Two organizations have combined their services to assist caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease locate their patients if they wander off.
The Alzheimer's Association Safe Return Medic Alert program allows family members and caregivers to call a number to alert their community to the lost loved one.
Patients are given a bracelet or pendent identifying them as a person with Alzheimer's. It also has the contact information of their care provider and medical conditions.
The program is a joint effort between the Alzheimers Association and the MedicAlert Foundation. MedicAlert provides the notification process while the nearest Alzheimer's Association office will offer support during search and rescue efforts.
To enroll in the program, families will pay $49.95 with a $25 annual renewal fee.
Lou-Ellen Barkan, spokeswoman for the association, said patients who wander off are best found within 24 to 48 hours, Firstcoastnews.com reports.
"While we think maybe six in 10 people statistically do wander, we never know who they are going to be or when they are going to wander," said Barkan in the article.
News of the program comes during the National Family Caregivers Month, which celebrates people who assist a family member battling a disease or disability.