Skip to comments.Why people with dementia go missing
Posted on 10/29/2020 5:27:07 AM PDT by Red Badger
People with dementia are more likely to go missing in areas where road networks are dense, complicated and disorderedaccording to new research from the University of East Anglia.
Researchers studied hundreds of 'missing person' police reports for people with dementia and compared each case to the surrounding road network.
They hope their findings could help inform future safeguarding guidelines.
Prof Michael Hornberger, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "People with dementia getting lost or going missing is a problem worldwide. Around 70 percent of people with dementia may go missing at least once, with some at risk of going missing multiple times.
"Around 40,000 people with dementia go missing for the first time every year in the UKand this figure is likely to grow with the projected increase in the dementia population.
"Unfortunately, the first event when people with dementia go missing comes completely out of the blue, when doing such routine activities as going for a walk with the dog or getting the newspaper from the local shop.
"When a person with dementia goes missing, it can have life-threatening consequences. But very little is known about what actually causes people with dementia to go missing."
The research team set out to find out whether the design of road networks could be linked to people going missing.
They looked at 210 police records of people with dementia going missing in Norfolk over three yearsand compared each case to the nearby road network.
Ph.D. student Vaisakh Puthusseryppady, also from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "We know that people with dementia have difficulty navigating so we wanted to see whether there was a relationship between people going missing and the outdoor environment they went missing from.
"We were particularly interested in road layouts as they determine significantly our navigation, in particular the complexity of the road network, the complexity of road intersections, and how ordered the overall layout of the road network is.
"We found that the higher the density of road intersections, the more complicated the road intersections are, and the less ordered or less grid-like the overall road network layout, the greater the risk for people with dementia to get lost.
"We think this is because each road intersection represents a point at which a person needs to make a critical navigation decision. The more intersections there are, the more complex these intersections are, and the more disorganised the overall road network isthe bigger the problem for people with dementia.
"This is because these factors can make it more likely for people with dementia to make an error and make a wrong turn, causing them to get lost and go missing.
"We hope that by identifying these environmental risk factors, our findings can potentially help identify or predict areas where people with dementia may be at higher risk of going missing fromand contribute to the development of safeguarding guidelines to prevent them from going missing in future.
"It will also inform future recommendations for dementia-friendly urban design," he added.
'Impact of road network structure on dementia-related missing incidents: a spatial buffer approach' is published in the journal Scientific Reports on October 29, 2020.
Explore further: Dementia leading cause of death in September
or propped up as a puppet dictator...
So, people with dementia are not the problempeople without dementia, are.
People who are easily confused are more likely to be confused when in a confusing environment? Hmmmmmmmmm sounds plausible.
Thinking the same thing. I saw a meme where they have plans drawn up for an Oval basement...
My mother went missing once.
She was found downtown and returned.
Family decided she was walking across town to the house she grew up in.
Always the best place to start the search from.
She has since passed on.
I will be hiding (not missing) in Key West this weekend.
So its easier to get lost in an area with many roads than it is in area with few roads. Thanks Captain Obvious, that Phd really paid off.
My grandfather had dementia and was being taken care of by his middle aged daughter, in her RURAL MS home.
One day he was missing and was found by neighbors down the road walking down the dirt road naked................
People with dementia go missing because state DMVs are allowing them to continue to drive.
Thing is, many aren’t simply lost and confused.
My mom recognized her route.
You GF likely “knew” where he was headed, too.
Yes, he would talk of meeting people ‘yesterday’ that had been dead for 30-40 years....................
Or, this medical research is BS.
The higher the road density, the higher the population density. The more people making up the population, the more will have dementia.
My mom’s doctor said that is why he would not diagnose “full-blown” Alzheimer’s.
Dementia with indications of Alzheimer’s was the diagnosis.
She passed due to other health conditions.
That is what I was thinking.
People with dementia are still in there. They are trying to follow their memories to a happier place and time.
The Lord knows I get that urge from time to time.
The only reason I don’t act on it is that I not yet senile enough to think those places are still there. Give it another decade or so though.
Incredible. Smh It must be the ease with which I can buy my beer and spirits which is to blame for all those alcoholics, too.
By the way, the reason people with dementia walk away from care facilities is because they had a moment of lucidity. Imho
If they get lost, then stop running them for POTUS
I can completely understand this. About 15 years ago I was doing business in the DC area and driving from NAS Patuxent River to Crystal City, and for the first time got into what the locals call the “mixing bowl.” It seems like it’s about 4 or 5 levels of interchanges and even though I was both sober and NOT suffering from dementia, I still don’t know exactly where it is let alone how I got out of it. I would probably still be there if i were impaired at the time.
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