A Lubbock family was frantic Wednesday afternoon when they told NewsChannel 11 that 77 year-old Morris Elvin Cook had not been seen since 10:30 Tuesday night. They told us "Curly" was showing signs of dementia, and they were afraid he was lost somewhere and didn't know how to get back home. Curly's wife of 55 years made this plea with her daughter-in-law.
"Well, most everybody in Lubbock knows him and they know him as the barber. He likes to go on with his foolishness and all, but the person that walks up to him might not think there's anything wrong with him. You have to live with that to understand it," says Ruby Cook, Curly's wife.
"We haven't seen him. If anybody out there sees him, please notify NewsChannel 11," says Margaret Cook, Curly's daughter-in-law.
Ironically, it was a NewsChannel 11 photographer who found Curly disoriented on the side of the road about 18 hours after he had driven off. Albert Belez helped him get back home, and now, Curly is fine and the ordeal is over, but we can learn something from Curly's experience.
This advice from the Garrison Geriatric Education and Care Center. If you suspect someone in your family is suffering from dementia, plan ahead before there are problems. Don't just depend on an ID necklace or bracelet because they could take that off. It's recommended that their name and phone number on a tag is sewn onto their clothes, with that information also in their wallet and in their car.
The problem for many with dementia is if they're lost they may give you a phone number from 20 years ago, but not remember the number they have now.