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Sep 10, 2017

Could My Elderly Parent Become Another Missing Person in Australia?

When we become older, our bodies age and our mental capacities gradually dim as we pass our ‘use by date’ of three score years and ten. Increasing life expectancy and lower fertility rates are shifting Australia’s population demographics. Seniors are increasingly likely to join Australia’s missing persons because there are proportionally more. The Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed this trend following the 2011 Census

Memory Loss and Dementia Are on the Increase

The parent body for Alzheimer’s Australia confirms that memory loss and dementia are more likely to increase with age. Statistics at that link suggest that in Australia:

  • Almost one in ten people aged over 65 are somewhere on the dementia path

 

  • Three in ten people over 85 suffer from the debilitating degenerative disease

 

  • Dementia is the second leading cause of death and there is no known cure

Females have lived longer on average than males for some time. This simple statistic means your elderly mom is more likely to suffer memory loss and mental deterioration than your dad, especially after she loses her life partner. She could become a missing person in Australia. It is, unfortunately a fact of life.

 

Older persons as a proportion of the total population: Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Inevitable Need for Increasing Care

We do require increasing care and support as we age. Children and their parents should plan for this well ahead of time. Are mum and dad going to move in with us when they are no longer independent? Is it time to start planning a granny flat in the garden? How will we cope when they are in increasing need of care?

Homes with smaller footprints and the move to nuclear families supports Retirement Living’s assertion more Australians than ever are living in retirement homes. Being part of a caring community as opposed to living alone, provides a better assurance that your aged parents should be less likely to appear on an Australia missing persons list.

Warning Signs of Another Senior Missing Person in Australia

There are warning signs that a person with dementia may wander off. They may come back later from a walk than usual, want to go back to work, start asking about the whereabouts of past friends and family, or pace about and make restless movements.  If you notice any of these trends, you need to act. We recommend you prepare an information pack about them in advance, if you have any reason to be concerned.

What to Do If the Unthinkable Happens

You must move fast, even if this happened previously and your elderly parent came back on their own. Have someone hand a copy of your information pack to your nearest police station while you drive around the neighbourhood showing people photos. If this does produce results, you are welcome to contact Missing Persons in Australia for advice.

Leave a message at this link http://www.missingpersonsinaustralia.com.au/contact-us or call 1300 553 788