Wandering: search and rescue aids

One of a caregiver’s greatest fears is that their loved one will go front porch and steps that someone living with dementia could wander away fromwandering.

After my uncle was diagnosed with dementia, my aunt was determined to care for him in their home. Our family supported her decision. As years went by and the dementia progressed, she worried about him wandering away.

Keeping loved ones safe and assuring that they will be found if they get lost are easier tasks with the help of newer technologies.

Caregivers can create their own Scent Preservation Kit that helps K9 search and rescue units follow your loved one’s scent. One such kit was pioneered by Paul Coley, co-founder of Scent Evidence K9.

“There’s been a lot of research done, and your odor, your scent is specific to you, just like your DNA and your fingerprint,” Coley said. His scent kits come with a special swab for collecting underarm odor and DNA and a specially designed container to preserve them.

“So if you put it in an area where it stays below 80 degrees and it’s out of the sunlight, it lasts for a very long time,” he said — up to 10 years.

Kits like his are available for purchase from Amazon. Many city and county police departments are creating their own programs.

Wireless door alarms, GPS tracking watches and systems that fit inside shoes and GPS car trackers are wise investments for family caregivers to consider.