Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
Los Angeles County was previously awarded the “Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities” grant, award number 2020-J1-BX-0004. The $150k grant, which was awarded to LA County in February 2020 for three years (2019-2022) is allowing LA County to explore the use of GPS/Cellular technology in the Los Angeles County Region. We are in the process of launching a focus trial with 30 families that will be providing feedback on three different technologies. The feedback will be used to determine which type of GPS device to implement. The overall goal is to provide technology alternatives that would better suit families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer's, dementia, autism, developmental disabilities, or other cognitive impairments.
We are requesting $150,000 to utilize over 36 months to expand efforts from the 2019 Grant, which would allow us to fund the cost of the device, monthly data charges and web platform use LA County Residents. The grant would allow us to continue to offer a GPS alternative. This additional option would benefit caregivers and families with features such as geofencing, thus allowing a certain amount of freedom to their loved one impacted by a cognitive impairment and decreasing anxiety symptoms which often lead to wandering events.
The model for the GPS Pilot would follow the established one for the Project Lifesaver Pilot. Individuals who are eligible would receive a free device, after meeting program criteria. Evaluation and application processing would be conducted by the LA Found Unit at the Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. The Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department Mental Evaluation Team would continue to be the lead law enforcement agency to provide support in the event individuals participating in the GPS pilot wander.
Enhancements to the program’s website will be made in 2021 and the February 2021 launch of an online referral system allows partner agencies and law enforcement jurisdictions to refer eligible individuals to the program.
We will continue working closely with the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department (LASD) to explore best practices when using technology to locate individuals and identify frequent wandering individuals/families who could benefit from the program. Final decisions and program enhancements will continue to be made in partnership with LASD, including the selection and expansion of GPS/Cellular based technology.