Frequently Asked Questions for A Caregiver’s Guide to Wandering

1. What is the main benefit of the educational program that your wandering guide provides?

Our main goal is to keep dementia patients safer and in the home longer.

2. Why did you develop “A Caregiver’s Guide to Wandering”?

Sergeant Jacqueline Fortune of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston, Texas, contacted us in 2016 following a community meeting that focused on protecting senior citizens. The Sheriff’s Department has used our McGruff Safe Kids ID Kit for multiple years to address the wandering concerns of their audience. We immediately began to research the issue of dementia and wandering, with the experience we’ve gained creating family safety publications, we are delighted to introduce our newest safety publication, A Caregiver’s Guide to Wandering.

McGruff Kits, LLC dba McGruff Safe Kids, in its 30 year history, has chosen to work on projects that advance American society through creating socially responsible communications materials for American companies and the American consumer. In 1992 we were invited by the National Crime Prevention Council to become a licensee of the McGruff the Crime Dog® licensing program. The reason that we have been one of the most successful licensees using McGruff the Crime Dog in our creative message is the methodology that we employ, now adapted for dementia patient caregivers, to develop each body of work. Our successful formula involves making the message interesting, non-threatening, easy to understand and of practical value in the real world.

3. Why is it an important piece of work?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 60% of people suffering from dementia are prone to wandering and may become disoriented and get lost as a result of their illness. Statistics show that, if not found within 24 hours, up to half of those lost will suffer serious injury or death. Finding them quickly is crucial!

The purpose of this guide is to help the caregiver keep a loved one who has a diagnosis of dementia at home longer, thus, saving money and heartache. It was created to provide peace-of-mind as the caregiver provides love and support to the dementia patient.

The publication was created to help the caregivers understand what wandering is and to guide them in the development of an action plan should their loved one ever wander. Contained within the guide is a personal data section that allows a person’s identity to be recorded: photo, physical description, fingerprints, DNA, medical information, medications and professional caregiver’s names and phone numbers. The guide’s layout is smartphone friendly so that photographs of key pages can be taken and added to the phone’s photo library, thus providing immediate access to the patient’s ID profile. This information is critical for first responders to have immediately!

The program behind A Caregiver’s Guide to Wandering includes a speaker’s guide to prepare a non-dementia professional to quickly understand the issues and idiosyncrasies around wandering as it relates to dementia and a PowerPoint presentation that is designed for use with individuals or at community meetings so that a community can begin its education and refine its response to residents with dementia who may wander.

Our philosophy has always been that education is vitally important to helping people make informed decisions about their health, safety and security.

4. How does it work?

The information provided offers a PLAN PREPARE SHARE methodology that instructs them as to what the wandering problem is, how to help their loved one succeed in the home environment and prepares the caregiver in the event that the dementia patient wanders away from home and is lost. The wandering guide, once completed, directs the caregiver as to what steps to follow, who to contact and provides a complete ID profile of the missing person, including a recent photo.

5. Who is your target market?

Our goal is to get a copy of the “Caregivers Guide to Wandering” into the hands of every household where there is a concern about a patient with dementia. This publication WILL help to reduce wandering events and when they do occur lead the family and the first responders to a successful and happy outcome.