How To Find Alzheimer’s Association Programs

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Alzheimer's association workersThe Alzheimer’s Association is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated to conquering Alzheimer’s disease through research and support for affected families. The Association is the top private funder of research into the causes, treatments, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The Association also provides education and support for people diagnosed with the condition, their families, and their caregivers.

Safe Return, an Alzheimer’s Association program, is a national program of the Alzheimer’s Association that assists in the identification and safe, timely return of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias who wander off, sometimes far from home, and become lost.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program is the only nationwide program of its kind. Since the program began in 1993, nearly 100,000 individuals have registered in Safe Return. The program has facilitated the recovery of more than 7,500 individuals to their families and caregivers with an over 99% success rate in safely returning those registered in the program. This is essential because those with Alzheimer’s frequently become lost, disoriented, and wander.

What is wandering?

People with Alzheimer’s disease are prone to wander. They can become lost (even in familiar settings), leave a safe environment, or intrude in inappropriate places. Wandering can happen anytime or anyplace and can be life-threatening for the individual.

How does Safe Return Work?

The Safe Return Program helps unite families by working through Alzheimer’s Association chapters across the country and with trained community members like law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians, and transit operators.

If the registrant wanders and is found, the person who finds him/her can call the Safe Return toll-free number located on the wanderer’s identification wallet card, jewelry, or clothing label. The Safe Return telephone operator immediately alerts the family members or caregiver listed in the database, so they can be reunited with their loved one.

If a person is reported missing by a family member or caregiver, Safe Return can fax local law enforcement agencies the missing person’s information and photograph. Local Alzheimer’s Association chapters provide family support and assistance while police conduct the search and rescue.


To register, a person with dementia or their caregiver fills out a simple form, supplies a photograph, and chooses the type of identification product that the registrant will wear and/or carry. The registration fee is $40, and caregiver jewelry is $5. Check with your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter to find out if scholarships are available in your area to cover the cost of registration.

The Alzheimer’s Association Helpline stands by you with information and emotional support while you stand by your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. There is no need for you to cope alone. Call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline, and you will find that someone is there to stand by you. Whether you need research updates, community services, or just a listening ear at a difficult time, the expert individuals who answer the helpline will do whatever they can to counsel and advise you.

What type of assistance can the Helpline provide?

Answers to your questions about:
-The warning signs of Alzheimer’s
-How to get a diagnosis
-Alzheimer’s disease
-Related dementias
-Coping strategies
-Managing wandering and the activities of daily living for the patient
-End to stage issues

Connection with Alzheimer’s Association support programs, such as:
-Support Groups
-Care coordination
-Respite Care Assistance
-Safe Return Program
-Educational programs
-Advocacy and public policy

Information and recommendations for:
-Adult day services
-Assisted living facilities
-Diagnostic centers
-In-home care
-Legal resources
-Nursing facilities
-Local research projects

All information contained in this article was taken from the Alzheimer’s Association website, located at

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