New network helps keep seniors with Alzheimer’s safe


John Ream has lived a normal life in Cambria County.  He’s a proud father and loving husband.

The 79-year-old admits though that he has started to rely on others for help over the years, “It allows me to be free a little bit and I can get out of the house every once in a while,” John says.

In 2004 he noticed his wife, Barbara, was having difficulty remembering things, “It just progressively got worse until about I would say 2007, and then I could really tell that it was taking a toll on her.”

Home Instead Senior Care representative, Endy Reindl, says Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s .  He says that more than half of people with the disease have left their house, on their own, “Half of those moments that have occurred generally could end up in pretty scary situations where it’s almost a life or death situation unfortunately.”

“We put chain locks on the doors so that she can’t get them open,” John explains.

To ease the concerns of people like John, Home Instead Senior Care started a “Missing Senior Network” that allows family members to send out alerts to the community.

“Have you seen grandma?  Have you seen mom?  Have you seen that loved one?  We want to make sure that they are safe. We want to make sure that they’re not in a situation to harm themselves,” Reindl says.

To send an alert on the network, you need an account.  The alerts can be sent out to your personal social network, and local emergency responders.

John says he’s not a technology guy, but he wants his wife to be safe, “I have a cell phone, but not a smart phone, so all I have is a computer to do emails.”

That’s all he needs.

“It can send text messages out to any contacts you may have uploaded and the same thing with emails,” Reindl explains.

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