What is Project Lifesaver?
Project Lifesaver relies on trained personnel who respond and conduct searches combined with the latest equipment and technology which is often tested in real world situations.
Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. When caregivers notify the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department that a loved one is missing, a trained search and rescue team is quickly deployed to the wanderer's area and starts searching with a mobile tracking system.
Why Project Lifesaver?
Over 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder. That number will triple by 2050. Over 60% of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease will at some point wander and become lost. This represents a critical emergency. Those who suffer from Alzheimer's are unaware of their surroundings and their situation. They do not call out for help nor do they respond to people calling out to them. Many individuals, if not located within 24 hours, will die, become injured or fall prey to predators.
Who can benefit from Project Lifesaver?
Project Lifesaver provides a timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who suffer from Alzheimer's, Autism, Prader-Wili, dementia and other cognitive disorders that can cause at-risk wandering. Project Lifesaver brings peace of mind to families, caregivers and communities.
Elkhart County's Participation
Elkhart County is the second county in the state of Indiana to participate in Project Lifesaver. Spearheaded by the Elkhart County TRIAD (reducing victimization of seniors), Project Lifesaver forms partnerships with local law enforcement and public safety organizations and friendship flights. Friendship flights, provided by Goshen Airport, offer free flights for medical situations and search and rescue. In 2005, Elkhart County's first Project Lifesaver search resulted in the recovery of an Alzheimer's patient in 13 minutes.
- Autism occurs in 1 out of every 88 births in the United States.
- Down's Syndrome occurs in 1 out of every 691 births in the United States.
- Alzheimer's disease occurs in 1 out of every 8 persons over the age of 65 in the United States.
- If a cure is not found by 2050, 15 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease.
- Statistics indicate 60% of persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease will wander and become lost at some time in their elder life.
- The survival rate of a person with Alzheimer's disease lost for 24 hours is about 1 in 3.
Find out more information about Project Lifesaver through the Elkhart County Triad website or through the Project Lifesaver website. You can also contact Daphne Coy at the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department.