MASON CITY, Iowa - According to the Alzheimer's Association, an estimated 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older live with dementia.
And it can be tricky to find a balance that gives them some independence while ensuring their safety.
Darci Stumo is a CMA at Mason City's IOOF home. Her niece's grandfather has dementia, and recalls a time where he went missing from his Northwood area home, but ended up unharmed in the Owatonna area.
With the chilly weather outside, it's important now more than ever to have a plan to check on those at risk.
"Check on them in the morning and maybe later in the afternoon or evening. A couple times a day. If you needed to, call or go in and check on them. At least call. Most of the time, they'll answer the phone."
In addition, there are resources out there for those who might need them, like caregivers and the Rochester and Mason City Salvation Army's Adult Day Program, and Stumo suggests contacting your church.
"People at church like to help each other out. Reach out to your church or your pastor and see what they can do."