This project was an awarded grant for the Department of Justice. The purpose of this project is to prevent wandering among tribal elders living with Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia (ADRD), develop a robust wandering search and rescue support strategy in the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) reservation, and create a replication guide to benefit tribes nationwide. The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA²) and Pyramid Lake Numaga Senior Center, led by Carla Eben, will work in partnership to develop person-centered and culturally appropriate wandering prevention activities and search and rescue support strategies. The project will serve tribal elders, especially those living with ADRD, their family caregivers, tribal police and first responders, and members of the PLPT.
IA² was invited to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP) last month in Dallas, Texas. IA² sent our Tribal Public Health and Aging Associate, Breana Dorame, to represent the project team and meet the other grantees. There was great discussion in a roundtable setting where the grantees were able to share their projects and also learn from each other. IA²’s project with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is unique and seems to be the only grantees exclusively working with tribal elders on a reservation.
“I am very excited that we are paving the way for this type of ADRD wandering work in Indian Country. We are looking forward to having this project to be replicated in other tribal communities,” says Breana. Dave Baldridge, Executive Director of IA² says, “We’ll see more senior citizen wanderers in cities, parks, suburbs, and wilderness. Search and rescue teams do their best to mitigate the often-devastating effects of wandering, but they can’t prevent the incidents. Therefore, outreach and education about dementia wandering in elders is important for all communities.”