FRISCO, Texas, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An elderly man with Alzheimer's disease is now safely back at home with his family after wandering outside in cold temperatures thanks to the quick action of the Long Beach Police Department and the watch-like EmSeeQ® wearable locator device.
Matthew Johnson was recovered within 30 minutes after his wife, Margaret, discovered him missing. He was located on in the area of Ocean Boulevard and Bonita Avenue, more than a mile from his home. Temperatures at the time were in the 40s and Mr. Johnson was wearing only jeans, and a light jacket, along with the EmSeeQ locator bracelet.
The EmSeeQ system is a product of EmFinders, a location technology company based in Frisco, Texas that manufacturers the devices and powers the locating service. The wristwatch-style EmSeeQ device uses the nationwide U-TDOA cellular technology to accurately and rapidly determine the location of the device wearer, enabling rescuers to find him or her quickly and reduce the risk of grave injury or even death should the individual become lost or intentionally elope.
Mrs. Johnson activated the device around 5:25 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and within minutes, officers were dispatched to the location provided by the EmSeeQ device. Within 20 minutes, officers had located Mr. Johnson and returned him home to his wife by 6 a.m.
"The EmSeeQ device helped us find and return my husband safe and sound," Mrs. Johnson said. "He was not in an area that I would have thought to look for him and was definitely not dressed appropriately for the weather."
Mr. Johnson had wandered away in the past, requiring the Long Beach Police Department to invest precious resources in locating him. Through its Safe Reunion/Long Beach program, the Long Beach PD provided the Johnsons with a free EmSeeQ locater device to aid in his rescue should he wander again.
Safe Reunion/Long Beach is a partnership between EmFinders and the Long Beach Police Department to help locate missing loved ones in the community, especially for those prone to wander due to cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, autism and dementia. Through the generous donation of Long Beach resident Carolyn Wahlberg, the LBPD has a limited quantity of free bracelets available for those to those who qualify. Participants cover only the cost for the 24-hour monitoring service, approximately $25 per month.
"There's no doubt this technology enabled us to locate Mr. Johnson much more quickly than we ever could have without it," said Sgt. Charli Alu of the LBPD. "With EmSeeQ, we were able to locate Mr. Johnson and bring him home in less time than it would have taken us to activate a search team if he hadn't been wearing the bracelet. The Safe Reunion program is an excellent community service and I strongly encourage anyone who's charged with the care of an impaired individual to take advantage of the opportunity."
Wandering is a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease that causes endless worry for families and caregivers. The EmSeeQ emergency locator system by EmFinders provides an added layer of peace of mind and security, in addition to other measures often employed by caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and sound. Once activated by the caregiver, the device works by placing a call to 9-1-1, which provides its location to dispatchers who can then send assistance, as they do every day for thousands of wireless 911 calls per month.
The wristwatch-style EmSeeQ device is discreet, yet secure, providing much-needed and affordable peace of mind to caregivers of seniors suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, and even children with autism who are prone to running away. The EmSeeQ bracelet is available in two different styles: a watchband-type device with a traditional buckle, and a clasp-style that requires two hands to remove for added security.
For more information about the EmSeeQ device, visit www.emfinders.com. To inquire about obtaining a free EmSeeQ device, contact the Long Beach Police Department at 562-570-1436. Or, to make a donation to the Safe Reunion/Long Beach Foundation, call 562-343-5111 or visit www.lbpolicefoundation.org.