Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $150,000)
The City of Huntington in West Virginia has a significant population of individuals with Alzheimer's, Autism, and other types of dementia, which has led to an issue of wandering. In February 2022, an elderly man with dementia went missing from a medical care facility and was found deceased seven weeks later. This event prompted the applicant to develop a locative technology program called "Blue Lights the Way Home" to provide a safety net for individuals with cognitive impairments. The program will provide locative technology trackers to be worn by individuals with cognitive disabilities. The program will be voluntary and require consent from the individual's caretaker/guardian or anyone with the authority to make decisions for the impaired individual and/or minors. The program will provide the necessary waivers of liability, consent forms for minors and guardians, and other program compliance guidelines. Thlocative devices are non-invasive and resemble a keychain that can be attached to clothes or jewelry. The devices are weather proof and have a long battery life. Caregivers will be fully trained on the operation of the locative device and will be provided with resource material for purchasing extra accessories for the device. The program aims to enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families, as well as lessen the burden on the state Medicaid program. Data will be collected by analyzing misser person reports, wandering alerts and silver/amber alerts. This data will be cross referenced before implementation of the program and after close of the funding cycle for performance measures.