MARSHALL, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The Area Agency of Aging in Kilgore has provided $30,000 to the East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance to sign more law enforcement agencies up for a nationwide program that provides homebound seniors a “life alert” wristband for those who may wander off.
The Project Lifesaver grant supplied transmitters for Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Marshall Police Department, and Hallsville Police Department.
“In Harrison County, there is 1,158 people that have dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance Executive Director Beth Godsey.
Once an individual is signed up for the program, law enforcement will be able to turn on their own transmitter to track them if a senior goes missing.
“It is like a GPS. You can locate the wristband and you will find the person,” said Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth.
In 2009, the Marshall’s Pilot Club introduced the program to the area. By 2014, the club ended and the program went away, too. With the grant, the city will now be able to revive it.
“Traditionally, you just have to start searching. Sometimes you get lucky and find them quickly. However, an individual may wander off in the woods where it becomes very hard to find them,” said Carruth.
Project Lifesaver is utilized in Gregg County and Marion County. Eventually, the organization wants to bring this technology to all of East Texas.
If you are interested in signing up for a wristband, you can contact the East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance at 903-230-8001.