Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

May 24, 2011

AUSTRALIA: We're not lost, just on hols, says 'missing' 88-year-old

STAWELL, Victoria / The Stawell Times-News / National News / May 24, 2011

We're not lost, just on hols, says 'missing' 88-year-old

The mystery of an elderly East Maitland couple missing for more than three weeks took a new turn when the woman contacted police to say: “We are not lost – we are on holiday.”

Mabel (Dot) Knudsen, 88, vanished from her unit with her 89-year-old friend John Gordon prompting fears her safety.

But Ms Knudsen’s worried daughter Nancy Keck has said her mother allegedly contacted police from a secret destination a few days ago.

“But my mother’s message to Maitland police has done nothing to lessen my fears for her safety and well-being,” Ms Keck said.

“My mother has dementia and she needs various medicines – which she is not taking.

Mabel Knudsen, 88, says she's not lost.

“Her call to police has still left no clues as to where the two of them are.

“Police know that neither of them has accessed their banks accounts, but I know my mother had a substantial amount of money with her when they took off.”

Ms Keck fears the worst. She believes her mother faces another possible stroke from which she might not recover.

“She needs medicine for her blood pressure and for her high cholesterol,” Ms Keck said.

“I just hope she will be found before anything really serious happens.”

Ms Keck is also hoping the couple is reasonably close to Maitland – instead of being somewhere in South Australia or Victoria as was originally believed.

“I think they are probably hiding now, eating somewhere at night in hotels or clubs,” Ms Keck said.

Asked if the couple’s story might have a romantic note, or if the two were in love, Ms Keck said: “This is not a love story.

“The person with her is just a friend – they began going around together because he had a car.”

Copyright © 2011. Fairfax Media