TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A missing man living with dementia was found Sunday night in Tyler with the help of his Project Lifesaver (PLS) bracelet from the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County.
The bracelet is waterproof and equipped with radio tracking with a frequency police can dial into. The Alzheimer’s Alliance said Ernest Blanton had wandered into a wooded area when his wife called Tyler police to use the tracking number they had on fire through the program.
“We are very thankful to have the bracelet,” his wife Claudia Blanton said. “We would be a loss without it. When he leaves, he walks so fast. To me it is a Godsend. I appreciate Tyler Police Department.”
According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, the survival rates of dementia wanderers falls to about 34% after 24 hours.
“When a senior with dementia is missing, it is classified as critical, because we know they can often get injured or worse,” Andy Erbaugh, public information officer with the Tyler Police Department said. “Having this partnership with Project Lifesaver helps us to find people so much faster. The officer who deployed the PLS for this latest incident said it would have been very difficult if not impossible to have found him without it.”