The Alzheimer’s Family Organization (AFO) has a joint program with various Sheriff’s Departments to help identify and quickly return wandering memory- impaired persons to their homes. Numerous cases of lost persons are reported in several counties each year and hundreds more are believed to go unreported. Recognizing that the problem is expected to grow as our population ages, the AFO offers this registry for patients who suffer from memory disorders and have a tendency to wander away.
This program requires the use of an I.D. bracelet or pendant that has been engraved with the patient’s first name and nickname, a code number, the words “Memory Impaired” and a central telephone number for the Sheriff’s Department. The code number, together with other patient information, is registered on computers maintained by the AFO and by the appropriate Sheriff’s Department.
The Wanderer’s Identification Program is in effect seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The bracelet or pendant permits authorities to identify people who are confused, and reunite them with their families. Being able to look at a bracelet or pendant, make a phone call, and immediately return a lost person to his or her home, greatly decreases the trauma to patient and caregiver and saves police authorities valuable effort. Thus, in emergencies, the large number of persons suffering from memory disorders are protected and caregivers are relieved of much of their anxiety.