An elderly man from Fayette County who went missing over the weekend was found disoriented but well after a lengthy search.
Experts say more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
I'm here at the Wood County Senior Citizen Association and sometimes your loved ones get lost and confused but you can help them find the way.
"Supervision’s very important for them; possibly not giving them access to vehicles,” says Executive Director Mike Dennis. “Sometimes people may think that they're able to do things that maybe they're not able to do."
Lucidity can come and go.
"They may have a moment where they remember everything and they're doing very well,” Dennis says. “(Then) they get in their car and go someplace and they get lost very easily."
That's where a program like Project Lifesaver comes in.
Individuals must have a cognitive impairment.
"We put a bracelet on their wrist or their ankle and that bracelet has a transmitter in it and each person has their own frequency number on that transmitter,” says Program Administrator Sue Patalano. “It emits a signal once every second, but you can only pick the signal up with our tracking equipment."
Wood County Senior Citizens also provide relief for family members.
"They’re responsible 24 hours a day and our FAIR Program and our 3E Program help to relieve that tension and that stress on them,” Dennis says.
Getting help just means a call to 911.
"They notify us and we can key in their frequency number and we can track them on the ground up to a mile to a mile and a quarter,” Patalano says. “If we use the helicopter with the equipment we have a five to a seven mile range, so the average rescue time is approximately 30 minutes."
Only two certified individuals are needed to search for someone on the Lifesaver system.
"As opposed to hundreds to a conventional, so it saves the county manpower and time/money but most importantly it really, you know -- it saves lives,” Patalano says.
Project Lifesaver gives you a tracking device to help find your loved one and gives you the peace of mind.
If families are overwhelmed, there's also the Mid-Ohio Valley Alzheimer's Support Group, and always keep an eye on your loved ones and make sure they don't get into unfamiliar situations or surroundings.