Project Lifesaver is a program of specialized operations designed to locate missing individuals who have such conditions as Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, and Autism, all individuals who are likely to wander off and become lost. The program is called “the missing link to lost loved ones,” and it appears to be a program that is badly needed. Alabama’s total population is 4,779,736, and 933,919 of those individuals are age 60 and older, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. In fact, 75,684 of those individuals are 85 and older. Unfortunately, individuals with Down syndrome, Autism, and other cognitive issues are also prone to wandering.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety is heavily involved in this program. The Department is working hard to get the message out to Alabama citizens of its existence and availability. Unfortunately, it appears many people are totally unaware of this program. One aspect of the program is the furnishing of Project Lifesaver bracelets. About 80,000 individuals in Alabama have Alzheimer’s, but fewer than 1,000 of those individuals have received the bracelets. Each Project Lifesaver bracelet costs $300 and it will cost about $400,000 annually to fund the project in the State of Alabama. The bracelets will allow a person who has wandered away and become lost to be found quickly.
For additional information on Project Lifesaver, please contact the Alabama Department of Public Safety at (334) 242-4055. I am convinced this program will help folks and save lives. We will give a more detailed report on this program in the November issue.
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