Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
Alzheimer’s Project is requesting $150,000 in US Department of Justice funds to establish and operate a holistic, locally based, proactive program to locate or prevent the wandering of individuals with forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease or developmental disabilities such as autism, who due to their condition, wander from safe environments. The proposed Bringing the Lost Home Project will assist local emergency personnel in improving the search performance for locating missing residents, especially these populations that have a high propensity to wander. Alzheimer’s Project plans to purchase the Bringing the Lost Home program from a subrecipient, Scent Evidence K9. The Bringing the Lost Home Project utilizes non-restrictive interventions in preparing individuals and families, and in responding to individuals who have wandered from safe environments. The program has been successfully implemented in several states.
The lead agency of the Bringing the Lost Home Project will be Alzheimer’s Project. Alzheimer’s Project will work closely with key partners, the Tallahassee Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office that will implement search and rescue efforts. Alzheimer’s Project will also partner with the Leon County School Board to raise awareness of the wandering risks of individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism and to ensure that Individual Preparedness Plans are in place.
The proposed Bringing the Lost Home Project will consist of the Scent Evidence K9 Bringing the Lost Home public awareness campaign, the Scent Evidence K9 Missing Persons Response Protocol, a trained scent-discriminate trailing canine, the Scent Evidence K9 M77 K9 handler training, distributing Scent Evidence K9 Human Scent Preservation Kits which include Individual Preparedness Plans, and the SEKR human scent collection device and materials. The additional goals of the project are to 1) Enhance public awareness in Franklin and Gadsden Counties and Tallahassee of wandering behavior of individuals with dementia or developmental disabilities to decrease incidents of wandering and encourage community involvement in prevention and finding missing persons, and 2) Provide emergency protocols, response training and responder scent collection materials for Franklin and Gadsden Counties and Tallahassee first responder agencies that facilitate the safe rescue of individuals with dementia or developmental disabilities who wander away from safe environments.