My dad took off--his memory loss prevents his return

bousozoku

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Original poster
Jun 25, 2002
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Gone but not forgotten.
This will sound strange. My parents just moved back to Indiana 3 weeks ago.

This afternoon, my mum went out to get the mail and the newspaper and the van was gone. My dad has some weird memory loss. He seems to remember what he wants to remember but not what he needs to remember.

My mum asked if I knew the licence plate number but I have no idea. I'm not even sure how to get it after hours although I'd think the police should be able to get it.

He's not supposed to have money but he has "lost" a couple of thousand dollars in the past, so he may have stashed it in his room and forgotten where he put it.

We're wondering whether he could be on the way back to Floriduh to see me or whether he's at the old house in that same town. Hopefully, it's the latter.

Anyone have any thoughts?
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
bousozoku said:
This will sound strange. My parents just moved back to Indiana 3 weeks ago.

This afternoon, my mum went out to get the mail and the newspaper and the van was gone. My dad has some weird memory loss. He seems to remember what he wants to remember but not what he needs to remember.

My mum asked if I knew the licence plate number but I have no idea. I'm not even sure how to get it after hours although I'd think the police should be able to get it.

He's not supposed to have money but he has "lost" a couple of thousand dollars in the past, so he may have stashed it in his room and forgotten where he put it.

We're wondering whether he could be on the way back to Floriduh to see me or whether he's at the old house in that same town. Hopefully, it's the latter.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Call the police. Give them a description of the vehicle and an explanation of the driver's condition.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
Washington D.C
iGary said:
Call the police. Give them a description of the vehicle and an explanation of the driver's condition.
thats the best idea and tell ur local news about it any air time could help
post poster never you and your mom with pics of the car and ur dad. Also tell as many people as you can to look out for him. You could email people the pics so they know what he looks like. Best wishes.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
Yeah, call the pOlice and tell them what's going on. We had a case around here a couple years ago where an older guy got in his car and couldn't remember where to get off. He ran out of gas, but because the cops didn't know the cop who found him just gave him some gas and sent him on his way. It went like that for a day or so before he was reported.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
bousozoku said:
My mum asked if I knew the licence plate number but I have no idea. I'm not even sure how to get it after hours although I'd think the police should be able to get it.
Any parking tickets around you have paid? Insurance renewal forms? Your insurance broker should be able to give you the license number too.
 

bousozoku

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Original poster
Jun 25, 2002
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Gone but not forgotten.
Thanks!

The police know what kind of minivan it is as well as the colour. Thankfully, my mum has plenty of relatives there and one was checking gas stations since there was only 1/4 tank full. He could probably still drive 100 miles on that though.

Funny thing, we stayed in two motels and didn't give the licence plate number to them. They just changed insurance companies and they didn't require it. The prior one just wanted the VIN.

There are lots of logistical problems like the fact that they're close to an interstate highway and several major U.S. highways.

Unfortunately, medical care is not an option if the doctors don't understand. He's been seen by several neurologists as well as general practioners and he's been given a couple of meds that barely helped. Those were doctors in the Orlando area. The doctors in the town where they are now said that he didn't have a problem.

I can't do a whole lot because I'm 1000 miles away although I have a year old photo of him I'll find.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,521
2,557
Sod off
If the police have the plates the car should be traceable pretty quick.

I hope he's OK - if only his memories are affected then hopefully he'll be able to stay out of trouble until he is found.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,056
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Yahooville S.C.
bousozoku said:
Thanks!

The police know what kind of minivan it is as well as the colour. Thankfully, my mum has plenty of relatives there and one was checking gas stations since there was only 1/4 tank full. He could probably still drive 100 miles on that though.

Funny thing, we stayed in two motels and didn't give the licence plate number to them. They just changed insurance companies and they didn't require it. The prior one just wanted the VIN.

There are lots of logistical problems like the fact that they're close to an interstate highway and several major U.S. highways.

Unfortunately, medical care is not an option if the doctors don't understand. He's been seen by several neurologists as well as general practioners and he's been given a couple of meds that barely helped. Those were doctors in the Orlando area. The doctors in the town where they are now said that he didn't have a problem.

I can't do a whole lot because I'm 1000 miles away although I have a year old photo of him I'll find.
Did they check for alzheimer? Mini stroke? Your brain doesnt just switch off stuff for nothing. How old is your father if you dont mind?
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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Gone but not forgotten.
Dont Hurt Me said:
Did they check for alzheimer? Mini stroke? Your brain doesnt just switch off stuff for nothing. How old is your father if you dont mind?
They specifically were checking for Alzheimer's Disease.

My dad's 76 but this isn't anything recent except that he seems to have decided to do less about everything and it seems to have caused his condition to worsen. You know the axiom about taking a horse to water. We tried to get him to do word puzzles of any kind--anything to exercise his mind but he didn't want to do that.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
36,040
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What a strange and scary problem you have. Being in a new place must have really confused your dad. I hope he can be "rescued" and get back home soon, and that he isn't in any personal danger.

Time to put LoJack in the van.
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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They're in Richmond, which is east central, right on I-70, U.S. 40, U.S. 35, U.S. 27, as well as state roads 227 and 121. I can't tell you where in Indiana he is, though, of course. :eek:

They're back in the same town where they lived for so long, prior to moving to Floriduh. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to mean anything anymore. It's unbelievable!
 

Maedus

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2004
137
0
Indiana
What does the vehicle he took look like and what does your dad look like? It may be a long shot, but somebody here on MacRumors might notice him on the road as they commute to work and long shots have paid off before. Can't hurt.

And best wishes to your dad returning home safely. I can't wait to read a happy conclusion to this thread.
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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1998 Green Plymouth Voyager minivan with Floriduh plates, Navy sticker and rear plate bezel, front plate is a Disney plate, and the radio antenna has a topper that looks like a yellow and orange sun.

He's 76, gray, usually with glasses, blue eyes, 5'9" or thereabouts, a bit heavy.
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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Some police officer just called. I was a bit too far asleep to get the fone clearly at my ear but he was found in Warren County, Ohio, which is between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio or around 75 miles away.

I couldn't get the full story since I was apparently talking to a dispatcher, not the officer at the scene but they called an ambulance and were going to transport him to a hospital for an evaluation of some sort.

He had two things with him: my mobile phone number and a list of the meds he takes. Thank goodness for that, but who knows what he was thinking.

My mum has 9 brothers and sisters and one of the sisters is fairly close to there, so she will hopefully be available to help meet him at the hospital.

Now, we have to see about getting a seat belt installed on his new chair at home so he can't just leave without someone knowing about it. No more car keys for him. Mum and I talked about it and all the car keys will be hidden whenever they're not in use.

Thanks to everyone for your concern and good thoughts!
 

bousozoku

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He's no worse than he was.

The ambulance driver called and we talked briefly, then, he put my dad on the phone. He apparently thought that I was up there somewhere. Maybe, he was going to see my new house, that I don't have yet. We had gone looking east of Dayton for houses one day.

Who knows what's going through his mind.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Very glad that you've found him safe and in no worse condition.

I suspect hiding the keys will be a good idea. You might also want to consider one of those 'chimes' that triggers when the main front/back door is opened. A friend got one when her toddlers learned how to open the front door so that she gets some warning if they attempt to escape to the outside world! It can be turned off when they go to bed so that it doesn't wake them if visitors come or go.
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
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Yes, good to know he was found. Loosing ones memory like that must be terrible - though, as it sounds, it's still wuite far from alzheimers. How aware is he of his own situation?

From what I know about people suffering alzheimers, I'd say one of the worst things for them is the frustrating uncertainty. They can feel something's wrong, they're not stupid, but it's like they can't exactly coin what it is... I can't help thinking of the movie "Memento", where he's lost his short term memory, but has a system of notes, polaroids and tatoos (for most important stuff) that helps him cope.

Not that I'm suggesting your dad should get a tattoo ;)

A
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
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Sod off
Glad to hear it turned out OK.

This must be a strain on your Mom, hopefully you'll eventually be able to find out what is affecting his memory and treat it.

The brain is so poorly understood by science, it's amazing how little we know about how the mind works.
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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Gone but not forgotten.
Thanks!

The security system on the house chimes when important doors or windows are opened, so mum knows the many, many times he enters and leaves the house. She just doesn't know the reason he does it.

Tattoos? The man has 3 tattoos he got while in the Navy. I think those are enough.

Remember that many people tend to revert to a child-like state toward their end of life? He's ahead of his time. He does something, knows it's wrong, and tries to hide the fact. "I didn't do that" or "Who did that?" come out of his mouth quite often. One of my aunts notes that I'm quite harsh with him (she was a perfect role model) at times and I am. I treat him as if he's a 5 year old.

When I talked to him while he was in the ambulance, he kept asking if I was going to be there to pick him up and I kept reminding him that I was quite far away. It was at times as if he didn't understand the concept of distance any more.