Winter Temperatures Create Urgency in Dementia Wandering Cases - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Winter Temperatures Create Urgency in Dementia Wandering Cases

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Local police are using "Project Lifesaver" to help reduce the time it takes to find missing individuals.

One sector that receives tracking bracelets from the non-profit are people with dementia.

The program makes it easier for police to track those that are reported missing.

However, cases involving people that are not wearing trackers are difficult to solve.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, the majority of wanders stay close to home. Some, especially those with access to a vehicle, can travel much further.

With temperatures expected to dip in the next few months, the urgency to find missing individuals increases.

Annette Clark of the our local Alzheimer's Association says, "We have certainly seen individuals that have perished due to wandering. We have seen incidents of that recently where an individual may wander from their home. Especially during extreme temperatures, whether that be heat or cold, they tend to get into trouble if they cant find their way back home."

There are more than 42,000 people in Central and Southwest Virginia that have been diagnosed with dementia.

There are many resources that are available to help those affected as well as caretakers.

You can visit for a list of local classes, support groups, tips, etc.

Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Bedford County, and Montgomery County all participate in "Project Livesaver". Links to their crime prevention units are listed below.

Roanoke City -

Roanoke County -

Montgomery County -

Bedford County -

For other counties, visit

Some grants are available if there is not a project lifesaver division in your region.

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