For caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients or children with autism, the fear of their loved one wandering away and becoming lost is ever-present. Unable to find their way home or function well independently, impaired individuals are at grave risk of injury—or even death—due to exposure to the elements or hazards they may encounter while wandering.
To provide caregivers and family members with peace of mind and prevent a tragedy, the EmSeeQ emergency locator system by EmFinders makes finding and recovering a lost loved one quick, safe and reliable. The wristwatch-style device uses cellular telephone technology to securely locate the wearer in the event of a wandering emergency. The device is effective and reliable nationwide—anywhere cell service is available—and integrates directly with the E-9-1-1 emergency response system.
The Risk of Wandering
“Studies show that if someone wanders, the first 24 hours are crucial—if they’re not recovered in that time frame, they are far less likely to survive the ordeal, especially during inclement weather,” said Patrice McAree, President of EmFinders. “EmSeeQ can prevent that tragedy by enabling police to quickly locate a lost individual, reducing the worry and risk for family members, caregivers and long-term care facilities.”
Around 10 million Americans are considered cognitively impaired due to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism, traumatic brain injury or other circumstance. Wandering behavior occurs at some point in about 60 percent of Alzheimer patients and about 92 percent of autistic children tend to wander. Each year, many such individuals do wander off unexpectedly—about 127,000 critical cases involving just Alzheimer’s patients annually—causing overwhelming worry for their loved ones and costing millions of dollars for recovery efforts, both of which could be prevented with the EmSeeQ bracelet.
How it Works
When an EmSeeQ wearer wanders off, the caregiver calls 9-1-1 after a thorough search of all the usual places. The caregiver receives a case number from emergency officials and calls the EmFinder’s toll-free hotline to report the missing person. EmFinders remotely activates the missing individual’s EmSeeQ device and the activated device calls 9-1-1. This automatically triggers the national E-9-1-1 emergency location system, which uses advanced cellular signal triangulation technology to provide an accurate location directly to emergency officials. The 911 dispatcher can update the location at any time to account for movement while the emergency responder is en route.
“EmSeeQ dramatically reduces the time from the initial missing persons report to the rescue, saving precious time and possibly a life,” McAree said. “It provides the location directly to emergency responders and it is more reliable than GPS-based solutions, which don’t always work inside buildings or in areas where there is interference.”
The EmSeeQ device is activated only after a caregiver has reported the missing person to the police, and the EmfindersEmergencyOperationsCenter can provide emergency responders with valuable health-related information that may aid in the successful rescue of the EmSeeQ wearer.
Affordable, Reliable for Families and Care Facilities
The device is also very affordable, costing less than a typical cell phone, with a service plan that runs about $25 per month—a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing your wandering loved ones will be located quickly and safely.
Two bracelet models are available: a watch-style band with a buckle, and a secure clasp-style band that requires two hands for removal to ensure that it cannot be removed by the impaired individual.
“With EmSeeQ, caregivers can finally leave the house to go to work and other places with less worry about their loved one wandering off while they’re away,” McAree said. “This allows families to keep impaired individuals at home longer, rather than committing them to long-term care before its absolutely necessary, and it’s much less expensive than a nursing home.”
The system can also save on health care costs. Wandering individuals can quickly become dehydrated, get hurt, mugged or otherwise injured, resulting in the need for urgent medical attention. By helping to locate missing individuals quickly, these situations can be avoided, eliminating the need for costly emergency room visits and hospital stays.
For assisted-living and long-term facilities, the EmSeeQ system provides added security and enhanced care that allow families to feel more confident entrusting the facility with the care of their loved ones. From a risk management perspective, it may also help to reduce liability insurance rates and avoid costly legal judgments should a wandering end tragically – a result that not only has grave human costs, but may also cause serious damage to a facility’s reputation.
“Most facilities have some device that alerts them when a patient leaves the facility, but nothing that helps find the missing person,” McAree said. “With EmSeeQ, they can not only be alerted to the person leaving the premises, but also quickly locate and bring the wanderer back home.”
For more information about the EmSeeQ device, visit www.emfinders.com.
EmFinders, based in Frisco, TX, is a new technology company that has developed a device and subscription service for locating people with Alzheimer’s or other impaired adults and children who wander and become lost. The wearable device and locator service uses advanced cellular technology to locate lost individuals, even if they wander inside a building, under a structure or just about anywhere. The device becomes activated on remote command and the locator service works in coordination with emergency responders. EmFinders is a privately held subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Capital group (NASDAQ: LCAPA), which owns a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses. For more information, visit www.emfinders.com.