Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Ector County Sheriff's Office offers Project Lifesaver

The program fits people with a personalized radio transmitter to assist caregivers and emergency agencies in locating those who can't help themselves.

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — The Ector County Sheriff's Office is reminding the public about its Project Lifesaver system.

Project Lifesaver is a bracelet for people who have dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or for children with special needs who tend to wander off. It makes it easier for law enforcement to locate them.

ECSO will have two receivers to track individuals. The teams in charge of the system are specially trained in the tracking equipment as well as on how to approach anxious and disoriented individuals who suffer from autism, Alzheimer's, dementia and other mental disorders.

Team members also work to present information to healthcare providers in the community and to civic groups to widen understanding of the system, helping increase the success rate of Project Lifesaver.

To qualify for the program people must have a caretaker of some kind living with them. 

For more information on Project Lifesaver you can call 432-335-3050 and ask for Investigator Heidi Zavala. For those not in Ector County you can also visit the Project Lifesaver website.

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

Statistics from the ECSO Facebook page:

  • 10% of the population 65 and over have Alzheimer's disease
  • 59% will wander at some point during the progression of the condition
  • 7 out of 10 of those stricken with Alzheimer's disease live at home
  • Experts say about 32,000 Alzheimer's patients wander away from home or long term care facilities each year
  • lf a wandered person is not found within 24 hours, their survival rate drops to 46%
  • When wandering patients die, it was usually because they could go no further. They were stopped by something and could not negotiate around the object that stopped them
  • A study of 100 disappearances reported that Alzheimer's patients did not call out for help or respond to shouts from search teams
  • Alzheimer's disease is just one form of dementia that may cause wandering
  • The largest segment of the predicted Alzheimer's disease population are people over age 85. 50% of that population has Alzheimer's disease
  • By 2050 over 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease

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