OAK FOREST (CBS) — A loved one with Alzheimer’s wanders off. Such cases have prompted big searches that can go for hours, or even days.
But there’s a high-tech way to follow someone’s footsteps, and Oak Forest is offering it to residents.
It all comes down to a beep, CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports.
When it’s louder, you know you’re getting closer to the person you’re tracking.
The technology is from Project Lifesaver. It’s for at-risk people who might leave home and get lost. They are outfitted with a watch-sized bracelet transmitter.
The Oak Forest Police Department recently obtained the system, following an incident in which a woman wandered off. Rescue personnel searched three hours before they found her.
With Project Lifesaver, “the average time is less than 30 minutes,” Officer Eric Wynn said.
For a demonstration, Hartman took the transmitter and got a five-minute head start. Police looking for her didn’t know which way she went.
But stronger “chirps” in one direction told them where to find her. It took officers just 12 minutes.
“I think it’s a great idea,” says the husband of the woman who wandered off last year. “If we had had that it would have been less aggravation and worry.”
Project Lifesaver is responsible for about 2,300 rescues nationwide. The technology is meant for families working with relatives who wander because of Alzheimer’s, autism, Down Syndrome and dementia.
To qualify for a bracelet transmitter, Oak forest residents have to apply at the police department. Grant money made the program possible.