Johnson Co., IL deputies help track Alzheimer's residents throug - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Johnson Co., IL deputies help track Alzheimer's residents through program

JOHNSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

Deputies in Johnson County, Illinois are keeping residents with Alzheimer's from getting lost with tracking device.

If someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia gets lost, officers at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department say they have the ability to track them through a program called Care Trak.

Rose Ren was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year.

“I had no idea where I was and thank God a neighbor found me,” Ren said.

 After this incident, she said she didn’t want to leave her house.

“I just closed myself in,” Ren said. “I wouldn’t go outside for nothing. I was just in fear to leave my home. And then we found out about this.”

What looks like a watch is actually a tracking device.

The department saw the need for the program.

“There are people out there that need that if they have the tendency to wonder off or not know what’s going on, especially with winter coming up – just a few minutes between life and death,” Officer Scott Sparks said.

So how does it work?

“We’ll pick up the signal and we’ll fine-tune the receiver here and ultimately lead us right up to their location within a few feet," Sparks said.

It’s something both Rose and her husband Mike are grateful for.

“I saw how easily you could lose her forever, but this makes it where I don’t have to worry so much about her," Mike Ren said. "I know we can find her and get her back.”

"Since they put this on, two or three days later, I was able to get out of my home," Rose Ren said. "I don’t have any fear anymore of being in my home, I  know that whatever happens to me, if it happens again, that they’ll find me.”

Officers say the fee is $10 a month for battery replacement.

The program has been going on since 2004.

For more information, you can contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Dept. at 618-658-8264. The department also has information about the program on its Facebook page.

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