Montgomery Co. Program Could Help Save Lives


By Amanda Wade

For many caring for Alzheimer's patients, their biggest fear can be their loved ones wandering off and going missing. But in Montgomery County, the sheriff's department is working to keep that from happening.

It is called Project Lifesaver. It is a free program available to Montgomery County residents with conditions like Alzheimer's, dementia and autism. In case they wander away from home, they can be found more easily, "It's a program where we put a tracking bracelet on those who wander quite frequently. And then with that tracking bracelet, a deputy comes out to your house once a month, check the battery on it. We give the family, the caregivers, a battery checker, but in the event that that loved one happens to wander off, we'll be able to locate that loved one," says Chief Deputy, Derek Cunningham.

Cunningham says they are able to track the signal of the bracelet from nearly a mile away in either a car, on foot, or with a helicopter. The department has at least seven tracking bracelets in use, but it also offer medical alert bracelets. The medical alert bracelets do not have radar tracking, but do have information and a Personal Identification Number to get the wearer back to safety.

Cunningham also says in the six years the department has offered Project Lifesaver, they have only had to use the radars twice. Both times, deputies were able to locate the person before they even reached the homes.

The National Alzheimer's Association says nearly 60% of people with the disease wander and become lost.

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