On the ground

Lost and confused: When people with Alzheimer's go missing

Hisham has been looking for his father, Alzheimer's sufferer El Mekki Terrak, since he went missing five years ago.
Hisham has been looking for his father, Alzheimer's sufferer El Mekki Terrak, since he went missing five years ago. © FRANCE 24

Some 60 percent of those with Alzheimer's disease are expected to wander off at least once. It's a serious and little-known consequence of the condition. Many sufferers will wander off multiple times and some are never found. For families and carers, it means a race against the clock to find their missing loved ones. FRANCE 24 met with some of those affected and others looking to help.

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In 2015, 900,000 people were living with Alzheimer's disease in France and those numbers have grown by 225,000 every year.

According to police, Alzheimer's patients make up some 15 percent of the worrying disappearances in the country.

No specific official search network exists in such cases, leaving families without answers and a long, nerve-racking wait.

FRANCE 24's Sonia Baritello, Julie Dungelhoeff, Marie Schuster and Catherine Clifford have this report. To watch, click on the video player above.

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