September 18, 2019
Ontario Helping to Keep Seniors Living with Dementia Safe
Making it Easier to Find Loved Ones Faster
Ontario is helping families, caregivers and communities recognize the risks of dementia, be prepared for incidents, and better ensure that seniors can live safely in their communities.
About 125,000 seniors in Ontario living with dementia are at risk of wandering and going missing each year. That is why the province is putting their safety first by providing nearly $600,000 to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario to deliver the Finding Your Way program.
Today, Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care announced this investment at Malton Village Long-Term Care Home with representatives from the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.
"This funding will go a long way in helping to keep seniors safe, especially given an estimated 240,000 seniors in Ontario are living with dementia," said Minister Cho. "This is another example of how our government is putting seniors and their families first by making it easier to find our missing loved ones faster."
Finding Your Way is a multicultural wandering prevention program that provides practical tools and advice for individuals, caregivers and the community to recognize and reduce the risk of someone with dementia wandering and going missing, while supporting a quick, safe return should an incident occur.
This new funding will help to locate missing seniors living with dementia by working with police to promote Finding Your Way program resources in their communities, and by delivering seminars for individuals, caregivers and frontline officers that educate and promote awareness.
"We are very pleased with the support we have received from the Ontario government to grow our Finding Your Way program," said Cathy Barrick, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Ontario. "More missing persons with dementia are going to benefit from our resources to help them return home quickly and safely. We will also be better able to reduce future incidents."
"Today's announcement is another example of how our government is providing the best possible care to our most vulnerable population," said Minister Fullerton. "This funding will help to keep those living with dementia or Alzheimer's in our long-term cares homes safe."
- About sixty per cent of people living with dementia will go missing at some point, often without warning.
- Fifty per cent of people who go missing for 24 hours risk serious injury or death from exposure, hypothermia or drowning.
- Nearly 7,500 people were reported missing in Ontario in 2018.