney you CAN do something. It is time consuming and a battle cause I know I go through it all the time. I look things up on the internet, I go to group support groups,there is a chat site on the Alzheimer's site you can discuss thngs with people that are going through the same thing, I read books and go to workshops...so I can be on top of things.

      I am retired and alone so is easy for me...I have no idea what your situation is, but i do know YOU have the power to make sure she is well cared for...I am also very lucky to have found a home here that only takes 32 residents, so is small and like a big family, also is Number one in our state, we pay big time though, but she has insurance policies to cover this...So I must admit God is taking care of us...My prayers dear lady...:O) hugs G-Ma

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      G-Ma: When my Mom was in her late 70's she would at times completely forget how to get home even if she was two blocks away from her apt building. One time she was lost in a NY Subway station, didn't know where she lived, but somehow she always ended up finding her way. We didn't know it was the beginning of Alzheimer's, it didn't become totally noticibable until she was in her late 80s. I often think of her, and I feel such a deep compassion for Mom, and for anyone experiencing this cruel disease. Good suggestions about the ID bracelet!

      Your story is a service, helps to educate others about how this condition, it brings understanding, so I encourage you to go ahead with your book! (read your comments)

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      8 years ago from US

      My Mom is 86 and I have several hubs too, I could handle Mom and all her problems but once she went to hospitals and nursing homes are when my nightmares began, because they protect each other in these places and are none to be trusted that I have found yet, three years of this and it is almost literally killing me watching them kill my Mom. I won't let them forget I am not going away but they know I can do nothing.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      JACK...thanks for commenting Kinda testing these here as I am writting a book about it..sorta..maybe...hoping..:O) hugs G-Ma

      HEALTHGOJI,,,yes it is a sad disease and my 90 year old Mother has it...Much research is going on now and they have new ideas all the time...i have written a few hubs about this...Thank you for your comment...:O) hugs G-ma

    • healthgoji profile image

      healthgoji 

      8 years ago

      This is a very heartbreaking story. This disease could happen to anyone, from any walk of life, as they get older.

      There seems to be not much of a place left for these victims of Alzheimer's disease. I do hope they find some kind of cure for the victims that they may finish their lives with some kind of dignity.

      JS

    • Jackwms profile image

      Jackwms 

      8 years ago

      A wonderful hub. Thanks for sharing.

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