Project Lifesaver – Peace of mind for the caregiver

My father was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 53.  He was physically quite fit, although his mind was slipping away.

It started becoming routine that Dad would start walking away, in the store, from the house, just about anywhere.  I can recall trying to convince my dad to return to the house while he was walking out of the neighborhood towards a very busy high speed roadway with little to no pedestrian area.  At one point he told me that if I didn’t leave him alone he would call the police (he didn’t know who I was at that time) I remember responding to please call the police (I knew they would help me get him home).  In the end he returned home without police intervention and no major problems but I was shaking and terrified.  I know that my siblings and mom also have similar memories.

Dad’s wandering was hardest on Mom, she had to be worried about him getting up in the middle of the night, wandering off and getting lost.  She did some research to see if there was anything out there that would help and she found Project Lifesaver that was being operated through our local sheriff’s office.

This isn’t a GPS device or really any super fancy tech.  It’s remarkable in its’ simplicity.  A watch-like device is fastened to the wrist of the dementia patient much like a hospital ID wristband is attached.  In the “watch” part is a simple radio transmitter on a unique frequency and a battery all in a waterproof case.

The idea is if the dementia patient wanders and is missing the sheriff’s department can send out cars to the last known location with devices to listen for the unique frequency and signal and triangulate the current location of the dementia patient.

A deputy sheriff would come out once a month to replace the device to ensure the battery was always working at  100%.

Take a look into their services here: Project Lifesaver  You can check to see if they are working with the police or sheriff’s department in your area.  If they aren’t encourage your local department to become involved.

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