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Woman goes missing from Thatcham care home for second time

Walnut Close promises to review care package of elderly resident with severe dementia

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Contact:

01635 886632

Elderly

A THATCHAM care home says it is looking at ways it can better support an elderly resident with severe dementia who went missing for a second time in the space of three months this week, ending up in Surrey.

On Monday evening a passer-by saw the resident, who is in her 90s, leaving the West Berkshire Council-run Walnut Close Care Home by lifting a fence panel, and immediately alerted staff.

The police and resident’s family were immediately informed and a search of the area began, but she could not be located.

The woman was found in Surrey later that evening and was returned to the home within two-and-a-half hours of going missing.

In May, the Newbury Weekly News reported that the same resident had gone missing from the home and was found wandering down the busy A4.

Residential unit manager at Walnut Close Carla Kell said: “It is rare that residents go missing from our residential homes, but when it does we always take it very seriously.

“On this occasion, the resident is physically fit and well, but has dementia and easily becomes confused. She wants to continue leading her old life and will look for ways to return to see her favourite people and places. 

“This lady does not have continuous care but we had already started looking at her care package to see how we could better support her.

“This includes looking for ways to reduce the risk of her leaving unaccompanied – such as guided trips outside the home. As a result of this recent incident we will now look to expedite that and make sure the new support package is agreed as soon as possible.”

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