Scent-Preservation Technique Plus GPS Tracking: A Winning Combination for Wandering Dementia Patients

14 Sep 2017

There are around 5.5 million people in the U.S. of all ages that are living with Alzheimer’s dementia disease, and this number is growing.

And, as you may know, dementia comes with symptoms such as confusion, mental decline, disorientation, and memory loss. Because of this, it’s too easy for patients with the disease to wander and get lost.

The “scent-preservation” technique is now helping police quickly find a woman with dementia who is missing. Florida police found the woman immediately with the assistance of a special kit they found in her home and their tracking dog.

She had been missing from her home for around a couple hours when police picked up her scent using their tracker hounds.

Without the scent kit and the bloodhound, it would have taken police a minimum of a couple hours to find the woman with dementia, but thankfully, according to Citrus County, Florida’s Deputy Justin Williams, they found her in less than 5 minutes.

The scent preservation kit is not the same as a GPS tracking for dementia device and isn’t a high-tech device itself, but rather it typically includes a jar with a label and a sterile gauze pad.

Individuals swipe their neck or armpit with the gauze and place it in the bottle which provides their own scent.

The scent stays in the jar and is very helpful for people who are at a higher risk, said Tony Turnbull who’s from the County Sheriff’s Department in Sacramento which utilizes both bloodhounds and K-9 units that scent-search.

While the search and rescue hounds are used to hunt for missing people, the K-9 units help to track the scent of fear in suspects.

Normally, police try to gather up things like pillow cases, pajama bottoms, personal items and other things people use all the time so the dogs don’t get a mixed sent when they’re tracking, Turnbull said.

And, as long as another person hasn’t handled the item and caused cross contamination, the dogs can pick the scent up easily which is the same as the kits.

More than 60 percent of individuals who have dementia or Alzheimer’s will at some point wander, according to the Sacramento Alzheimer’s Association. Presently, in California, there are 63,000 individuals who live with Alzheimer’s and nationwide – there’s 5 1/2 million.

In some cases, individuals are found rather quickly and found safe; however, sadly there are others who aren’t.

Sacramento Alzheimer’s Association’s, Michelle Johnston, says that in addition to GPS personal tracking, GPS elderly locator devices and other types of security programs, these scent-preservation kits are an additional safety measure.

The longer a person with or without dementia is missing, the likelihood there will be tragic results, says Johnston.

If you have a family member with dementia or Alzheimers and is prone to wandering, consider using this scent preservation technique and GPS tracking.

Call us here at LiveViewGPS at 1-888-544-0494 to learn about GPS tracking devices.

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