Health Alert
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Project Lifesaver

Updated: Wednesday, September 4 2013, 09:28 AM EDT
Six out of ten patients with Alzheimer's disease are prone to wandering.

That leads to anxiety for caregivers and potential disaster for the patients.

Now, as News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health Alert, finding missing dementia patients can be quicker than ever.

What looks like a watch on Bob McElroy's wrist is actually a device to keep track of this 81 year old with dementia.

Bob signed up for project lifesaver at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center after giving his family quite the scare last year.

Paula McElroy, Bob's wife, "14 months ago, he got lost on our mountain and it took 42 people and 7 and a half hours later they found him."

Now if Bob gets lost, Deputy Mitch Rathbone arrives at the last known location and tries to hone in on the signal emitted from the wristband.

Deputy Mitch Rathbone, Haywood County Sheriff's Office, "this is the locating device that has about a mile and a half range, in which ever direction you are pointing it."

Since the program began, everyone relying on the tracking device has been successfully found, and found quickly in less than 30 minutes in every case.

It's simply a high-tech way to keep dementia patients safe while delivering peace of mind to their relatives and caregivers.

The tracking bracelet costs $300 dollars, but some funds are available for people who can't afford it.

For more information, contact The Project Lifesaver program at (828) 926-0018.Project Lifesaver

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