The work of the Peggy Mangan Foundation
As the foundation is very much in it’s infancy, our short term goal is to raise awareness and build contacts with the many support groups that are in existence. Our frustrations, and that of many people who have had a missing person scenario, is that there is a distinct lack of awareness around the protocol and supports that are available. This has to change and we will work to influence and improve this.
Mobile Outreach Unit - Dementia Bus
The first project that the Peggy Mangan Foundation have committed to funding is the provision of a 'mobile outreach unit’ - or dementia bus. This will provide an information and support service to people with dementia and their families in their local communities. The unit will also give staff and volunteers an opportunity to increase awareness about dementia and promote brain health. The mobile outreach unit will go to shopping centres, car parks, farmers markets, community halls and bring a service into the heart of Irish communities. We want to use this service to ensure that no-one faces dementia alone.
One area that the Peggy Mangan Foundation want to do more research into is around the availability and success of tracking devices for elderly or vulnerable persons Patients who have dementia suffer extreme memory deficiencies, which ultimately results in them wandering and becoming lost. It takes a good deal of time and money to locate the dementia patient, not to mention the worry and stress this puts on their relatives. The risk of the dementia patient becoming physically injured is increased when they are missing for more than 24 hours, which occurs in nearly half of the patients. There are also cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients because they are unable to take care of themselves when they start to wander off . In the end, as it means more safety, security, and lives saved for patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
We know that if we had one that we would have significantly increased our chances of finding Peggy and Casper.
Here are some early signs of wandering in a dementia patient:
- Comes back from a regular walk or drive later than usual
- Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work
- Tries or wants to "go home," even when at home
- Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements
- Has a hard time locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom or living room
- Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets done (such as moves around pots or dirt without actually planting anything)
If you live or care for a person with dementia, here are a few tips to help reduce the risk of wandering:
- Move around and exercise to reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness
- Ensure all basic needs are met (toileting, nutrition, thirst)
- Carry out daily activities, such as folding laundry or preparing dinner, to provide daily structure
- Reassure the individual if he or she feels lost, abandoned, or disoriented
- Avoid busy places that are confusing and can cause disorientation, such as shopping malls
- Place deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors
- Control access to car keys (as an individual with dementia may not just wander on foot)
- Do not leave someone with dementia unsupervised in new surroundings
Donation Search Dog to the Dublin Civil Defence
Following the generosity of a very kind person, the Peggy Mangan Foundation have been able to donate a search and rescue dog called Max to the Dublin Civil Defence. Max will undergo a number of weeks of intensive Search and Rescue training before being handed over to a new handler from the Civil Defence where his training will continue. The total value of this package is €10k and will hopefully be an advantage to the Dublin Civil Defence in searches for missing persons in the future. We also got to visit the Dublin Civil Defence and were blown away by the facilities and professionalism of the team. They are highly trained and very well equipped and it is our hope that they are called out sooner in the future.
As we grow as a foundation, we will have more information on what we feel is a solution that could have helped us. If you have a tracking device that has worked for you or that you are aware of, please mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Search and Rescue Dogs can play a vital role in finding missing persons quickly.
Search and Rescue Dogs can play a vital role in finding missing persons quickly. The role of search dogs can not be overestimated. They save time and ultimately can help save lives. There are many types of dogs, that with specialist training, can perform amazing tasks in search and rescue operations.
See here for further information