Program aimed at saving lives - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Program aimed at saving lives

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - His family reported him missing on Friday, and when search teams found 80-year-old dementia patient Willie Everhart Tuesday, he was dead, just a few blocks from his home.

Everhart's death showed the importance of finding missing loved ones quickly, and an international program available here in East Texas claims to do just that.

Five years ago the Alzheimer's Alliance began offering the Lifesaver Program offering caregivers of dementia or Alzheimer's patients some serious peace of mind.

The key to the program lies on the patient's wrist, a watch-like wristband which emits a tracking signal all day every day.

If the patient goes missing caregivers notify local authorities who organize a search team and begins tracking them with a mobile locator tracking system.

Search time is taken from days to minutes with the technology.

www.projectlifesaver.org reports the average time it takes to locate their users is only 22 minutes, time saved that could save a life.

"The project lifesaver program is an extra safeguard that we can provide people," said Jana Humphrey, with Alzheimer's Alliance of Northeast Texas. "Wandering is a major concern for people who have memory loss and 60 percent of the people who have Alzheimer's will wonder at some point."

The Lifesaver Program is currently available in eight East Texas counties.

The Lifesaver Program has a $275 start up fee and a $10 monthly charge for batteries, but alliance members say scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Since being introduced to the market five years ago, the little bracelets have saved more than 2,000 lives.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly