Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office partners with Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama (ACA) to provide a system for tracking patients with Alzheimer’s who wander from their caregivers. Project Lifesaver provides special armbands to Alzheimer’s patients. The armbands emit radio signals that can be tracked using special equipment. The Sheriff’s Office purchased three tracking devices that are programmed with Alzheimer patient information. When a patient goes missing, the tracking devices will emit a signal and alert the sheriff’s deputies.
There are over 9000 Alzheimer’s patients in Jefferson County. Although only 40 percent of patients demonstrate wandering behavior, it can lead to deadly consequences.
Miller Piggott, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, and the Sheriff’s Office, joined forces to prevent injury and death to Jefferson County residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia by implementing Project Lifesaver .
How it works: Armbands may be purchased through ACA. Some armbands are available at little or no cost for families facing financial hardship, thanks to donations from citizens and support from local foundations. Case managers from ACA interview prospective clients and their families. Based on information collected by the case managers, sheriff’s supervisors receive authorization to meet with families and place the armband on the patient. Once a month deputies return to the home to check on the armband, replace the battery and ensure the device is working properly. Deputies are available should a patient remove or damage their armband.
How can you receive an armband for someone you care for?
How do I donate to ACA so that more Alzheimer’s patients may have armbands?
Donations for the armbands can be made to ACA and you can designate your gift to a family who wants to become part of Project Lifesaver.
Who do I call if an Alzheimer’s patient wanders away?
Call 911 immediately. Be sure to tell dispatchers that the patient has an armband. Dispatchers will notify the appropriate deputies to assist in finding the patient as quickly as possible.