UPDATE: Elderly hurricane evacuee found after wandering away from assisted living facility
Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – An elderly male who is an evacuee from an assisted living facility in North Charleston, has been located after he wandered away from the Generations facility he was sheltering at in Batesburg-Leesville Friday afternoon. He was under the care of the North Charleston facilities staff and is a vulnerable adult who needs assistance with his daily life.
The Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and the town’s fire department were actively searching for the man Friday evening. They were being assisted by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County's EMS personnel, the county’s fire services, and SLED who has loaned a helicopter to the search efforts.
According to Tim Slice, certified assisted living administrator for the Generations group, the man in question was being housed at Generations of Batesburg after the residents of his North Charleston facility were evacuated earlier in the week. He was under the care and supervision of the staff of that facility, but the Generations personnel are helping coordinate the local search. Slice said Friday evening that when the man was reported missing by the staff of the facility near the coast, the entire staff at Generations immediately began to help its visitors coordinate with local first responders. Slice said, “Even though he is not one of ours, we are taking this to heart and treating this as if he were. Whenever a vulnerable adult is in danger, we take that very seriously and will do anything in our power to assist.”
Generation of Batesburg-Leesville and Chapin have been housing more than 90 seniors and staff members that had to evacuate the coast because of hurricane Dorian. There were more than 60 in Batesburg-Leesville and approximately 30 staying at Generations facility in Chapin. Generations provides the space, air mattresses, linens, and whatever it takes to make their guest comfortable. The staff of the facilities in North Charleston oversee their residents cooking and cleaning for them as if they were at home.
Generations has a special memory loss facility in Irmo. If a resident is living with dementia, the staff at that Generation’s facility is equipped to handle and work with those residents. They have a locked ward that keeps their residents from wandering off. That facility is staffed with more personnel than most assisted living facilities.
The man that was missing was found after 6:30 p.m. Friday. According to facility staff members, he is both healthy and safe.