A Sister Recounts a MedicAlert + Safe Return Success Story
Sunday, April 4th — Easter Sunday — began like any
other Sunday. I was at home in Upper Manhattan.
My sister Norma — who has Alzheimer’s Disease
— was safe in her own home, five blocks away from where
I live. Her wonderful home care attendant was preparing
And then, I got the phone call from her aide.
At about 7 o’clock a.m., Norma “scooted down the
stairs” and disappeared out into the street. She wasn’t
carrying any ID. But she was wearing a Safe Return
bracelet that we got from the New York City Chapter of
the Alzheimer’s Association.
For the next 14 hours, her son and I — along with the
police — scoured the neighborhood. We went everywhere
we thought she might go. Although
Norma suffers from very severe shortterm
memory loss, my sister is still
very vigorous. In fact, I’m sure her
years of hiking and living on a kibbutz
contribute to her good physical health.
As the hours slowly went by, we
continued to look for her. And we
waited. It’s a terrible feeling to be so
helpless — and unable to be there for
someone whom you love. I prayed that
no one would take advantage of her.
Relief finally came at about
9:00 p.m. when I got a call from the
Alzheimer’s Association. My sister
had been found all the way up in the
Bronx. She was safe. She had been
taken in by a good Samaritan. And
she was identified because she was
wearing her Safe Return bracelet.
There are so many people to
First, Senator Jeff Klein. Thank
you for funding this wonderful MedicAlert
® + Alzheimer’s Association
Safe Return®. My family also owes a debt of gratitude to the New York City Chapter of the
Alzheimer’s Association. Your Safe Return program really
I am also very, very grateful to the wonderful good
Samaritans who took my sister — a stranger — into the
safety of their home. Thank you to the NYPD and Officer
Soto for finishing up the job and reuniting my sister with
You are all heroes.
In closing, I have a message for any New Yorker who
has a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia: Please
enroll them TODAY in the MedicAlert + Safe Return
program. It could mean the difference between life and