Updated: Aug 18
Create a Safety Plan for people at risk for getting lost - including people living with dementia.
Planning ahead can make all the difference!
Some people who are living with Dementia have a tendency to wander and are at risk for getting lost due to brain changes and memory loss. The person who wanders forgets where they are going in the middle of going there! All the houses look the same. He / she might enter a home that is not theirs or try to go back the way they came, but don't have enough short term memory to retrace their steps. Family and Care partners live constant fear that the person living with Dementia will get lost the next time they wander off. Would would you do? Where do you begin to look? Being prepared can lower the stress for Care partners and alleviate the fears associated with the "What if he / she gets lost the next time they wander." Below is a video for "Making a Wandering Safety Plan" and some resources to consider with contact information for the agencies.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is offering a level of peace of mind to those that care for individuals with autism, Alzheimer’s, or dementia. Sheriff Tommy Ford is now providing an additional method to keep track of children and the elderly should they wander and get lost. The Scent Evidence Preservation Kit captures and strongly preserves the scent of the person in an airtight container which is then kept in a safe place within the home. Should the person go missing, the preserved, concentrated scent can be used to direct a trained K9 to most efficiently track the missing person. Anyone caring for individuals with autism, Alzheimer’s, and dementia can call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office at 747-4700 and ask for a Scent Evidence Preservation Kit. A deputy will come to the home, correctly capture the scent of the individual under care, and document where the container will be stored in the home. That way, it can be found when needed, when minutes can make all the difference in the safety of a loved one. Call the BCSO at 850.747.4700 and ask for a Scent Evidence Preservation Kit today.
Project Lifesaver is the premier search and rescue program operated internationally by public safety agencies, and is strategically designed for “at risk” individuals who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition. The BCSO offers the Project Lifesaver Program where caregivers can maintain a special bracelet on the individual in their care that emits a radio signal. Should the individual wander off and get lost, this radio signal can be used by the BCSO to quickly locate the missing person. The BCSO provides and installs special batteries each month to keep the bracelets functioning.
Call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office at 850.747.4700 for more information.