Wander No More: Alzheimer's Bracelet Means Quick Rescue

It may be a faint chirping noise, but it's a sign of hope. A tiny transmitter, a few searchers, and missing patients with alzheimers or dementia can be found in just minutes.

A bracelet can be worn 24 hours a day. It's very light, and constantly chirps a radio beacon.

Deputy Cory Hughston with the Victoria County Sheriff's Department is teaching operation of the equipment.

"The equipment itself and the principle has been around for thirty years. It's the same that they used to use on Wild Kingdom, to track animals, so it's been tested for years. It's just a new approach to help save lives."

To test it, our reporter wandered away.

And the team of searchers trapsed through the woods, getting closer and closer.  It's called Project Lifesaver. The equipment isn't free.

"We decided to get all three of our Pilot Clubs in Winnsboro, Quitman, and Mineola together to work with the Sheriff's Department to bring Project Lifesaver here," says Joyce Curry of the Pilot Club.

Our reporter hid in the woods more than half a mile away, and he was found in about ten minutes.

Hughston says "Over fifty percent of Alzheimer's patients will develop wandering at some point in their lifetimes. If we don't find the patient within 24 hours, chances are about 50/50 that we'll find them alive or not."

But with the bracelets... three hundred searches have turned up three hundred people, safe and sound.

If you live in Wood County and would like more information on the mobile locators, you can call Captain Jerry Hirsch with the Sheriff's Department in Quitman. The number is 903-763-2201.

Reported by Morgan Palmer