SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A man with late-stage dementia is back with his family after 48 hours of intense searching in Sacramento County.
John Torgerson, 71, went missing Wednesday afternoon in the 2200 block of Garden Highway near Discovery Park. His sister, Sara Rowlett, had just about given up hope until she got a call from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office saying he’d been found healthy and safe.READ MORE: Gov. Gavin Newsom Says California’s COVID-19 Mask Mandate To End After June 15
“I cried and cried and cried and then I ran outside and told my husband, and we immediately started calling family,” Rowlett told CBS13. “I couldn’t believe it. I broke into tears. I am beyond happy.”
Torgerson has a history of wandering off because of Alzheimer’s. At times he doesn’t remember his own family members or even where he lives.
Pat Beal, Executive Director of the Senior Center of Elk Grove, knows that stress after having members wander away.
“My emotion was, we have to solve this problem right now. We have someone that’s in danger,” said Beal.READ MORE: Stockton Police Chief Praises Hero Neighbor Who Saved Little Boy During Deadly Shooting
The Senior Center has an Alzheimer’s support group offering resources and advice on keeping family members safe.
“The police department has Project Lifesaver where they can actually band someone so that can actually be tracked. They can then ping the device,” said Beal.
The Alzheimer’s Association also recommends sensor mats at the door that sound an alarm, warning bells above the door to signal when it’s opened and safety covers on doorknobs.
The Torgerson family has a close eye on their loved one. They’ll look into a monitoring bracelet, but are concerned he’ll just take it off. For now, they’re just happy they’re back together again.MORE NEWS: Kids 12-15 In California Can Sign Up For COVID-19 Vaccination Starting Thursday Morning
“I’ve never been so happy in all of my years to see my brother John,” said Rowlett.