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Project aids local Alzheimer’s patients

Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Supporting Project Life Saver

Highland Rim Civitan Club President Ron Derksen presents at check to Joyce McConnell of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department for Project Life Saver which assists in protection and location of persons who have a tendency to wander due to a medical condition, such as Alzheimer's.

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 5.4 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s disease – an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and intellectual function.

In Lincoln County alone, it is estimated, by the Alzheimer’s Association and statistics from the county census, that 700 people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Over 60 percent of local citizens with Alzheimer’s will wander at some point during the course of this disease. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of those who wander may be seriously injured or could die.

For years, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department has been concerned about those who sometimes wander off, and by partnering with Project Lifesaver International, the department now has access to state-of-the-art equipment that will help locate people by placing personalized radio transmitters on identified persons. 

Project Lifesaver’s mission is to use state-of-the-art technology in assisting those who care for victims of Alzheimer’s dementia, Autism, Down Syndrome and any other cognitive condition that cause wandering.

A fundraiser to be held at the Boonshill Community Center on Oct. 27 will benefit the Lincoln County Project Lifesaver Program. Money raised will be used to buy personalized transmitter units for individuals in the program, equipment to help locate those individuals that have become lost and for awareness of the program and the disease that affects so many of our citizens.

 “Plus, with the additional funds, we are hoping to expand the program to include children with Autism, people with Down Syndrome and other related mental disorders,” said Joyce McConnell, an investigator with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

The fundraiser for Project Lifesaver will be held at the Boonshill Community Center. The Grand Ole Opry Band will be providing the music. A hamburger steak dinner will be served starting at 5 p.m., and a live auction will begin after dinner, with numerous items available.