PETERSBURG, Va. — Louis Wingard Jr., a 77-year-old Vietnam veteran who was diagnosed with dementia last fall, was found alive Wednesday morning – some 400 miles from his home in Petersburg, Virginia.
Wingard Jr. was found sitting in his truck outside a business in Annandale, Pennsylvania, according to his stepdaughter Keisha.
She said someone saw Wingard Jr. in the truck and called police when they realized he was disoriented and needed help.
When police entered his name through a database, they learned he had been reported missing in Virginia.
His family drove to Pennsylvania to bring him home.
The Petersburg man had been missing since Monday morning when he failed to show up to a doctor’s appointment at McGuire VA Medical Center in south Richmond, according to his family.
His family said they believed he got confused while driving and was likely too prideful to ask for help.
The following information is available on the Department of Veterans Affairs website:
Care for Veterans with Alzheimer’s or dementia is provided throughout the full range of VA health care services. Depending on the Veteran’s needs, services may include home-based primary care, homemaker and home health aide, respite care, adult day health care, outpatient clinic, inpatient hospital, nursing home, palliative care, or hospice care. Caregiver support is an essential part of all of these services.
If you’ve been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or are caring for someone who is, become familiar with the symptoms, types, stages, and treatments:
- Understanding Dementia — Get basic information about what dementia is, the stages, and treatments.
- Coping with Your Dementia Diagnosis — Find out how to keep healthy and active, arrange for safety at home and in the community, and plan for the future.
- Understanding Reversible Dementias — Read about factors that can cause symptoms that mimic Alzheimer’s disease.
- Caring for Dementia: What to Expect — Learn how caregivers can help with daily life, find new ways to communicate, and cope with problem behaviors.
- Caring for End-Stage Dementia — Learn how to recognize advanced or end-stage dementia and what to do to help.