According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in every nine people aged 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease, and one in every three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Alzheimer’s and dementia are not only crippling conditions, but they also increase the chances of an elderly person going missing or getting into an accident. Caring for a loved one who suffers from memory loss or confusion can be a challenging task, but the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has several tips to help ensure seniors stay safe.
Keeping up-to-date information about seniors in your care is important and can help protect them when a crisis occurs. Whether your aging parent or friend has dementia, hearing loss, or other ailments, it’s crucial to identify the risks involved with their physical or psychological illnesses. Take them to routine doctor visits to ensure accurate diagnoses so that they can receive the care they need.
It is terrifying to realize a loved one has gone missing. If you are concerned the senior in your care could potentially leave home without your knowledge, sign them up for SafetyNET. The program provides a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal to help locate them. Recovery times for program participants average 30 minutes.
The Take Me Home program is another option if they are unable to effectively communicate with others. By providing the sheriff’s office with a recent photo, description of their physical characteristics, and emergency contact information, law enforcement can identify them and bring them back home safely. The Take Me Home program is free, and all of the recorded information about your loved one is confidential.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office uses these programs within their service area. SafetyNET tracking is also offered by the Clearwater and Largo Police Departments. You can purchase or lease SafetyNET Tracking Systems online at www.safetynettracking.com or by calling (877) 434-6384. To enroll in the Take Me Home program, contact the Crime Prevention and Community Awareness Unit by calling (727) 582-2222.
Taking on the responsibility of being a full-time caregiver can be a daunting task. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members or enroll your senior in an adult day program. Do everything you can to ensure your loved one is in capable hands.
Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info