New programs help track Alzheimer's patients in Florida for free

A 73-year-old Alzheimer's patient is safe, after being rescued from a swamp in Kissimmee.

"These guys are heroes, they dropped the helicopter and landed in a safe place. Co-pilot runs out, gets guided into the area, and found him face down. He had fallen and couldn’t get up." Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez spoke about the rescue of a 73-year-old Alzheimer's patient. "A gentleman had got away from his loved one. And he went into a swamp."

Not all these stories have happy endings though. 

Back in November, deputies say, 73-year-old Herman McClenton was found dead after wandering off during a Thanksgiving Day celebration. 

Sheriff Lopez has a new way to tragedies from happening. "If your family member wanders, you definitely want to call us so we can get you involved with project lifesaver." Project Lifesaver involves having the patient wear a free bracelet like this, that the Osceola Sheriff’s office can track if the person wanders off. "We have a 100% success rate. If you call us within 30-40 minutes we locate this person."

And in Orange County, Scent Preservation Kits are being provided for free, so if a loved one wanders off, K-9s can track their scent.

Over in Volusia County deputies will activate the alert system if someone goes missing.

"According to the Alzheimer's Association, 6 out of 10 people with any form of dementia will be prone to wandering."

According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center, more families are having to deal with wandering loved ones that are why items like these are so important. 

"They can get pretty far away before you figure out they’re gone and even in a neighborhood where it will be tougher to track them down if you haven’t prepared in advance." And if you're interested in getting a bracelet with a tracking system, contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.