Doña Ana County

‘PROJECT LIFESAVER’ CAN HELP LOCATE RESIDENTS WITH DEMENTIA

‘PROJECT LIFESAVER’ CAN HELP LOCATE RESIDENTS WITH DEMENTIA

            A Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department initiative continues to reconnect residents with their loved ones who suffer from cognitive issues – Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or some forms of autism – that can cause them to wander.

            Project Lifesaver, a wristband location device, has been offered to residents in Doña Ana County through the sheriff’s department since 2002. The state-of-the-art personal radio transmitters assist first-responders in locating anyone wearing the devices when they become lost.

            Statistics show more than half of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease wander and become lost and about 72 percent of those are repeat wanderers. If they are not located within the first 24 hours, the risk of a bad outcome – including death – is magnified.

             Each waterproof wristband emits a specific radio wave assigned to the patient.  When a patient is reported missing to the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority, the sheriff’s department will respond and a staff member trained to use the mobile locator will arrive at the patient’s last known location to follow the mobile locator’s tracking beacon until the patient is found.  The mobile locator tracks the wristband within a 5-mile radius, and can also be used from an aircraft.

              To register a loved one who is at risk of becoming lost, contact Project Lifesaver Coordinator Stephen Dail at (575) 525-1911.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Public Information Communication Specialist Kelly Jameson at (575) 386-4302 or after hours at (575) 635-7168.