The Alzheimer’s Outreach Group of Alabama donated a search drone to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department to add to their Project Lifesaver division. The department is the first of hopefully many across the Alabama metro areas according the AOG director, Oscar Wayne Calloway. The Alzheimer’s Outreach Group works with other organizations, such as Project Lifesaver and their associates, to assist families of those with a form of dementia that puts them at risk for wandering. The “Drone Project” is the AOG’s newest chapter in providing lifesaving services to those who have a tendency to wander.
The drone searches for individuals using video and thermal imaging technology, allowing the Sheriff’s Department to cover more ground with an extended time window while using fewer officers. Other tacking equipment requires the wandering loved one to be wearing a piece of tracking technology such as a GPS bracelet in order to find them quickly. The visual equipment on the drone allows for efficient searches for individuals not wearing any tracking technology. The drone’s thermal imaging detects radiation and produces a video feed showing infrared imaging without the need for a light source. This allows the drone to search for missing individuals at night.
Project Lifesaver is an international organization that specifically focuses on those who are at risk for wandering due to Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disorders. The organization aims to provide tracking devices and training programs to those in need to keep those living with Alzheimer’s safe. Project Lifesaver maintains that efficient planning and proper technology are key in finding and keeping loved ones safe.
According to the Alzheimer’s Outreach Group website, individual pieces of wearable tracking bracelets can cost up to $300. AOG and Project Lifesavers both work to provide these bracelets at no cost to those who need it. The AOG estimates an annual cost of $400,000 is necessary to provide the state of Alabama alone with these lifesaving pieces of equipment. Donations for the Alzheimer’s Outreach Group of Alabama can be made here and the donations for Project Lifesaver can be made here.