Project Lifesaver kicks off in Bowie County.
A partnership between the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, the Texarkana, Texas Police Department, and the Alzheimer’s Alliance Tri-State Area will offer a Project Lifesaver program that will aid families of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, as well as Autism and Down Syndrome.
On December 14th and 15th, the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office and Texarkana, TX Police Department completed two days of Project Lifesaver training.
The program is now available in Bowie County, Texas with the mission of providing timely responses to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to a cognitive condition.
Wandering is a common and potentially dangerous behavior among individuals with a dementia-related illness. Someone with a dementia-related illness who wanders can quickly become disoriented, unable to return to safety or not know how, or who, to call for help.
Alzheimer’s Alliance Texarkana Area, in partnership with Project Lifesaver International, will work hand in hand with trained law enforcement and other public safety agencies, including the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, Texarkana Police Department, and first responders in allowing caregivers to voluntarily register their loved one with dementia to wear a small wrist transmitter that emits an individualized radio frequency signal. When the transmitter is activated, the frequency allows a trained response team to locate the person and help return them home safely. The technology helps reduce search and rescue times from hours or days down to a matter of minutes.
This program is partially funded by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
“Alzheimer’s Alliance Texarkana Area’s Project Lifesaver program will be a valuable public safety tool for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “Every family caregiver’s number one priority is keeping their loved one safe. Every second saved can result in a positive outcome. We are pleased to help Alzheimer’s Alliance Texarkana Area undertake this valuable public safety program to protect individuals living with dementia.”
Terrie Arnold, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Alliance, said, “Project Lifesaver is a Virginia-based nonprofit that provides small transmitter wristbands that emit individualized frequencies to law enforcement and rescue agencies to track individuals with cognitive conditions that wander; a great tool to have readily available.” To date, over 4,243 persons have been rescued internationally. Arnold continued, “we want to offer this program to Bowie County caregivers to give them a piece of mind that their loved one could be found quickly.” Arnold also added “the Project Lifesaver program is offered through individual counties. It is our hope to offer the program in additional counties in our service area in the near future.”
“Project Lifesaver for Bowie County is an important step in protecting our at-risk residents,” stated Sheriff Jeff Neal, Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, “we are so fortunate to partner with the Texarkana, Texas Police Department and the Alzheimer’s Alliance in this effort.”
How It Works: The wristband (transmitter) is worn by the client 24/7 and emits a unique, identifiable radio frequency tracking signal. If a client goes missing, the caregiver calls 9-1-1. Trained personnel will be dispatched to the area with receivers to locate the client. It is an extra layer of security.
The Alzheimer’s Alliance Texarkana Area will administer the program for Bowie County. Scholarships are available for those that qualify. For more information on how to sign up, visit our website www.alztristate.org or contact our office at 903-223-8021.