SafetyNet launches new resource for caregivers of children with autism

WESTWOOD, Mass.– In recognition that April is National Autism Awareness Month and to address a top concern among parents about wandering or “bolting,” SafetyNet today launched SafetyNetSource, its new information and resource center. SafetyNetSource offers a variety of valuable resources for caregivers of those with autism or Alzheimer’s, compelling content from across the web, access to the SafetyNetSource Twitter feed and YouTube channel, as well as a Facebook page to help caregivers communicate with one another and engage in a community of support.

The effort is part of SafetyNet’s initiative to educate people on issues related to autism and Alzheimer’s disease. To help protect people with these conditions, SafetyNet offers a service  that enables police and other public safety agencies to search for and rescue people at risk of wandering. “A key part of our mission at SafetyNet is to provide valuable solutions and resources that offer peace of mind for caregivers of people with autism and Alzheimer’s,” said John Paul Marosy, General Manager, SafetyNet. “That’s why we developed SafetyNetSource — to create a destination with new tools and information that help parents protect those they love from the dangers of wandering and enables caregivers to connect with one another.”

“My seven-year-old son wandered off once and I’ve never felt such desperation; it was terrifying,” said Madeline Gonzalez, mother of a child with autism. “But now that he’s protected with SafetyNet, I’m at peace knowing that if he goes missing, he can be found. We can go more places; do more things. SafetyNet doesn’t replace my responsibility as a parent, but it gives me comfort knowing he can be rescued. And now SafeyNetSource is providing us with resources that are both helpful and engaging. It’s a great help for my whole family.”

via April Is National Autism Awareness Month: — WESTWOOD, Mass., March 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ –.

SafetyNet expert to discuss the safety of children who wander in Boston

SafetyNet’s John Paul Marosy, an eldercare expert and author of several caregiving books, will speak on “New Technologies & Techniques to Assure the Safety of Children with Cognitive Impairments Who Bolt or Wander” at The Federation for Children with Special Needs conference March 13 in Boston.
Marosy, General Manager of SafetyNet, will be joined by William Knight of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department.
The event will take place at the World Trade Center in Boston. Get more information here.

SafetyNet elder care expert at Feb. 24 Fearless Caregiver Conference

SafetyNet General Manager John Paul Marosy, eldercare expert and author of several caregiving books, will participate in a Fearless Caregiver presentation on new technologies and techniques to assure the safety of people with cognitive impairments who wander. The Fearless Caregiver Conference is Feb. 24 at the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Marriott.

Marosy will appear  at noon with representatives of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Project Lifesaver of Palm Beach County.

For more information: The Fearless Caregiver Conference

Understanding and preventing Alzheimer’s wandering

Alzheimer’s disease can erase a person’s memory of once-familiar surroundings and make adaptation to new surroundings extremely difficult. As a result, people with Alzheimer’s sometimes wander away from their homes or care centers and turn up — lost, frightened and disoriented — far from where they started, often long after they disappeared.

Three out of four people with Alzheimer’s will wander at some point during the course of the disease. Wanderers who get lost outdoors may become injured or even die of exposure. This risk increases dramatically if the weather is very cold or very hot.

via Alzheimer’s: Understand and control wandering – MayoClinic.com.

Keeping Alzheimer’s patients safe from life-threatening wandering

This winter, a number of Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. and Canada have died while wandering — either by getting hit by cars or freezing to death.

SafetyNet General Manager John Paul Marosy, elder care expert and author of several caregiver books,  offers the following advice, “There is no one single strategy that can protect loved ones with Alzheimer’s from wandering.The most effective approach involves multiple strategies, which in combination deliver the best protection for the person with Alzheimer’s and peace of mind for the caregiver.”

TIPS:  Here is Marosy’s 10 Step Approach:

PROVIDE INFORMATION TO HELP WITH SEARCH AND RESCUE:

  • Advise Local Responders First – Fill out a 911 disability indicator form and submit it to your local law enforcement agency.  The information on the form alerts law enforcement that a person residing at that address may require special assistance during an emergency.  Also, fill out a more detailed handout with this information that you can provide to first responders and search and rescue personnel in the event of a wandering incident.
  • Inform Your Neighbors – Give your neighbors a similar handout with a picture of the person you are caring for, physical characteristics and emergency contact information.  You may want to describe the person’s fears, habits and explain how to best communicate with and calm them.  Ask them to contact you immediately if they see this person wandering outside their home.
  • Tag Personal Items – List emergency contact information on tags in shoes and on clothing in case your loved one does wander.

SAFEGUARD THE LIVING SPACE – INSIDE AND OUT

  • Hide Triggers that Might Encourage Departure – Remove items such as hats, coats, boots, scarves, keys and suitcases that may  prompt your loved one to go outside.
  • Hang a “Do Not Enter” Sign on the Door – This sign may help redirect and discourage the wanderer from opening the door.
  • Install a Fence Around Your Property – Set latches on the outside of gates and ensure they are in an area where the person you are caring for can’t reach them.
  • Use Simple Monitors, Remote Alerts and Locks – Attach monitors to the door that detects when it opens; use a caregiver chime alert unit, which sounds when the door is open; combine these with locks on all doors including front, garage and basement.

REGISTER AND/OR ENROLL IN PROGRAMS THAT PROMOTE A SAFE RESCUE

  • Register Your Loved One’s Information – With information registered in a secure database, such as the National Silver Alert Program, emergency responders are provided with critical information necessary in the event of a wandering incident or a medical emergency.
  • Consider an Identification Bracelet – An ID bracelet, like the one offered through the Alzheimer’s Association’s MedicAlert + Safe Return program, helps the police or a Good Samaritan get a missing person back home safely or medical attention.
  • Consider a Program that Offers a Personal Tracking Device – Programs that feature personal tracking devices, such as SafetyNet, are a good way to help protect and locate someone in the event they do wander and give peace of mind to a caregiver.  A Radio Frequency device is ideal for people at risk of wandering because, unlike GPS devices, it has strong signals that can penetrate water, dense foliage, concrete buildings and steel structures.

via Across The Country, Numerous Incidents Reported of People with Alzheimer’s Wandering Off and Tragically Dying — WESTWOOD, Mass., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ –.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia:Night-time wandering

What do you do if your husband just wants to go outside at night all the time?

For your husband’s safety and your own piece of mind, your best bet is to ensure that your home is locked up tightly at night so that your husband cannot easily leave. For this, deadbolts that lock from the inside are useful, so long as your husband does not have access to the key. Windows will also need to be secured by some sort of locking mechanism for which only you have the key. Hang bells or other noisy things on the door handles, to alert you if he is trying to open a door. If your husband’s vision is poor, you can also try placing rugs with large dark-colored block designs in front of door exits. Dementia patients with poor vision can mistake the 2-dimensional floor objects for solid 3-dimensional objects or holes in the ground, and are deterred from crossing them. Motion-activated lights, such as are often installed outside, can be used indoors as another deterrent for the door exit area. However, it is important to keep in mind that these measures, while deterring your husband from exiting, may also serve to confuse or agitate him. So you may still need to guide him safely back to bed after he has “triggered” a safety mechanism.

Room For Special Kids: Hotel Offers A Suite With Autism In Mind

TENAFLY, N.J. —All the glassware in the Alpine Suite at the Clinton Inn Hotel in Tenafly is unbreakable — the wine glasses, the water tumblers, even the glass in the cabinet doors.

The furniture has rounded corners with soft bumpers. A round table has replaced a square one. Flower vases and other decor have been glued down. The iron is stored behind a safety lock and the windows are locked. The television is fixed securely to the wall, instead of sitting on a credenza, as in other guest rooms.

Everything in the suite has been designed to give peace of mind to guests who have children with autism.

via Room For Special Kids: Hotel Offers A Suite With Autism In Mind | Travel | Wichita Eagle.

Keep the holidays happy for loved ones with dementia

Gary Barg, editor of Today’s Caregiver magazine, offers these tips to help manage the holiday mayhem if you have somebody at home with Alzheimer’s disease. But we think they make good sense for any family with a loved one who has physical or emotional challenges.

1. Try to include your loved one in holiday preparations by giving him something to do that is within his abilities and that will make him feel useful.

2. Maintain a sense of familiarity. Changing familiar surroundings can lead to confusion, especially for someone with memory or physical challenges. Extra cords, fragile decorations and piles of gifts can be hazards to those with limited mobility.

via Keep the holidays happy for loved ones with dementia.

Boy with Asperger’s lives 11 days in NYC subway system

Day after day, night after night, Francisco Hernandez Jr. rode the subway. He had a MetroCard, $10 in his pocket and a book bag on his lap. As the human tide flowed and ebbed around him, he sat impassively, a gangly 13-year-old boy in glasses and a red hoodie, speaking to no one.

After getting in trouble in class in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and fearing another scolding at home, he had sought refuge in the subway system. He removed the battery from his cellphone. “I didn’t want anyone to scream at me,” he said.

All told, Francisco disappeared for 11 days last month — a stretch he spent entirely in subway stations and on trains, he says, hurtling through four boroughs. And somehow he went undetected, despite a round-the-clock search by his panicked parents, relatives and family friends, the police and the Mexican Consulate.

Via Runaway Spent 11 Days in the Subways

Alzheimer ID Program Going Online

Last night, after hours spent frantically searching, Nillo Raesalmi was reunited with his wife, Alina, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

“I wasn’t lost I don’t know what happened. I’m glad very happy very glad very happy,” said Alina and Nillo Raesalmi.

It was a happy ending to a story that can end in tears as it did after an Alzheimer’s patient died earlier this month after being struck by a vehicle.

Seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s can end up wandering lost, alone, and confused… and ultimately fall victim to a world moving too swiftly to notice them.

“A minute may mean death in some cases. We need to try and find these people as soon as we can,” said Laura Panizza, the director of adult day-care for the Mae Volen Senior Center.

In partnership with the Delray Beach Police, her organization is starting something new to help keep seniors, suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s, safe.

“We’re building a databank of photographs and information,” said John Evans, a sergeant with the Delray Beach Police.

Via Alzheimer ID Program Going Online