Virginia Beach Assisted Living Site Testing Tracking Devices

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A local assisted living facility in the Virginia Beach area will be the first to start automatically enrolling residents with memory conditions into a new electronic tracking program. The Police Department, which is operating the Project Lifesaver effort, is now partnering with Kings Grant House in order to provide around half of the facility’s residents with monitoring bracelets for the pilot of the program, set to last for around six months. Project Lifesaver International works with law enforcement agencies throughout the country to provide these tracking devices, which include bracelet transmitters, receives, and antennas. The transmitters are created to emit a radio signal at a frequency that police can tune to in order to help find the missing person.

Previously, people who were interested in these tracking devices for those who are experiencing memory problems were dealing with the issue of having to find the information about them on their own. The police that have seen the effectiveness of the technology prompted for the department to start pursuing getting these tools for the elderly in the area. There have been more than 100 successful searches related to missing persons dealing with memory problems since 2005 within the Virginia Beach area. Most of the department’s clients are people who have memory issues like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Even though most assisted living facilities have their own security, the police note that none of it is secured enough to the point that it would be foolproof. The bracelets are there to provide more comfort and peace of mind for family, staff, and even the patients themselves. Residents who are at Kings Grant House have the opportunity to be as mobile as they want to without having to worry about what may happen if they start experiencing a negative episode. The bracelets are essentially a way to help keep them independent and active without having to be concerned about where they may wander to. However, the home is still waiting to get permission from some family members about whether or not they can use the bracelets on some of the residents. For the most part, no one has objected.

Residents will receive these bracelets for free during the pilot version of the program. The city would usually charge around $9 a month per client. However, the cost also varies from city to city. In Virginia Beach, if people are not able to afford the bracelets, there’s a local non-profit organization which covers the fees for them instead. The Project Lifesaver program is said to be one of the largest that the non-profit organization is aware of, present in Virginia Beach. There are around 286 people who have been enrolled within the program, including the Kings Grant House residents. Currently, there are at least half of the residents of the home who are participating in the project. This number is said to increase slowly overtime and expected to reach higher numbers in 2013.