The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has awarded $6,000 to the Brunswick Police Department to help expand the Project Lifesaver program, which provides safety technology to Brunswick families caring for someone with a dementia-related illness who are prone to wandering.

According to the foundation: “Wandering is a common and potentially dangerous behavior among individuals with a dementia-related illness, as well as cognitive disorders such as autism. Someone with a dementia-related illness or cognitive condition who wanders can quickly become disoriented, unable to return to safety or not know how, or who, to call for help.”

Project Lifesaver allows caregivers to register their relative with dementia or autism and have those afflicted wear a wrist or ankle transmitter that emits a tracking signal. If that person goes missing, the caregiver notifies Brunswick police who can send officers to the wanderer’s location.

“The Brunswick Police Department’s Project Lifesaver program is a valuable public safety tool for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses,” Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America said, in part, in a news release.

The grant will enable the Brunswick Police Department to purchase additional Project Lifesaver equipment, including new transmitters, bands and batteries that allow police to serve additional families at no cost. It will also help fund the maintenance of this equipment.

Officers will continue to receive periodic training that provides a basic understanding of cognitive conditions, giving them the necessary tools needed to respond to a situation when a program participant wanders and to assess and effectively manage that person’s safe return.

Families can enroll in Project Lifesaver by calling (207) 725-5521.

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