Helping Protect Ontario's Most Vulnerable Seniors
New Ontario Government Supports Launch of New Wandering Prevention Program
The new Ontario government is helping keep seniors and people with dementia safe by ensuring their families, caregivers and communities are prepared to act in case they go missing.
With support from the province, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario is launching the new Finding Your Way Wandering Prevention Program. The first of its kind in Canada, the program will raise awareness of risks for people with dementia and enhance the community response in case they go missing.
As part of the program, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario will distribute kits that include tips and resources to help families and caregivers put plans in place to prevent wandering incidents and act quickly in cases of missing seniors. The province is also providing support for the Ontario Police College to develop and deliver police training that incorporates wandering prevention into the police curriculum.
The wandering prevention program is a part of Ontario's Action Plan for Seniors and supports the new Ontario government's efforts to ensure a safe and fair society for all.
- Kits will be offered in English and French, as well as in Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi. In 2014, materials will also be offered in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
- Kits will include an identification form with space for a recent photo and physical description that can be shared with police in an emergency, at-home safety steps to help prevent wandering incidents, and tips on what to do when a person with dementia goes missing and when reuniting after a wandering incident.
- Three out of five people with dementia go missing at some point, often without warning. Fifty per cent of seniors missing for 24 hours risk serious injury or death from exposure to the elements, hypothermia and drowning.
- 75 per cent of seniors who go missing are found within 2.4 kilometers from where they disappeared.
- Currently, 200,000 Ontarians have dementia, an increase of 16 per cent over the past four years. By 2020, close to 250,000 seniors in Ontario will be living with some form of dementia.
“Finding Your Way is an important part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors. Our government is committed to creating supportive and friendly communities, to help keep our seniors protected and safe. We recognize that to support our seniors, we need to support their families and caregivers and give them the information they need to be prepared and respond quickly when a family member goes missing”
“Our goal is to ensure the safety of all the people of Ontario. By providing the training that helps police officers respond to cases of seniors who have wandered, we are working to protect our vulnerable seniors and keep them safe”
“The number of people with dementia and the risks associated with missing incidents is rising. We commend the Ontario government for recognizing the need for Finding Your Way. Dementia does not discriminate, which is why the Alzheimer Society of Ontario is launching this campaign in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi. Our multilingual public service media and online announcements offer valuable tips to keep people with dementia safe”