Six-hour search for missing woman with dementia ends in Creswick

File image.
File image.

Health groups say people with dementia going missing can be quite common after a woman was rescued in Creswick this week.

Events leading up to the search began when police called SES crews into the town about 12.30am on Sunday.

Emergency workers were told an elderly woman, who has severe dementia, had left the John Curtin aged care home without warning, last seen heading north along Creswick Road.

Crews were split into groups of four to cover designated search areas within an urban area of residential homes based on the layout of blocks and streets.

SES commander Cameron Maher said each group was then assigned a sector to search on the night.

“We were looking for people who had sighted her, but also looking for permission to wander through people’s gardens to look further,” he said.

The search lasted almost seven hours before the woman was eventually found on the northern outskirts of the town near paddocks about 6.40am. “We were very pleased she was found alive,” Mr Maher said.

“Basically, it’s the best outcome for us, we were certainly proud of ourselves, police and the community.”

Dementia Australia has previously said wandering could be common among people with dementia.

“The precautions you take will depend on the personality of the person with dementia, as well as how well they are able to cope, their reasons for wandering and whether they live in a potentially dangerous or in a safe and secure environment,” it said.

For more information about the condition, head to dementia.org.au/national/support-and-services/carers/behaviour-changes/wandering