Taiwanese man suffering from dementia and living in the past returned to family

Police helped the man after he tried to buy breakfast for the daughter he remembered as an elementary school student

(Pixabay photo for illustrative purpose)

(Pixabay photo for illustrative purpose)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Taiwanese man suffering from dementia forgets many things, but not buying breakfast for the person he calls his “elementary school” daughter, according to Taoyuan Police Department.

Beishi Police Station (北勢派出所) Chief Rao Bai-xun (饒百訓) said police received a report from a breakfast store in Pingzhen District around 7 a.m. on June 5 that an old man with a walking stick wanted to buy breakfast. When the service staff asked him what kind of breakfast he wanted, however, he ignored them, so they called the police for assistance.

Beishi Police Station police officer Huang Wen-kai (黃文凱) went to the scene where the man in the store was murmuring to himself that he wanted to buy breakfast for his “elementary school daughter.” Police suspected he was suffering from severe dementia and therefore took him to the station to help identify him, the department said.

After investigation, police found the man, surnamed Lin, is 85 years old. Police called his family home and his “elementary school daughter” picked up the phone. After further investigation it was found the man’s daughter is actually over 40 years old.

The daughter rushed to the station to identify her father and thanked the police for ensuring he did not get into any trouble, the department said. The daughter told police that her father’s dementia is getting worse every year, and his memory is stuck at the time when she was a second grader.

The old man always wants to go out to buy breakfast, but is usually stopped by other family members, the daughter said. On the morning of June 5, her father sneaked out when the rest of the family was sleeping, she said.