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Disoriented and losing their bearings, some Alzheimer’s patients are sometimes unable to reach their home and disappear for years. Their relatives then try as best they can to find their trace. Reportage.
Wandering is one of the unknown consequences of Alzheimer’s disease. Disoriented and losing their bearings, some patients are sometimes unable to reach their homes.
This is the case of Hisham’s father, El Mekki Terrak, who has now passed away for five years. “My father disappeared in the summer of 2015, we were in July. He was at a friend’s house, and he wanted to go home. And that’s when we heard no more”, explains his son to France 24.
15 % of worrying disappearances
Françoise, 64, has also been confronted several times with her husband’s loss of bearings. Wanting to avoid a tragedy, she has now equipped her companion with a geolocatable phone, which allows her to track him.
>> See also: Living with Alzheimer’s: the battle of the mind
According to the police, Alzheimer’s patients represent around 15% of worrying disappearances in France. But to date, there is no mechanism to find the sick, leaving families still unanswered.