Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office partners with Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama (ACA) to provide a system for tracking patients with Alzheimer’s disease who wander from their caregivers. Project Lifesaver provides special armbands to Alzheimer’s patients. The armbands emit radio signals that can be tracked using special equipment. Sheriff Hale purchased three tracking devices. When sheriff’s deputies are alerted that a patient is missing, the devices are tuned into that patient’s assigned signal. Most patients are found within a few minutes.

There are over 9000 Alzheimer’s patients in Jefferson County. Although only 40% of patients demonstrate wandering behavior, it can lead to deadly consequences.

Miller Piggott, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, and Sheriff Mike Hale, joined forces to prevent injury and death to Jefferson County residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by implementing Project Lifesaver .

How it works: Armbands may be purchased through ACA. Some armbands are available at little or no cost for families facing financial hardship, thanks to donations from citizens and support from local foundations. Case managers from ACA interview prospective clients and their families. Based on information collected by the case managers, sheriff’s supervisors receive authorization to meet with families and place the armband on the patient. Once a month deputies return to the home to check on the armband, replace the battery and insure the device is working properly. Deputies are available should a patient remove or damage their armband.

How can you receive an armband for someone you care for?

Contact ACA at:
Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama
P.O. Box 2273
Birmingham , Alabama 35201
Phone: (205) 871-7970 or E-mail aca@alzca.org

How so I donate to ACA so that more Alzheimer’s patients may have armbands?

Donations may be made to ACA. Just tell them that you want your donation to go toward helping a family be part of Project Lifesaver .

What if we are having trouble with our armband?

In Birmingham Division, contact: Lt. David McAnally (205) 791-6400
In Bessemer Division, contact: Lt. Andrea Knight (205) 481-4210

Who do I call if an Alzheimer’s patient wanders away?

Call 911 immediately. Be sure to tell dispatchers that the patient has an armband. Dispatchers will notify the appropriate deputies to assist in finding the patient as quickly as possible.