Woodway is home to residents with Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Mental Dysfunction Disorders and youngsters with Down’s Syndrome or Autism. More than half with these ailments will wander at one time or another. Those who become lost will require an urgent, well trained response. If not found quickly, they are at high risk of serious injury or even death.
Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver contacts the Woodway Public Safety Department immediately by calling 911, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for PLI clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations.
While caregivers check that the battery and wristband are secure daily, both items are maintained and replaced monthly by Woodway Public Safety personnel or trained volunteers.
To participate in the Woodway Public Safety Department’s Project Lifesaver program, the prospective client must:
• Live within the city limits of Woodway.
• Be diagnosed by a certified physician as having Alzheimer’s Disease, other dementia disorders, autism, Down’s Syndrome, or similar disorders.
• Be known to wander away from caretakers.
The program is expected to be fully operational by the end of December 2013.
Chief Yost Zakhary:
“Project Lifesaver provides a new level of safety for those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other memory and judgment disorders. I’m proud to bring this innovative service to our community. It gives families and caregivers reassurance and a much needed sense of security. Where previously a full scale search for a missing person suffering from a memory disorder might last for days and require extensive public safety resources, now it may be concluded in just a matter of minutes. I expect Project Lifesaver’s success to be measured not only by a savings in taxpayer dollars, but also by something priceless: the value of lives saved as a result of this worthwhile project.”