Late into elementary school, my Nonno (grandfather) was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. As this disease progressed, as it unfortunately does, my Nonno was no longer able to do the things that were very normal and routine for him. This included things as simple as walking to the bus stop, taking his usual bus to our house, going for a walk around the block, simple things that he was used to. A few times, this led him to getting lost while trying to walk to the grocery store or visiting me across town. I can still remember him standing for hours at our house window with his watch on the ready trying to pin point the new bus schedule. It hadn't changed in years, he just wasn't able to remember when it came anymore and this was his way of trying to.
|Nonno and myself, around age 5|
So while you are out birding, skiing, walking along a trail, walking through the city, driving around to enjoy the Christmas lights, please keep this in the back of your mind. Keep an eye out as you go about your daily routines for anyone that may seem out of ordinary, someone who might look a little lost or confused. Take a moment and see if they need help, you just might save their life.
What are some things to look out for?
One or even a combination of these:
- Someone who may be not appropriately dressed for the weather
- Someone standing very still and looking off for long periods
- Someone always moving but pacing, appearing confused or disoriented.
The following is a fantastic article from the Toronto Star that I continue to post on my facebook page every single year. While the stories within it are heart-wrenching, the "How to Help" tips located at the bottom of the article are a great resource to become familiar on what to look out for and what do do when approaching someone you may think is lost:
We'll be back to regular nature blogs next time, I promise!