The Proviso Township Mental Health Commission is funding the program, which is currently underway in Westchester and Melrose Park.
“Time is everything,” said Jesse D. Rosas. “Once someone has been missing for 24 hours, the chances of finding him or her alive drops to 50 percent.”
Participants in the program are given a tracking unit, like a wristwatch, that can be placed securely on a wrist or ankle.
Thankfully, not many people have gotten lost, but in one Illinois case, an individual wearing the Care Trak device was found within 30 minutes.
The program is affordable, an $8 per month rental fee. (Units are also available for purchase.) There is also financial assistance for those who qualify.
There are some eligibility requirements:
- You must be a resident of a participating Proviso Township village.
- Your family member must have documented diagnosis of: autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, psychotic disorder, traumatic brain injury, or developmental disability like Down syndrome.
- The individual to be monitored must have 24-hour supervision. This is not a substitute for day care.
- The individual must have a history of wandering or be considered at risk to wander.
- Your family member must have difficulty communicating.
“This program provides safety and peace of mind,” said Michael Corrigan. “It’s one more service we can provide to our community to support the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens and their families.”