End of day summaries

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

LA County Board of Supervisors to study tracking devices

I went to the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting today at the invitation of Janice Hahn.  She co-sponsored the following motion:

Recommendation as submitted by Supervisors Hahn and Barger: Establish the Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Task Force, led by the Director of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, in coordination with the Chief Executive Officer, the Sheriff, the Director of Public Social Services, as well as the Office of Public Guardian, the Commission on Disabilities, the Los Angeles County Commission on Local Governmental Services, the Commission on Aging, the Countywide Criminal Justice Services Coordination Committee, and the Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles, to explore the feasibility of establishing a voluntary Countywide program that can keep track of adults and children and expedite the recovery of  those individuals who wander away from their families and caregivers, and explore the best available devices to be implemented, provide guidance and a timeline for comprehensive training, estimate the cost of such a program, and report back to the Board within 60 days with their findings. (17-1008)

I was invited to speak to this topic and said this:

My name is Kirk Moody and I am here to endorse Supervisor Hahn's motion to study the use of tracking devices for people who may wander from their caregivers, and the associated training necessary for emergency personnel.

Unfortunately, I have personal experience with the need for such devices.  My wife, Nancy Paulikas, suffers from severe early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  Nancy wandered from a family outing last October 15th and we have yet to find any trace of her. Despite enormous efforts by literally hundreds of volunteers and the police, as well as broad media coverage, we have ye to find single credible clue as to Nancy's whereabouts.

At the time she wandered, Nancy was wearing a Medi-Alert bracelet - the sister bracelet to this one that I am wearing now. These are one of the most common current tools to help find wanderers.  Unfortunately, they contain no active tracking mechanism.  They simply have instructions for contacting the caregiver if someone should see the person and read the bracelet.  It is not uncommon for the patient to remove the bracelets.

My frustration in finding my wife is a situation that promises to repeat with increasing frequency as the overall population ages and Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, and conditions such as autism become more prevalent.

Please consider Supervisor Hahn's motion as a critical step in helping solve this problem.
The motion passed and they are going to get a report back in 60 days.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

What we are up to right now

We have several activities going on right now, and I'll try to summarize them here.

  1. Adopt a Hospital - we have a list of the largest hospitals in the area and the ones closest to LACMA.  Instead of calling them often (with emphasis on the ER), we are asking "adopters" to work with a single hospital from that list, and hopefully establish a connection with someone who has the breadth to be a point of contact going forward.  This allows us to just call the hospital once every other week or so to make sure they are aware that Nancy is still missing and that we are still looking for her.
  2. Daily calls.  At the moment, we do not have a list of additional places to call.  This will probably change in the next week or so based on some large database work going on.
  3. Facility visits.  Despite all of the calling we have done, it is somewhat disappointing to actually visit facilities that we have called in the past and they claim they have not seen the flyer or heard about Nancy.  So, we have people visiting care facilities to drop off flyers and get them to post them where the nurses congregate (nurses all work at more than one place). 
  4. Working from the "top down".  We are still working with the Medi-Cal office to discover instances of facilities applying for Medi-Cal reimbursement for people that fit Nancy's demographic but do not have a valid SSN.  In addition, we are looking into how we can get someone to review all of the forms that are filled out when a hospital holds someone for evaluation (these are called 5150s ... the Public Guardians office tells us they have reviewed all of the 5150s they have received with no matches, but there are other batches of 5150s, and we are trying to get someone to look at those).
As always, if you would like to participate in any of these activities, please send an email to NancyIsMissing@Gmail.com and let us know your interest and availability.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Very Nice Letter From Sarah Dalhover of Vista Pacifica Center

As many of you have experienced when calling or visiting a facility in search of Nancy, there are people who just don't seem to want to be bothered.  You also get kind people who are willing and able to help.  And then you get superstars, like Sarah Dalhover from the Vista Pacifica Center in Riverside.

Ms. Dalhover sent me the following letter which just made my day.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Nice Article in MBDigs

Jeanne Fratello has a nice write up in DIGMB ...