Project Lifesaver Bracelets for People At Risk for Wandering
Sixty percent of people with dementia will wander, and many do so repeatedly. Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama is working to reduce the dangers of wandering by providing Project Lifesaver bracelets that emit a radio tracking signal.
The nature of Alzheimer’s disease creates unique challenges to locating a wandering patient. They can easily become disoriented and can get lost in places that we would normally consider familiar, like their neighborhood or even their local Walmart. They may not hear and respond to attempts to call out to them. Patients are vulnerable and can succumb to the elements quickly. The bracelets have a 100% success rate in Alabama for safe returns.
Project Lifesaver Eligibility:
- Person with dementia must reside in the home with a caregiver who is on site with them at all times.
- Person with dementia should no longer be driving.
Where can I get a bracelet for my loved one:
- ACA provides bracelets for people with dementia in Jefferson County in partnership with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
- For outside of Jefferson County, please contact your local Sheriff’s Department to find out if they provide bracelets for their residents.
- The Alabama State Trooper Association provides bracelets. (334-265-2782)
What is the Cost:
The cost of the equipment is about a dollar per day for the first year. ACA will work with any Alabama family to provide a bracelet regardless of ability to pay.
Another way to reduce the risk of wandering is by taking advantage of one of the adult day care facilities located in the area.
When a person with dementia should no longer be at home alone, the family begins the difficult task of piecing together 24-hour-a-day custodial care. Adult day care is the most affordable option of care for families whose loved one is physically able to attend.
ACA scholarships are for up to $300 a month. The family can select the center that best meets their loved one’s needs. Payments are made directly to the center.
Our annual survey of families on the program found: 54% have monthly incomes less than $1,500; and 19% have monthly incomes that are less than $1000. 54% of the caregivers are daughters, providing care for their mother. Half have been providing care for 6 years or longer. 58% only get a break a couple of times a month and 70% said they are “on duty” 24 hours a day. Before the pandemic, only 11% rated their stress and health as fair or poor. That number has jumped to 46% during the pandemic.
People with dementia receive appropriate stimulation, helping them stay mentally and physically active. The caregivers can go to work, attend to household tasks, take care of their own health needs, and get the renewing break that is so essential for caregivers of loved ones with long term care needs.
Who is eligible:
- People living with dementia who would benefit from a day of appropriate activities and fun.
- Awards are made based on greatest need, which includes financial need. Click to download an application or call (205) 871-7970 to receive an application by mail.
- Once an award is made, the family is asked to select the center that best meets their loved one’s needs
- Selected families are asked to call or contact the ACA office once a month.
- Caregivers are asked to reapply annually.