My guy went missing for 20 minutes!

We were at a hotel in the heart of Austin, Texas. My son and I were getting our bags together and my husband walked out of our room just seconds ahead of us. I thought he would be waiting outside our room or on the same floor at the elevators, but he wasn't. This is when it all got scary! Our son and I quickly exited our room, walked to the elevator and no husband in sight. We went to the first floor lobby and still no sight of my husband. We asked the reception desk if they had seen him and they had not seen him. I walked out the hotel front doors and asked the bell boy if he had seen a man with a fishing shirt and khaki shorts, but no one saw him. He had no cell phone or wallet because I started to carry this for him because he has started to misplace stuff. When I realized I had no way of communicating with him and he had no identification, I became a little hysterical. I looked down the busy streets, but no sign of him anywhere around. I felt like my heart had stopped beating! Awful feeling--it felt like I lost a child! The hotel staff and our son started to search every floor, every restroom, stairwells, etc. of the hotel. I waited in the lobby just in case he walked in or by, but nothing! I then heard an ambulance go by the front of the hotel and followed it down the street, but then it disappeared. I thought, no way could my husband have walked that far (with his leg pain) from the hotel so I returned to the lobby. I was freaking out by that time because he was gone and was no where in sight and so many thoughts ran through my head about being a bad wife because I let him get our of my sight! It was horrible! Our son and the hotel staff all met back in the lobby after looking on every floor, hidden spaces, restrooms, etc. and said we didn't find him. They said we should call the police and I said agreed. Seconds later my phone rings and it was City of Austin police department. They asked if I was Nikkie and if I was looking for my husband. They found him two blocks away from the hotel, disoriented. Two guys thought he looked lost and confused so they called the police (that ambulance going by was for him). They explained where he was and my son and I ran the two blocks and found him safe and surrounded by 3 policemen and 2 emergency team people checking his vitals and cooling him down. It was in the 90's that day! My husband looked so relieved to see us and said it really scared him. He said he had no idea how to get back. He said a black Suburban like ours went by and he followed it down the street. When the Suburban disappeared, he found himself LOST. He thought we were in the Suburban but it wasn't ours. I am so glad he remembered my name and telephone number! This experience changes the level of care I need for him. I know that it was a unfamiliar place and that is probably what confused him. I need to buy him an ID bracelet that he wears at all times. It was a very scary experience for all of us.

I share this incident with all of you because I want to know if you all have seen PSP and Dementia-like incidents occur? Since my husband is still independent, I am going to have to crank up the care before something crazy happens.

Thanks for letting me share my experience with all of you.


26 Replies

  • Oh thank God you found him. And thank God for people like those two men who saw a man who needed help and gave it to him! Yes it sounds like he needs an ID bracelet. No need to take that chance again. Well I hope the rest of your stay in Austin is better.


  • Thanks AVB. The rest of the trip was good but I was just so surprised how disoriented he was the entire time. Strange activities.


  • I think it is disorienting for some with psp to go to new places. I get disoriented without psp. B still is pretty directionally sound...he got us to AZ and back! Of course if he had to drive...hahaha

  • He sure likes scaring you!!!

  • LOL! He sure does!! Never a dull moment with this guy. Ugh.

  • Hi how absolutely awful for you I can imagine how the panic must of set in. How good though that he remembered your phone number that is amazing!! Gosh what they put us through eh!! At least all ended well take care xxx

  • Yes, it was a happy ending and the look on his face when he saw me was priceless!! So much love, so grateful and an amazing smile!

  • Oh bless him, I was just telling my partner your story , he would not be able to take two steps without falling over so I have no worries about him running off lol!! x

  • What a nightmare Nikkie and as AVB said, thank God you found him and he was unharmed apart from being shaken up. My hubby managed to undo his ID bracelet and lose it so I used to write my phone number on his arm if we went out of our village. Something he never forgot in the summer was his hat so his name and our phone numbers were in there as well and still are.

    I hope it doesn't happen again and am pleased you managed to enjoy the rest of the trip.


  • Thanks NannaB. I like the phone number on the arm idea.

  • I feel for you and understand. My husband used to wonder off it is so scary all manor of scenarios go through your mind. As my husband has become less mobile it has become less of an issue. Some great ideas about telephone number s on arms in hats etc. Take care xxx

  • How awful for you! I remember losing one of my children in France when she was only three, still bear the scar! S did get lost for five hours once when he came over to the States to visit his daughter. Thankfully, I didn't know anything about that, until it was all over. He was gaily driving around Minneapolis, trying to find his daughters house, not knowing the address or her phone number.

    Good idea about the identity bracelet!

    Lots of love


  • How awful! It certainly is a reminder of what could happen to any of is if we are not vigilant in this period when they still have some mobility but poor speech and diminished executive function. I am so very glad he was safe.

    I know something of what you were going through in that time. I had a similar experience when my husband was gone for nearly an hour. It was on a cruise so at least he was somewhat confined, but I had visions of a fall in a bathroom somewhere. I didn't want to leave the room for too long to look for him in case he came back. He eventually turned up as I was about to raise the alarm. He had returned to the outdoor table we had breakfasted at some time earlier, sat down and fell asleep! He was snoozing as I was frantically rushing from the room to various locations around the ship and back to the room!

    We are looking into a gps-locator medic alert wrist band, though I'm not sure it would have found him on the ship, it would help in a city or out and about in most places. We have a phone based one for our home, but are headed to our lakeside cabin where there is no landline. Does anyone in the US have experience with the gps help-lines?

  • Oh Nikkie I am so happy this turned out to be good, yes it would be like loosing your child, don't ever think that your bad as things like this happen. Thankfully the men noticed he looked confused and called for help, take care. Blessing to you and your hubby.

  • So grateful for those two men. I didn't even thank them because I was so overwhelmed and didn't even notice if they were around or if they had already left.

    I just showed my guy an ID bracelet and he almost seems upset that I even suggest that he wears one. His response was "men don't wear bracelets"! Ugh! I am going to have to work on that one. I just saw some sporty looking ones so that might work.

    Until next time.


  • Oh Nikkie your hubby sounds like my brother, if we mention something that we want him to try he will say 'you try it' or the same as your husband did men don't wear things like that you have to laugh tho as they know most of the time what is going on with themselves. Again so happy with the outcome that he was found safe and sound. Blessing. Nettie

  • Thank God your husband was found well. It's very scary and I can tell you we had a few similar incidents with my dad. We lost the battle with PSP past September but in his earlier stages, he started getting disoriented and lost. He would walk away from us in the mall and just stand randomly in front of a store - seemed like he was staring into space. Then we would try to leave and he would be convinced he knew the way out but kept going in circles. It was hard to see and especially cuz he was with it and aware mentally otherwise but these earlier incidents were sporadic. You will have to watch you hubby all the time in the future and having a life alert locket or button for him and the ID is a good idea. Prayers and Hugs

  • Wow. What an adventure. Makes you want to just stay home. But glad you guys can still get out. When Kim was more independent, she gave me several scares, but nothing that bad. If he won't accept the bracelet, how about a dog tag necklace?


  • Hi Ketchupman

    I brought up the necklace too and the look on his face was not a good one. lol! I since then have added the "Find Friends" on my IPHONE and have his phone tracked. That will help if he has his phone with him which is most of the time but not on the day he got lost. Keep in touch.



  • When Kim was more mobile and had her own cell phone, the problem was either it wasn't with her, it was turned off, or the battery was dead. But I do like the @find friends" option if the prior 3 conditions are met. Would he consider being tattooed with key info? Tattoos are manly. :-) maybe stitch tags in his clothing?

    Take care! DAN


  • Thanks Auddonz:

    So relieved when I got the phone call from police and that he was ok. I did find a watch with a GPS for patients with memory issues but it was sold out. Will keep looking. Since then I have added the "FIND FRIENDS" app to my IPHONE and have his phone tracked. That will work if he has his phone with him which is almost always but not on that day.



  • Nikki my love is having a very bad time now as well. He was delusional during the night and couldn't get out of bed this morning. During the night he was calling for his brother and also calling mommy which is what he he calls me when he needs me. Fortunately his aide came early when I was making a lot of calls to decide what to do. I didn't want to take him to the hospital since I was so exhausted I knew I couldn't stay with him. Dizzy as hell. She got him dressed and fed him breakfast in bed. He said he wanted to go back to sleep but I told her to get him up and just make him make a short walk. She did which at least made him move. I don't know what is going to happen tonight and am so scared.

  • Auddonz

    Oh gosh! How did the rest of the day and night go? That dizziness is crazy. My guy does the name calling too and did that yesterday morning. Calling for his brother Larry and talking business. Our dog Luna died on Wednesday and we were very sad but my guy almost went into a state of shock. He kept saying he was dying next and that he needed to get to a hospital. We ended up in the emergency room and it seems as if he was having a panic attack or something. He checked out okay for everything and they released us 5 hours later. I need to be able to handle when this happens again. I need to calm him down, work on breathing, etc. with him. He was so convincing that he was dying and felt horrible. I didn't want to take a chance and not respond because what if something did happen. We were back home that night and then he has had a couple of great days. Today looks like its going to be rough. I want to know how your hubby is doing. Keep me me posted. Hang in there my friend.



  • Kim frequently calls out "momma!" In a VERY Loud and Clear voice. Just amazing.

  • That is some scary post, but fortunately a happy ending. Ben doesn't carry ID but I'll change that after this story, I am usually with him but the odd time when I nip to the loo or go to order food, drinks etc are just the time that he could go walkies although his balance is so bad these days I don't think he would get far. He has also lost sense of direction and becomes confused quote quickly when out of his regular surroundings. Glad that it all turned out well in the end but a stark reminder of one of the difficulties.with this disease.

    Kate x

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