Alzheimer’s patients and autistic children, as well as many other individuals with similar disorders, all have a tendency to “wander,” and wandering poses a serious threat to the life of the lost individual.
Research conducted by Robert J. Koester of the Virginia Department of Emergency Services found that 46% of wanderers not located within the first 24 hours are found deceased. Worse, wanderers themselves do not perceive the risks, and they often fail to cooperate with their rescuers because they frequently seclude themselves. This limits the usefulness of standard search methods (such as calling a person by name) and, in turn, complicates rescue and recovery efforts.
Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area.
Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for PLI clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations.
For further information, visit the Project Lifesaver website or contact the Community Policing Unit at 973-992-3000 ext. 3600. This program is only available to Livingston residents.