Project Lifesaver

What the Program Does

Project Lifesaver is the Reliable Rescue Program for wandering victims of Alzheimer's and related mental disorders. Project Lifesaver forms partnerships with local law enforcement, Ontario County Sheriff's Office and public service agencies, Ontario County Office for the Aging.

Why the Program Is Needed

More than 5,000,000 people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's and related disorders. That number will triple by 2050. Well over 50% of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer's or other dementia represents a critical emergency. They are unaware of their situation; they do not call out for help and do not respond to people calling out for them. Nearly half of them will die and many can become injured or fall victim to predators if they are not located within 24 hours. The number of families and communities experiencing this risk will grow dramatically in the coming years.

How the Program Works

Project Lifesaver combines tried-and-true radio technology with rescue teams from the Ontario County Sheriff's office. Clients of Project Lifesaver wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. When caregivers notify the Sheriff's office that the person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the client's last known location and starts searching with a mobile locator tracking system. Search times are typically reduced from hours and days down to minutes.

The Project Lifesaver wristband is much more than a passive ID bracelet. It is a 1-ounce, battery-operated wrist transmitter that emits an automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. As each wristband has a unique radio frequency, the Project Lifesaver search team can locate and identify the person who has wandered away from home or a care facility.