Project Lifesaver Protects Wandering Patients and Gives Peace of Mind to Caregivers, Families and Communities
Project Lifesaver is an innovative and rapidly growing program aiding the victims and families suffering Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders such as Down's Syndrome and Autism. Project Lifesaver uses state-of-the-art technology employing wristband transmitters to locate wandering and lost adults and children.
Over 5,000,000 people in the USA have Alzheimer's. That number will triple by 2050. Well over 50% of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer's or other dementia represents a critical emergency as nearly half of them will die and many can become injured or fall victim to predators if they are not located within 24 hours. The number of people, families and communities experiencing this risk will grow dramatically in this decade.
If you are not yet touched in some way by Alzheimer's or related disease, chances are you will be within the next several years. You will find it among neighbors, your friends, co-workers and their families, and perhaps within your own family.
The name Project Lifesaver has become internationally recognized as an active and proven program that saves lives.
How Project Lifesaver Works
Project Lifesaver is much more than a passive ID bracelet. It is an active system that relies on state-of-the-art technology and a specially trained search and rescue team. People who are part of the Project Lifesaver program wear a personalized bracelet that emits a tracking signal. When caregivers notify the local Project Lifesaver agency that the person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the wanderer's area and starts searching with the mobile locater tracking system.. Search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. In hundreds of searches, there have been no reported serious injuries or deaths. Recovery times average less than 30 minutes.
The Project Lifesaver CARE TRAK bracelet is much more than a passive ID bracelet. It is a one-ounce battery-operated radio wrist transmitter emitting an automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. The signal is tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles. As each bracelet has a unique radio frequency, the Project Lifesaver search team positively locates and identifies the person who has wandered away from home or a care facility.
Technology is Only Half the Story
Project Lifesaver belongs to each community. It's about people and partnerships. Project Lifesaver emphasizes relationships between team members and the people who may wander before the need may arise for a rescue. Team members visit the home of the bracelet recipients to install the transmitter and make regular visits to maintain the equipment. Project Lifesaver team members are specially trained, not only in the use of the electronic tracking equipment, but especially in the methods to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer's disease or related disorder. Locating the individual is only part of the mission. The person who is located will be disoriented, anxious and untrusting. The Project Lifesaver team knows how to approach the person, gain their trust and put them at ease for the trip home.
How Project Lifesaver Saves Lives and Community Resources
In Pittsylvania County, Virginia, a 45 year-old man suffering from a traumatic brain injury became lost and disoriented. A deputy sheriff specially trained by Project Lifesaver used a special tracking receiver and was able to locate the man 1.5 miles from his home within 20 minutes,. A traditional search without Project Lifesaver would have normally involved the time (and expense to the taxpayers) of up to 264 searchers and 924 man hours without the special tracking system.
In Chatham, Virginia an 80 year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease wandered from her home at night. The family contacted Project Lifesaver upon learning she was missing. Two Sheriff's vehicles equipped with Project Lifesaver Emergency Responder Units arrived on the scene and within a short time located the woman lying in a tobacco field. She had wandered into the field, had fell, and could not get up. She was found covered with mud. Rescuers reported that a person standing up to 10 ft away from would not have noticed that a person was lying there. The woman was helpless and could have died if not located by Project Lifesaver.
A 79 year-old man with Alzheimer's left his house in Virginia Beach driving his truck. He became lost and could not find his way back home. After searching the neighborhood, A police helicopter was called in with a Project Lifesaver team member and equipment. In just 35 minutes, the helicopter located the man using the signal transmitted from his Project Lifesaver bracelet. He was found 14 miles from his home. Before he became part of Project Lifesaver, he wandered off and was missing for 2 1/2 days.
How do I get more information and/or sign up for Project Lifesaver?
Caregivers interested in obtaining Project Lifesaver should contact the Lamar County Sheriff's Office at 121 Roberta Drive, Barnesville, GA 30204, by phone at 770-358-5159 or use the email request below. Trained personnel will give an overview of the program, caregiver responsibilities and cost.
Brad White, Sheriff Lamar County Sheriff's Office 121 Roberta Drive, Barnesville, GA 30204 770/358-5159