Saturday, July 10, 2010

Locating People Who Wander

What Is Project Lifesaver International?

I first read about this project in the Summer 2010 publication of Care Advantage. This is a program for individuals that wander. Each individual wears a tracking device that allows first responders and volunteers to quickly find them. In 1999 32,000 people with Alzheimer's wandered away. Every year there are numerous cases of people with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down syndrome and others wandering off and dying from misadventure.

When your loved one is missing it is a terrifying experience and time is critical. As a caregiver I did everything in my power to keep Mom safe and I watched her like a hawk. I wrote about her wandering in a previous post, and some of the things we did to keep her safe. I tried lots of things. I even thought about tracking devices but could not afford what was out there at the time.

When I read about Project Lifesaver International, I was thrilled that someone had come up with a tracking device and a way to include first responders into a program to quickly locate people who wander. They even have some family stipends available.

According to Project Lifesaver:

“The U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs – Bureau of Justice Assistance has awarded federal funding to assist in education, awareness, equipment, and public policy efforts to help expand Project Lifesaver’s lifesaving program across the country – directly helping individuals that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease/dementia who wander.

Project Lifesaver is a network of first responders who combine the power of simple, effective tracking technologies with proven search and rescue techniques to find your loved one safely and quickly, should they wander. Now, for a limited time, up to 1,800 families may enroll in the program at no cost, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. This is our family stipend program.”

Contact Scott Nester for more information about the stipend program – or 1-757-546-5502 Ext 112.

Raising Awareness

45 states and 1,100 agencies are involved with Project Lifesaver. It is important to get your local community involved if it isn’t already. Regardless it is important to get this information out to families who have loved ones who wander. It is one more tool you can use to protect those you love who can’t protect themselves. There are grants available to communities to set up this program if one is not available. The great thing is that it is currently available in the United State, Canada and Australia. Please encourage the agencies you work with to explore this program and help bring it to more communities. For further information contact or call 1-877-580-5433


sandy said...

It's such a hard thing to deal with and one that doesn't just affect the aged. I have a very good friend that still know's me, but is never alone. She has a full time care giver when her hubby's at work. She can't cook, or do much of anything for herself, such a terrible pitty.

I was not aware of this program, wonderful post.
swing by for a visit, the welcome mats always out

Anonymous said...

This is great news, Ruth. Thanks for posting this. Sandy F. on Gather