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A lifesaving project for those with dementia in Lexington county

The program is free through Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — For caregivers in Lexington County, love ones with dementia wandering away from home is a huge concern.

"Like disorientation, things like getting lost on familiar paths, which is why programs like Project Lifesaver can really make a difference," said Taylor Wilson, director of government affairs at the South Carolina Alzheimer's Association chapter.

This program the Lexington  County Sheriff's Department uses offers a free service to anyone in the county who's prone to wander based on a cognitive condition.

All that's necessary is an application including your contact information.

"It allows them to know that there are law enforcement officers who can come to their aid when they have exhausted their own search opportunities to find their loved ones," Wilson said.

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Deputies use a transmitter and receiver. The receiver is worn by the wandering individual in the form of a bracelet 24/7 and it gets louder when a deputy gets closer to a lost person.

It can be worn on the ankle or wrist and is waterproof. 

Batteries need to be checked by families every day and the department does routine battery changes every 60 days.

"We have a 5-year-old on the program right now, all the way up through elderly adults with dementia and Alzheimer's," said Brandon Miller, Lexington county sheriff's department major crimes sergeant.

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There are 25 people in the program now and Lexington deputies hope more join.

The receivers cost $1500 each and the transmitters are just under $400 each. The money for this equipment comes through Lexington county sheriff's department foundation fundraisers.

For more information, you can call the sheriff's department at 803-785-8230.

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