Alzheimer's Monitors Can Help Save Lives

Alzheimer's Monitors Can Help Save Lives

By Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9 

ECTOR COUNTY - After our story ran Monday night with the family of Isaiah Tunson, the man who had Alzheimer's, went missing and was later found dead, a viewer called our newsroom about a local program that saved her dad's life who also had the disease. It's called "Project Lifesaver." It's been around for years but a lot of people don't know about it.

"With the aging population out here, we just thought it would be a good fit and we have had great success with it," Sgt Gary Duesler with the Ector County Sheriff's Office, said.

The Ector County Sheriff's Office has had "Project Lifesaver" since 2006. Right now, there are 24 people who are signed up and wearing monitors.

"We have officers that have been trained and they have a receiver. It looks like an old antenna that you would put on your roof  and what it does is locate the signal. As we get closer to, it the signal gets louder," Duesler said.

The monitor is small and can be worn around your wrist or ankle. If your loved one wonders off, a signal will be sent to a transmitter and then the sheriffs office can track them down.

The best part is it's completely free! The monitor needs a new battery once a month which is provided and dropped off by the Pilot Club or a deputy.

"We have a 100% success rate in finding the people we are looking for," Duesler said.

Just this past weekend, an elderly man with Alzheimer's wondered off and was later found dead. Making a simple call to the Ector County Sheriff's Office can easily save a life.

"You know the thing is when we bring someone's loved one back, when we hand them to them and they give them that hug, that makes it all worth while," Duesler said.

If you would like to sign up, call the Ector County Sheriff's Office at 432-335-3050.