RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News is taking the lead for Alzheimer’s awareness.
Confusion is one of the earliest signs of dementia, and eventually, men and women who have the disease may not remember who they are or where they live.
It can lead to wandering, and stress for loved ones.
8News anchor Amy Lacey has the story.
“By him being here, I can keep an eye on things much more closely than if he were in assisted living,” Dana Reynolds said about her father who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
It’s lunch time at Dana Reynold’s house, and she’s making a sandwich for her father, Henry Cernicek, who just moved in on August 26.
Cernicek was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago, and when his wife — Reynold’s mother — passed away, she knew it was time to take on the crucial role of caregiver.
Reynolds described her rationale to 8News.
“By him being here, I can keep an eye on things much more closely than if he were in assisted living,” Reynolds said.
The Alzheimer’s Association says that six in ten people with dementia will wander, and up to half who aren’t found within 24 hours will suffer serious injury or death.
Reynolds took precautions because she was aware of the risks.
“I have an alarm system, so, at night time, I turn the alarm on. I have a monitor so I can see if he gets up during the night,” she said.
She also installed a wireless doorbell her dad can ring at night, signed him up for the medic alert and safe return emergency response services, and bought him a GPS bracelet.
A group called Home Instead also just launched an online missing senior network to aid families who watch helplessly as symptoms progress.
Reynolds says her father hasn’t wandered yet, but she has peace of mind since safeguards are in place.
“I have an alarm system, so, at night time, I turn the alarm on. I have a monitor so I can see if he gets up during the night,” Reynolds said.
She encourages other potential caregivers to also plan ahead so after the move they can focus on remembering good times and making new ones before the disease makes it harder and harder to break through.
You can support families like the Reynolds’ with the 8News’ Taking the Lead Team at this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, November 5.
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Markel Plaza following a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m.
For more information, visit here.