timberland online shop How to limit Alzheimer’s wandering
He’d done the trip many times over the years, and he looked forward to the drive.
Several hours later he found himself in open farmland in unfamiliar territory. He pulled over, brought out a book of maps, and realized he’d driven two hours past the turnoff to his home in Los Osos, California.
“It was terrifying,” he remembers now. “I thought, I didn’t mean to come here. How did this happen? I just zoned out.”
But he wasn’t just zoning out. A visit to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, showed Ferrero was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia.
“That car ride was a real wake up call,” he says.
After his trip to Mayo, Ferrero’s wife insisted he get a professional driving evaluation to make sure he was safe to drive. His driving was fine the only problem was that he might wander off again down the road.
It has been five years since that fateful car trip. The disease forced Ferrero, an Air Force veteran, to retire from his position as president and CEO of the Private Industry Council of San Luis Obispo County. Now 64, he doesn’t want to sit home all the time, and still drives and walks around.
To decrease the chance he’ll wander again, Ferrero writes down exactly where he’s going so he can refer to it later, and he wears an ID bracelet with a 24 hour emergency response number. He hasn’t had another wandering incident, but knows he might at some point as his disease progresses.