Our Commitment to Excellence and Saving Lives

Elizabeth Bravo Santiago,
Director of Wanderer's Safety Program

Few people realize that wandering is a common and potentially life-threatening behavior of persons with dementia. Statistically, six out of ten people will wander, and if a wanderer is not found within a 24-hour period, there is a possibility he or she could be seriously injured or deceased.

This can be a stressful and emotionally draining time for caregivers. Caringkind MedicAlert® NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program is always available to assist caregivers by providing support during the time that a person with dementia is missing. Afterwards, once they are found safely and reunited with their family, CaringKind provides guidance and care planning to ensure the safety of the person who has gone wandering. The person with dementia receives an identification bracelet inscribed with a statement that the person is memory impaired, the person’s first name, a numerical code linked to a health record, and a 24-hour emergency phone number.

MedicAlert® operates as a live 24-hour emergency response service for any person with dementia who experiences a medical emergency, or who may wander and become lost. Because of our partnership with them, we continue to boast a 98% success rate in Caringkind MedicAlert® NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program — a testament to its excellence and performance through this affiliation.

At the time of enrollment, we ask caregivers to provide the member’s physical characteristics, list of critical medications, health conditions, and any known allergies, wrist measurement, and a current photo.

This information is kept confidential in our MedicAlert® NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program National Database and is only given to the police department or emergency room staff when needed.

We could not be as effective as we are without the help, support, and participation of our New York City Police Department, emergency responders, and good Samaritans who have helped us find wanderers due to our missing persons bulletins, social media, or because they noticed a MedicAlert® bracelet on the individual who was missing. We are very grateful for this collaboration.

Once enrolled with the MedicAlert® NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program, it is important to have the individual with dementia wear their identification bracelet.

Here are some suggestions to help encourage someone to wear their identification bracelet:

  • Have a grandchild or long-time friend present the bracelet. The individual may appreciate the gesture, cherish and wear the bracelet.
  • Ask the physician or nurse to present the jewelry. If the individual has a medical appointment soon after receiving the bracelet, ask the physician or nurse to place the bracelet on the client during the appointment.
  • Caregivers may want to order a matching bracelet. Seeing another person wear the bracelet may make it more acceptable for the memory-impaired person to wear it.
  • Keep in mind that presentation is everything. Wrap the identification bracelet in a box and present it as a gift.

Help us to save lives. Enroll the person you care for today. It’s easy to register.

Visit our website:
www.caringkindnyc.org/wandersafety or call our Helpline at 646-744-2900.

You will also be giving yourself peace of mind.

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