Over five million people in the United States have
Alzheimer's and related disorders. That number will triple by 2050. Well
over 50 percent of these people wander and become lost. A lost person
with Alzheimer's or other dementia represents a critical emergency. They
are unaware of their situation, they do not call out for help and do
not respond to people calling out to them. Nearly half of them will die,
and many can become injured or fall victim to predators if they are not
located within 24 hours.
If you are not yet touched in some way by Alzheimer's or a related
disorder, chances are you will be within the next several years. You
will find it among neighbors, your friends, co-workers, and perhaps
within your own family.
Project Lifesaver forms partnerships with local law enforcement and
public safety organizations. Project Lifesaver deploys specially trained
teams with the most reliable technology available to quickly locate and
return wandering adults and children to their families and caregivers.
Project Lifesaver, a nonprofit organization, has become
internationally recognized as an aggressive and proven program that
saves lives. It is not a registry system. It is an active response to
the problem of locating wandering patients before they fall victim to
the elements, accidents, or predators.
How Project Lifesaver Works
People who are part of Project Lifesaver wear a
personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. When caregivers
notify the local Project Lifesaver agency that the person is missing, a
search and rescue team responds to the wanderer's area and starts
searching with a mobile locator tracking system. In this way, search
times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes.
The Project Lifesaver wristband is much more than a passive ID
bracelet. It is a one-ounce battery-powered wrist transmitter that emits
an automatic tracking signal ever second, 24 hours a day. Each
wristband has a unique radio frequency, which can be tracked on the
ground or in the air over several miles.
Locating the individual is only part of the mission. The person who
has wandered will be disoriented, anxious, and untrusting. Our specially
trained Project Lifesaver team know how to approach the person and put
him or her at ease for the trip home.
The cost is $300 for the wristband, and $25 a month for battery
replacement. A Project Lifesaver team member makes regular visits to the
home of the wristband wearer to maintain the equipment.
Saving Lives and Community Resources
A 45-year-old man suffering from a traumatic brain
injury became lost and disoriented. A deputy sheriff specially trained
and equipped by Project Lifesaver was able to locate the man one and a
half miles from his home within 20 minutes. A traditional search without
Project Lifesaver would have normally involved the time (and expense)
of up to 265 searchers and 924 man-hours.
An 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease wandered from her home
at night. The family contacted Project Lifesaver upon learning she was
missing. Two sheriff's vehicles with Project Lifesaver equipment
arrived on the scene and located the woman lying in a field, covered
with mud. She had wandered, fallen, and could not get up. Rescuers
reported that a person standing 10 feet away would not have noticed her
A 79-year-old man with Alzheimer's left his house in his truck and
could not find his way back home. After searchers canvassed the
neighborhood, a police helicopter was called in with a Project Lifesaver
team and equipment. In just 35 minutes, the helicopter located the man
using the signal transmitted from his bracelet. He was found 14 miles
from his home. Several weeks earlier, before joining Project Lifesaver,
he wandered off and was missing for two and a half days.
To enroll in Project Lifesaver or make a donation to
this important cause, contact the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, at
For more information, visit www.projectlifesaver.org.
The Sheriff's Advisory Council Search and
Rescue team is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, depends on
the support of the community. Project Lifesaver's goal is to provide
the benefits of the program to all in need, regardless of their ability
Funding for the organization comes only from
private donations and grants from government, corporations, and
All contributions made to Project Lifesaver are
tax deductible and are used directly for program operations, including
equipment, rescues, and education. All contributions are 100% tax