• 57°

LPD distributes Special Needs Forms

Special Needs Forms were distributed to doctors' offices in the area. Family members can register for the program at the Luverne Police Department. (Photo by Shayla Terry)

Special Needs Forms were distributed to doctors’ offices in the area. Family members can register for the program at the Luverne Police Department. (Photo by Shayla Terry)

While missing Alzheimer’s and dementia patients might not be as prevalent around town, Luverne Chief of Police Paul Allen can recall a few times where he and his officers were called to locate a missing person with these illnesses.

With this thought in mind, Allen and his department distributed special needs identification forms to the doctor’s offices in the area.

“We give these to those that need special assistance, that way if we get a call out, we can preempt the rescue,” Allen said.

“Beforehand, they will know if these people are diabetic, a stroke victim, have high blood pressure and stuff of that nature. It’s to help the medical field before they get there.”

In the US, about 74.6 million people have some type of physical disability. A physical disability is defined as when a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina is limited.

For patients with special needs, dementia and Alzheimer’s, this form allows first responders to have accurate information regarding calls before they are dispatched to the area. If additional supplies or help is needed, officials are able to prepare ahead of time to ensure all runs smoothly.

This program is free of charge, and only requires citizens to register their family member with Luverne Police Department. Forms can be found in any doctor’s office in town or at the Luverne Police Department.

Allen believes the program will especially prove beneficial in the case of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients who may wander off from home and forget where they are and who they are.

“In situations like that, the community will be aware” Allen said.

“And at such time as we go easing through and get people to start calling their neighbors that someone is missing, it’s preempted the situation.”

If interested in registering a family member with this program, please visit the Luverne Police Department or call for more information at (334) 335-3334.