Decatur Police: Missing Alzheimer’s Patient Returns Home

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Decatur Police say a missing Alzheimer’s patient has returned home and is okay.

Ernest Pressley, 80, lives on Danville Road in Decatur.  Police say Pressley was supposed to be driving to Panama City, Florida to visit a sister in the hospital on March 11. He never made it.

He returned home Wednesday, thankfully.

Police say Pressley is an Alzheimer’s patient who is easily confused.

There are resources out there for family’s of people suffering from Alzheimer’s. For information CLICK HERE

Decatur Police say Mr. Pressley may be driving a Ford Expedition similar to this one.

Decatur Police say Mr. Pressley may be driving a Ford Expedition similar to this one.

6 comments

  • James

    I just have a question, why is an Alzheimers patient who is easily confused, behind the wheel of a car to begin with??? If he can get confused on the way to the grocery store he certainly shouldn’t be driving out of state.

    • Elizabeth Teal

      i totally agree! My husband has dementia and the doctor said at the first diagnoses of dementia the keys should be taken away. He hasn’t driven in a year and a half!

  • Terry

    Jim, I agree with you – why should he even still have his drivers license – I’d love to see all states deal with the individual health issues and public safety in a respectable manner – regardless of the voting blocks of seniors or campaign contributions. There has to be a middle ground for the safety of everyone.

  • Sue

    If he lives alone then no one has alerted DMV about his condition. Keep in mind he is 80 yrs old. Maybe he has no family here. He was going to visit his sister in Florida. A lot of people still have their driver’s license with all kind of things wrong with them. Who is going to report it- a neighbor? Older people who no longer work lose touch with people to be close enough to realize something is wrong. Others do not want to question the problem͵ etc. Yes he is probably lost or something has gone wrong. He could be easily taken advantage of by anyone. just because of being by himself and his age. He is a danger to himself and others by driving. It is such a shame that so many people are in this shape and people just don’t notice or don’t help. Most people with this disease do not realize they have it. I pray the police or family can find him SOON and he is o.k. It is a terrible thing to be in his shape without help.

  • Elizabeth Teal

    Yes Sue it is terrible to have no one! And you are right in saying the people that have it don’t realize they have it or had bad it is! If he tells anyone he has it he will say I have a little dementia! But he actually is in mid-stage. He will ask the same question over and over.He really had a hard time giving up driving but if he can’t remember the answer to a question you’ve just answered then how can he remember the rules of the road! Just before he had to quit driving he tried to turn LEFT on red! And when I said you can’t do that he couldn’t understand why!!!

    • Sue

      Elizabeth I see it all the time working around the elderly. They are passed the driving part but I had to tell my mother she could no longer drive. She never did quite understand why and several times went looking for the keys. I made sure she could not find them because she would get lost and scared. Like you said about the red light- she would not notice signs or other people on the road. Terrible disease! It is absolute MUST they do not drive. It devastated my mother but. it had to be done. GOD BLESS Mr. Pressley! I am so glad he is back home safely!!! Also I know what it is like for you taking care of your husband and for him. My prayers are with you both!

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