By Dave Roberts
Do you know a wanderer? If you do, please register in the Take Me Home program right away.
Take Me Home is an online information system that is accessible to authorities that encounter a person who, because of Alzheimer’s disease or other disabilities, is unable to communicate where he or she lives. The county Sheriff’s Department hosts the system and makes it available to law enforcement throughout the region.
When enrolling a loved one or friend in Take Me Home, you upload a photograph and provide information that will help authorities in returning the wanderer back to where he or she belongs. Registering is fast and easy and can be completed by visiting: www.sdsheriff.net/tmh.
Sheriff Bill Gore is a great partner in the Alzheimer’s Project, an initiative Supervisor Dianne Jacob and I launched last year. The Take Me Home online registry is one component of the project.
The Sheriff estimates that half of the searches his department performs are for people with Alzheimer’s disease or another disability.
The confidential Take Me Home database is accessible only to law enforcement. During a search and rescue, the information it contains can make all the difference in helping authorities find a lost person’s home and loved ones.
Alzheimer’s disease afflicts nearly 60,000 local residents and that number is expected to reach 100,000 by 2030.
For many Alzheimer’s patients – and their caregivers and loved ones – wandering is just a matter of time.
The local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that six in 10 people with dementia will wander.
Earlier this month, Mary Ball, the association’s president and CEO, told the Board of Supervisors that the registry will provide reliable information that first responders can share quickly.
That information includes up-to-date photographs, details about whether a person can speak and things to know about the wanderer’s behavior.
I am so pleased that the Alzheimer’s Project has enlisted such strong partners. Working together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease and, in the meantime, quickly respond to take wandering people home.
Dave Roberts is Vice Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.