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East County News Service

August 16, 2016 (San Diego, CA)San Diegans living with Alzheimer’s received free GPS devices under a Wandering Prevention Pilot Program started by Alzheimer’s San Diego and funded by the County of San Diego.

The program, which was funded by a $10,000 County grant recommended by Supervisor Greg Cox, will allow Alzheimer’s San Diego to give 100 families a free GreatCall GPS Device.

Alzheimer’s disease can cause someone, even in the early stages to become confused or disoriented and this can pose serious safety issues. Today, there are more than 62,000 San Diegans living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and 6 in 10 of them will wander at some point.

“Everyone living with Alzheimer’s disease or any form of memory loss is at great risk for wandering and the consequences can be deadly. This program is just one example of our commitment to educating local families about dementia-related safety and to giving them the tools they need to keep their loved ones safe,” said Mary Ball President and CEO, Alzheimer’s San Diego.

Each family in the program will receive a FREE GreatCall Device, accessories and three months of service. They will also receive continuing support and follow up from the master’s level social workers at Alzheimer’s San Diego.

Unfortunately, many families are unaware or have not accepted the risks of wandering and because of this do not have a plan or precautions in place. This program gives Alzheimer’s San Diego the opportunity to talk one-on-one with families and go over all their safety options, while also reducing the financial barrier of GPS technology that keeps many families from trying this type of protection.

Supervisor Greg Cox says, “This program is going to save lives and give families tremendous peace of mind We are making the devices available to families who otherwise couldn’t afford them.”

This local project is supported by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which is seeing an increasing number of dementia-related wandering cases. The Wandering Pilot program will work with the Sheriff’s Take Me Home program; a photo-based information system promotes communication and gives Law Enforcement access to critical information to help return the individual safely.

For more information about the Wandering Prevention Pilot Program or dementia-related safety concerns, please visit  or call 858.492.4400.

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