California camp for Alzheimer’s patients isn’t about memories

When Samara Howard recently dropped off her elderly mother Johnnye Jennings at a three-day camp for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, it was the first night she’d been away from Jennings in seven years.

“Normally, I only sleep maybe two hours a night because she wakes up and she wanders and she turns on the stove,” says Howard, who eventually had to quit her job to take care of her mother full-time.

“I haven’t slept through the night in years.

You hear these stories of exhaustion and frustration often from the families of the roughly 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Confusion, wandering and agitation are common with dementia, and usually any break in the daily routine only increases those reactions.

via Camp For Alzheimer’s Patients Isn’t About Memories : NPR.

Flamingos raise money for autism and Alzheimer’s wandering program in Massachusetts

Flamingos will soon be flocking at locations around town as the Plymouth Networking Group and Sunrise Rotary Club of Plymouth team up to raise money to assist families who cannot afford to participate in a new search and rescue program for those at risk of wandering.

Nothing’s more frightening than the thought of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, autism or other condition wandering away, according to local nurse Connie Hinds, a member of both the networking and Rotary clubs.

The groups plan to flock a few select locations to help increase public awareness of the new SafetyNet tracking program soon to be offered locally. Hinds said both groups share an interest in protecting local seniors. They suspect that bright pink flamingos on laws will help bring attention to the search and rescue program.

“We want to increase public awareness of the program and have fun, too,” she said. “Flamingos can’t help but get a lot of attention.”

SafetyNet outfits seniors with a personal locator unit worn on the wrist or ankle. If a loved one goes missing, Hinds said, local law enforcement and public safety agencies trained and certified on search and rescue procedures will use SafetyNet search and rescue receivers to track the radio frequency from the locator.

via Flamingos for fun and funds – Plymouth, MA – Wicked Local Plymouth.

Adult night-care service for Alzheimer’s patients who may wander

Nighttime is when some Alzheimer’s patients are most restless, creating an anxious, sleepless time for caregivers who worry about their loved ones wandering.

“It is common for them to get their circadian rhythms off,” said Jean Van Den Beldt, administrator of Byron Center Manor, which plans to begin a new dawn-to-dusk activity program called Twilight Care.

The dementia-care and adult-day services community at 2115 84th St. SW is starting the program, which will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., to keep restless patients in a safe, stimulating environment. The cost is $120 per night.

via New service keeps restless Alzheimer’s patients busy at night |

SafetyNet available in Marshfield, Mass., to find people with autism, Alzheimer’s who wander

Marshfield —With training having been completed June 22, the Marshfield Police Department has officially added Safety Net to its public safety arsenal.

The program, which has been implemented by police and fire departments nationwide, will provide Marshfield officials the tools they need to swiftly track down and rescue those who have wandered from their caregivers.

“People who want to sign up can go online with Safety Net or come here,” said veteran Marshfield police officer Ralph Poland, who on a recent afternoon behind the police station learned first-hand — along with several other officers and firefighters — how to use the advanced tracking equipment.

Poland, who is helping to implement the program, said police and fire officials know that it only takes a moment for a resident with Alzheimer’s disease, autism or any other condition that may predispose them to do so to wander off or disappear. In North America alone, according to Safety Net figures, more than 5.8 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, and the majority may have a tendency to wander.

via Police, fire officers complete SafetyNet training – Marshfield, MA – Marshfield Mariner.

Unified, Utah, offers monitors for those with cognitive conditions at risk of wandering

The Unified Police Department is offering search monitors to people with cognitive conditions linked to wandering, such as Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome and dementia.

The SafetyNet monitor emits a radio signal from a device worn on the ankle or wrist, police wrote in a news statement Monday. If the wearer is reported missing, officers can use the signal to find the person.

There is a $99 enrollment fee and a monthly fee of $30.

For more information, call 877-434-6384.

via Monitors offered for those with cognitive conditions – Salt Lake Tribune.

Lower Merion, PA Police Captain Explains Why SafetyNet Will Benefit His Force and Community

The Lower Merion, PA Police Department is working in conjunction with the Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Main Line Program to implement SafetyNet, a new service that helps public safety agencies search for and rescue people at risk of wandering, including children with autism. The service will be available for caregivers and their loved ones living in Lower Merion Township and Narberth beginning in June 2010.

Captain John Dougherty of the Lower Merion Police Department discusses the value of SafetyNet and how it will help the Main Line community, as well as how it will benefit public safety agencies in their search and rescue operations

Captain John Dougherty of the Lower Merion Police Department gives examples of how SafetyNet will benefit his force in their search and rescue operations

SafetyNet Philadelphia leadership forum on wandering, safety

Pictured (from left to right) are John Paul Marosy, LoJack SafetyNet; Councilman-at-large Jack Kelly; Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Kathy Kelleher, LoJack SafetyNet; Michael Tuckerman, Founder of Keeping Individuals Safe and Sound (KISS); and Michal Fandel, LoJack SafetyNet.

Pictured (from left to right) are John Paul Marosy, SafetyNet; Councilman-at-large Jack Kelly; Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Kathy Kelleher, SafetyNet; Michael Tuckerman, Founder of Keeping Individuals Safe and Sound (KISS); and Michal Fandel, SafetyNet.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and City Councilman-at-Large Jack Kelly spoke at a Leadership Forum on Assuring the Safety of Persons Who Wander sponsored by SafetyNet on April 29.  More than 50 leaders from healthcare and human service agencies in the Philadelphia area gathered for the event. Mayor Nutter praised the progress of the city-wide public-private partnership involving the city’s police department and community organizations.  Police Commissioner Ramsey echoed the Mayor’s comments and praised Councilman-at-Large Jack Kelly and parent/activist Michael Tuckerman for bringing the service to the city.


John Paul Marosy of SafetyNet

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter

SafetyNet Contest: Win $100 Spa Card!

SafetyNet wants to help caregivers keep children at risk of wandering safe with our Resource Center, which features valuable tips and forms for caregivers of children with autism or similar conditions. Materials include: a First Responders FormNeighbor Form, and this tip sheet, 10 Ways to Help Protect Your Child From the Dangers of Wandering.

We know that caring for a child with a cognitive condition, such as autism or Down syndrome, that makes them prone to wandering is stressful. So we want to give you a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to … a well-deserved respite from your demanding schedule. To enter, help us spread the word aboutSafetyNet’s Resources by retweeting the @SafetyNetSource contest tweet on Twitter.

This contest is in recognition of Autism Awareness Month and runs through April. Here are the complete Rules and Regulations.

SafetyNet tips to help protect children with autism from wandering

Autism is considered the fastest growing developmental disability, as it now affects one in every 100 children.A top concern among parents caring for a child with autism is wandering or “bolting.” Tragically, children with autism are often attracted to water sources such as pools, ponds, and lakes and, drowning is a leading cause of death for children with autism.

As part of its education initiative to help protect children with autism and in recognition that April is National Autism Awareness Month, SafetyNet offers the following tips from expert John Paul Marosy, General Manager of SafetyNet:

  • Advise Local First Responders – Fill out a 9-1-1 Disability Indicator Form and submit it to your local law enforcement agency, which will alert police during an emergency that a person residing at that address may require special assistance.
  • Inform Your Neighbors – Give them a handout with a picture of your child, physical characteristics, emergency contact information and details about how to effectively approach/communicate with and calm your child.
  • Place STOP or DO NOT ENTER signs on doors – These powerful visual cues and reminders can help stop a child from bolting.
  • Secure Your Home – Use deadbolt locks, keep doors and windows locked and install an alarm system/alert chimes on doors. Consider motion detectors and window bars.
  • Teach Your Child to Swim – Because people with autism are drawn to water, such as pools, ponds and lakes, swimming lessons can be invaluable.
  • Eliminate Triggers for Wandering – If your child has a fixation on certain sounds or objects that draw him/her to investigate and wander, eliminate those distractions.
  • Get an ID Bracelet/Necklace – List emergency contact information on personal IDs and on tags for personal belongings.
  • Use a Monitor/Camera at Bedtime – A sound or video monitor provides constant surveillance, even when you are in a different room.
  • Install a Fence – Set latches high and out of reach on the outside of gates.
  • Consider a Personal Tracking Device – A Radio Frequency device is ideal for people at risk of wandering because it has strong, silent signals that operate even if the child has wandered into a body of water, dense foliage, concrete garage or steel structure.

Book Review | Lost: Trio linked in search for Alzheimer’s wanderer

We haven’t seen many — or any — suspense novels where the plot revolves around the search for a person with Alzheimer’s disease who has wandered. But The Columbus Dispatch says author Alice Lichtenstein has done her research and that makes “Lost” worth reading.

Condensed to a sentence, Lost sounds like a suspense novel: Christopher, a 72-year-old former architect afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, wanders off into the snowy woods somewhere in the Northeast, and his wife and a team of rescuers try to find him.

via Book Review | Lost: Trio linked in redemptive search | The Columbus Dispatch.