Social network app helps finds missing Alzheimer’s patient

PHUKET: A man with Alzheimer’s disease who went missing last Saturday was located on Sunday, within hours of police posting a notice on a popular social network site.

Benjawan Moonket reported her 60-year-old father, Muang Moonket, missing to Thalang Police at about 5pm on Sunday (story here). Officers shared the information via Line, a social networking application, and about three hours later a message popped up, “Found him! Come and pick him up at Chalong Police Station.”

Ms Benjawan told police that her parents had moved to Phuket from Mahasarakam after her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Counter to original reports, Ms Benjawan explained that her mother had not left Mr Muang alone at his house, but instead had taken him to the Cherng Thalay Health Center for a checkup. She forgot his ID card at home and went to get it, leaving him alone at the center. When she returned, Mr Muang had already wandered away.

“We were told that he walked out of the center along the road, then caught a motorbike taxi. He had no money to pay, so eventually the driver just dropped him by the side of the road,” said Sub Lt Somkid Kaewkrai of the Thalang Police.

Ms Benjawan and her mother spent all night searching for Mr Muang. First they heard he had been spotted near Tesco Lotus in Cherng Thalay and looked for him there. Then he was reported to be in Koh Kaew, so they continued searching there. The following day they reported him missing to the police.

Once Mr Muan’s whereabouts were known, police notified Ms Benjawan and went to pick up her father in Chalong, said Lt Somkid.

“I am so thankful to the officers for their help,” Ms Benjawan said, “and so glad that my father is alright.”

— Chutharat Plerin

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