When a loved one with dementia goes missing, the community and modern technology can help play a vital part in bringing them home, like it did for Gigi, who is 92 and is living with advanced stage Alzheimer’s disease. One day, she left her home unnoticed and got lost wandering the neighborhood in suburban Franklin Park, NJ. An Amazon driver, Wilmar, was making his delivery rounds in the area. He noticed Gigi and stopped to help.
“I was delivering and I saw this older lady was walking by. She waved at me, which isn't an odd occurrence, people wave at you all the time as an Amazon driver. But she was waving at me like something happened,” Wilmar recalls. Concerned, he went to see if everything was OK. “I noticed how she had this wristband on. And it had her name and her information, as well as who to contact.”
Thanks to a medical alert bracelet Gigi was wearing, Wilmar called her granddaughter, Karen. She was away picking up her mom from a doctor’s appointment, but she gave him their address and he kindly took Gigi home.
“I was able to flip on my Ring camera and watch them come into the driveway,” says Karen. “It gave us that extra layer of comfort and relief that we could see everything. That it wasn't just a phone call, it wasn't just somebody saying, 'Oh, she's in,' it was us actually visually seeing that she was safe, she was where she needed to be.”
Karen appreciates that Wilmar did what he felt was the right thing to do for Gigi.
“I felt that Wilmar went above and beyond. We have that type of a great close-knit community here, that if there's something that a driver's going to spot, that's out of line, he's going to say, 'I'm going to make sure that my customers are taken care of, because this doesn't look right,'” she says adding that it was comforting to her that it was the Amazon driver she knew. ”It made me feel safe that she was taken care of by somebody who's been to my home, somebody that had a connection to the house and the family.“
Wilmar considers himself to be a part of the community he makes deliveries in, and feels that he plays a role in helping keep the neighborhood safe. “I think it's very important that the community looks out for one another. If something happens, see something, say something. You just wanna make sure that your neighbors are safe, everybody's happy. It benefits all as long as we're all contributing.“
Gigi is not the only family member in Karen’s household who has dementia, her father is living with it too. And Karen says they both need 24/7 care, so she is grateful to have any help she can get.
“Technology helps us to keep an eye on our loved ones at all points. I have the Ring Video Doorbell at the front door, in addition to that, I have a Ring Indoor Camera in the main room, so I can check on her and my father,” Karen explains. “As well as in the other side of the house, I also have another Ring Indoor Camera installed where I can watch my family when I'm not immediately around.”
Having Ring cameras around the home helps Karen and the family have an extra set of caring eyes and ears.
“Certainly gives me peace of mind. I am able to make sure that they're where they're supposed to be, that everybody's safe, that all their needs are being cared for,” she says. “I'm also able to communicate with them. With Alzheimer's, they've long forgotten how to use a phone, so I'm able to talk to them through the Ring device.”
Like Karen and Gigi, you can use your Ring devices to stay close to family and check in on their wellbeing. To get started building your own whole-home Ring security system, call the Ring Security Experts for a free consultation at 1-800-800-RING.