Project Life Saver

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Dementia patients have found a strong ally in the Coffee County Sheriff's Department.

The department will provide tracking devices for Alzheimer patients and other mentally-impaired residents who may wander away from their homes.

Coffee County Sheriff's Deputy Misty Smith put a tracking device bracelet on the wrist of Mary Thames Friday afternoon. The 73-year-old is in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. With the radio signal transmitted by the bracelet, it would allow authorities to locate Mrs. Thames whereabouts.

Terry Winstead is her mother's caregiver. She says, "We just been thinking about it, when she might wander off. I’ve been looking into it, and found my mom would be a good candidate and followed-up on it today."

The Enterprise Pilot's Club spent nearly $6000 dollars on the equipment to make Project Life Saver a reality. It will give dementia caregivers a bit of piece, worrying if their loved one suddenly disappears:

President Diane McCollough of the Enterprise Pilot's Club said, "Most of the time, when someone wanders off they are within a mile of their home. There’s been a time in the area where there have been tragedies in this case. We are hoping this equipment will help prevent it."

"I don't think it'll happen to me,” Thames said. “I don't think so because I don't plan on going anywhere."

Deputy Smith said, "We have a tracking device that can work up to five-miles by car, 10-miles by air, and us getting the word out there that we have it with our department."

If you're interested in learning more about Project Life Saver, contact the Coffee County Sheriff's Department at 894-5535.