Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) is proud to be partnering with the Largo Police Department to implement a new technology for tracking lost seniors in the community.
It’s not uncommon for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive conditions to wander off or become confused. This can be especially dangerous in the Florida heat, where a few short hours could mean the difference between life and death.
Seniors who are prone to wandering off can wear a SafetyNet wristband designed to help police with tracking them quickly before they are affected by the elements or loss of medication.
The SafetyNet tracking band emits a signal that helps trained search teams locate a wandering or lost senior. Using the technology, police teams can reduce the time it takes to rescue a senior with dementia or other cognitive impairment to 30 minutes or less.
In the past 18 months, Largo officers spent more than 750 hours responding to missing person calls. These included calls about wandering seniors. It’s a very common problem for impaired older adults, especially those who live alone or have a single caretaker.
“You can’t keep your eyes on a person 24 hours a day,” said Leah Slavenksy, director of community impact for Pinellas Community Foundation. She believes that the tracking devices will be instrumental in helping to care for the aging population in Pinellas County.
On Tuesday, September 4, Pinellas Community Foundation presented a $7,500 grant to Largo Police Senior Services to help kickstart the SafetyNet program. The grant will pay for 10 SafetyNet devices, with more to follow.
This grant was awarded to the Largo Police Department in support of the ACT II population in Pinellas County. Through generous donations, PCF provides numerous grant opportunities each year aimed at improving the quality of life in our community.
If you are a caregiver or family member of an older adult in Pinellas County and are interested in getting a SafetyNet tracking bracelet, contact the Largo Police Department online or by phone at 727-586-7351.
To learn more about the SafetyNet technology, visit the official SafetyNet website.