Beginning in December, residents of Onondaga County will have access to a new program called Project Lifesaver, which helps protect those who are not able to protect themselves. Project Lifesaver enables caregivers and emergency officials to quickly track those who suffer form Alzheimer's, Dementia, and related disorders that wander away from home.
According to statistics from Project Lifesaver International, over 5 Million people in United States suffer from Alzheimer's and Related Mental Dysfunctional Disorders and over 50 percent of these individuals wander or become lost.
NY Senator John DeFrancisco helped to secure $25,000 for this program that will help keep those who are unaware of their surroundings out of danger so they are not taken advantage of, or harmed and they can be safely returned to their family members.
The program places personalized radio transmitters on individuals with ARMD so that Caregivers and local officials can quickly locate and rescue a lost person. The average rescue time is less than thirty minutes. Four hundred communities in over 43 states have established Project Lifesaver programs.
"I want to care for my husband Ron to the best of my abilities and this will help relieve the stress I deal with if/when he manages to get lost. The first time he wandered away, it took over 3 hours to find him. I was beside myself with worry thinking of all the horrible things that could happen to him, and having no idea where or in which direction to look," Ruth Boshart said.
Boshart, a Camillus resident, knew that a better system for locating "lost" adults had to be in place after her husband wandered off.
"After a lot of headaches I found this project. I searched the Internet and even looked into GPS before someone was able to point me in the direction of Project Lifesaver," Boshart said. "We don't want anyone to think that if they don't have money to afford a bracelet that they can not be a part of this program. Bracelets will be given to those who can't afford them."