Alzhemier's Bracelet Programs Keep Track of Elderly
Published August 10th, 2013
After a elderly woman who went missing on Thursday was found in St. John's County Friday, local law enforcement are informing the public about programs in place to help keep track of their loved ones.
Sid and Janie Cranfill moved to Ocala to retire.
But after Sid wandered off one day and couldn't find his way back home, their retirement took a different focus: dealing with Sid's Alzheimer's disease.
"I never thought I had it that bad. Then I found out, I couldn't remember nothing."
That's when the Cranfill's learned of the Marion County Sheriff's free Alzheimer's bracelet program.
500 people in Marion County wear these bracelets andthey've helped find close to ten people who wandered away from home.
"They're out without water or anything for a couple of hours, they will either pass out or have a heat stroke, they may be in the bushes and we won't find them until it's too late."
"Now, one of the main questions you might have is how easy is this bracelet to get on and off? Well, this bracelet was made for people with Alzheimer's, so it takes a lot of focus and determination to be able to pry it open."
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office also has a bracelet program called Project Lifesaver, a nation-wide program used to not only find Alzheimer's patients...
"But we look at any people who have the capacity to wander from a location where they're normally at a home, such as a down syndrome child, an autistic child or aspergers."
This bracelet system operates exactly like a bird dog collar's tracking system: It uses radio frequencies given off by the bracelet to track the missing person.
There are 19 people in Alachua County that use Project Lifesaver.
There's a one-time fee of $300 that can be paid in increments and maintenance needs to be done once a month.
Alzheimer's disease definitely threw Sid a curve ball but that hasn't held him back.
"You have to live with it. If you go and hide, it just gets worse."
And with his bracelet on, he doesn't have to hide anymore.
Officials say if your loved one has gone missing, don't wait more than 20 minutes to call for help.
And if it looks like they walked out of the house and left the door open, stay in the house and call the police.
The dogs won't be able to pick up their scent if you walk over their path.
Lauren Lettelier, TV20 News
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