BEVERLY HILLS—On Tuesday, February 28, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted to initiate a task force in Beverly Hills. This task force will concentrate on helping the community find missing loved ones who are living with mental impairments.
According to a California data report, in 2008 Los Angeles County had 155,575 residents that were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. That number has risen to 177,000 residents today. This California data report expects an increase By the year 2030, over 289,280 residents are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. This report only includes those that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Along with Alzheimer’s, the task force that will be implemented to help find loves ones with dementia and autism.
Residents have spoken out about their concern for their loved ones including the family of Nancy Paulikas. Nancy is a Manhattan Beach resident who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She wandered away from her husband, Kirk Moody and has been missing since October 15, 2016. Nancy was last seen at Wilshire and Fairfax. Her family spoke out with their concern that she maybe in a residential center as a Jane Doe.
“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,” said Kirk Moody.
“I continue to worry about the whereabouts and safety of Nancy Paulikas and now of Sun Ja Choi,” said Supervisor Hahn. “Families across LA County struggle to keep their loved ones with dementia and autism safe. We need proactive Countywide approach to helping these families to locate and recover their loved ones should they wander.”
The task force to be implemented will consist of multiple agencies including sheriff deputies, members of the Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles, and many more. One possibility for the task force is to issue out wristbands that can signal to a transmitter the whereabouts of the individual who may be missing. One model the task force may consider is the successful program established in Glendale. Glendale uses Project Lifesaver International, a system of wristband distributed to interested families through the Glendale Police Department.
“Out of our 19 clients on the program we have had 7 go missing while wearing this device,” said Glendale Sergeant Traci Fox who testified at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “In all of these incidents the clients were located because of this device. The time it took to locate these clients was significantly reduced in comparison to incidents where the individual was not on the program. In some cases the clients were located within minutes of being reported missing. Worthy of specific notation is our success in locating a client who was riding a city bus. This location would have never occurred using traditional searching techniques without any tracking equipment.”
The task force will report back to Board within 60 days with their findings including the best available devices to be implemented, guidance and a timeline for comprehensive training, and the estimated cost of such a program.
To obtain additional information on the whereabouts of Nancy Paulikas visit http://nancyismissing.blogspot.com/
Written By Callie West and Donald Roberts