Dogs are known to have special abilities like tracking. In North Naples, training of dogs for tracking and rescuing senior citizens who go missing are supported by various organizations and departments.
According to news, there are many reported missing seniors in Southwest Florida especially those living in senior care homes and ALFs or Assisted Living Facilities. Most of the seniors who wander and lost their way home have mental health problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on a study in 2006 reported to Annals of Long Term Care, 1 out of 5 people who have dementia have high percentage of wandering.
Seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s and wander off will be at high risk of incurring serious injuries and even death. A senior with cognitive impairment and goes missing will have a 25% chance of dying if not found within 24 hours. The probability will rise to 40% if the person goes missing for another 72 hours.
North Naples’ Aristocrat nursing homes employ the help of Michelle Delaney and her dog named Acki in finding seniors that go missing from assisted living centers and nursing homes.
Delaney has been training Acki for 5 years now and Acki’s mother for 6 years. In one training exercise, Acki found a missing person in the wooded preserve within 4 minutes, which will usually take hours if nursing staffs did the rescue.
Delaney’s dogs are certified by various organizations and can provide big help in tracking and finding missing persons especially seniors.