TYLER, Texas (KETK) East Texas caregivers are finding new ways to continue to provide care to their patients and families.
Recently, the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County started to hold its dayclub online. People can play bingo, exercise, and do arts and crafts on Zoom. It also provides a chance for social interaction since many seniors cannot leave their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Adults with dementia are usually over 65 years old,” Jamie Huff, Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County says. “They have to be safe. They cannot leave the house as much as the rest of us.”
Experts believe the isolation has frustrated many Alzheimer’s patients, causing them to leave their homes announced and disappearing without leaving a trace.
Currently, the Panola County Sheriff’s Office is searching for missing 80-year-old Carthage man with early signs of dementia.
Joe McMillan has been missing since Thursday, May 21 when a Silver Alert was issued for him. He is 5’11” and weighs 280 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red sweater and blue jeans. His truck is a 2004 GMC Sierra with the license plate DMK2975.
The Smith County Alzheimer’s Alliance wants to remind families about a unique bracelet that could help save lives and prevent more people from going missing.
“They can call our office and ask about the Project Lifesaver program. It’s a program that allows local law enforcement to use radio transmission. A person is fitted with a bracelet that has a transmitter inside. They can locate the person quickly, usually within 30 minutes.”Jamie Huff, Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County
To support their efforts, $5,000 will be awarded to a group of East Texas first responders or organization for their service. This will be thanks to a donation from Peters Chevrolet Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat.