Gets lost, even on familiar routes
When it happens
Why it happens
Memory loss combines with disorientation caused by "motion blindness," the inability to perceive motion well and navigate the environment.
What you can do
Know that getting lost can happen at any time, even on a walk or drive the person has made hundreds of times.
Know, too, that if it happens once, it's likely to happen again; institute the buddy system, even for routine errands and outings.
Be sure the person is carrying or wearing identification. Consider ID bracelets, tags, or other jewelry.
Realize that getting lost on the road is a big red flag that it's no longer safe to drive.
Disorientation combines with other changes in skills key to safe driving: staying in the lane, judging distances and speed, gauging how far away cars are, making quick decisions, maintaining quick reaction time, and more.
Alert neighbors to the person's dementia status so you have more friendly helpers able to guide the person back home.