Dementia: Wandering Prevention is a Community Effort


Does one of your parents or loved ones have dementia? If so, safety is apt to be a big concern.

Fact is, three out of five people with dementia go missing. There is greater risk of injury, even death, for those missing for more than 24 hours.
And by 2020, nearly 250,000 seniors in Ontario will be living with some form of dementia. That’s why we all should be concerned.

Fortunately, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario has an initiative that is making a difference.

Thanks to a recent dose of provincial funding, training will be improved and will reach more people who come into contact with persons affected by dementia. The program’s services are being enhanced this year to include first-responders as well as supportive housing and retirement home staff.

Chris Dennis, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, describes the Finding Your Way program as “the result of an extraordinary network of committed people. This year, since we know that 95 per cent of missing incidents happen with seniors who still live at home, the expansion into educating community workers who have direct contact with people with dementia, their families and caregivers makes sense. We appreciate the support of the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat and First Responder groups to help us develop materials that will educate Emergency Service Workers, retirement home and supportive housing staff about the risks of going missing for people with dementia and how to respond to missing incidents when they do occur.”

“These improvements to the Finding Your Way program will help reach more people and provide important information to protect those with dementia,” says Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs. “Our communities have an important role to play in helping keep people with dementia safe.”

Consultations are now being conducted on dementia care, as part of a comprehensive strategy for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.‎ Ontarians interested in submitting ideas and sharing experiences can do so at: dementiastrategy@ontario.ca

The Finding Your Way program safety kit is available in 12 languages: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, Arabic, Urdu and Tamil.

Find out more about the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat.

Learn more about the Finding Your Way program.