Stamford Police Located Missing Elderly Woman in under 10 Minutes Using Project Lifesaver Equipment

Stamford Police Located Missing Elderly Woman in under 10 Minutes Using Project Lifesaver Equipment

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 

The Stamford Police Department in Connecticut has implemented the Project Lifesaver program to help decrease search and rescue cost and time associated with missing elderly persons.

The Project Lifesaver program is run by the local department in conjunction with caregivers and people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. People who are enrolled in the program wear a wristband, which emits a personalized tracking signal. The one-ounce battery-operated radio transmitter emits an automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. When a caregiver notifies a Project Lifesaver agency, like the Stamford Police Department, that a person is missing, a trained search and rescue team responds to the search area with a mobile locater tracking system that is designed to pick up the wristband’s unique tracking signal.

For the Stamford Police Department, the Project Lifesaver program proved its effectiveness for the first time on the night of October 5, 2011, when a Stamford resident with Alzheimer’s went missing.

"This was an elderly resident who has Alzheimer’s disease and has gone missing before," said Stamford Police Officer Greg Rackozy. "The other time we had to find him, the department had around 15 officers out there looking for him for almost two hours. But since his family signed him up for Project Lifesaver, we only needed two officers and found him in less than 10 minutes. It's a great program."

"We really hope that more police departments will start using this program especially ones in the area," Rackozy said. "That way, if we have a client who wanders as far as the town next to us, we can give that police department the client's tracking signal and they can help us locate that person."

 

Lessons Learned:

Locative Technologies and/or Registry Programs can be successful and should be considered when creating or enhancing a missing senior recovery program.

  • 60% of people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia will wander.
  • Locative technologies can reduce search time and resources needed for a successful recovery.
  • National registry programs, such as Medic Alert + Safe Return by the Alzheimer’s Association can provide valuable information when someone with Alzhiemer’s disease goes missing.
  • These programs should only be PART of a response for missing seniors.


For more information on Project Lifesaver: http://www.projectlifesaver.org/



For more information on Medic Alert + Safe Return program: http://www.alz.org/safetycenter/we_can_help_safety_medicalert_safereturn.asp



Resources Used: - Check with Kerry Sullivan for format for all web sites.
http://thestamfordtimes.com/story/512216

 

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