Help For Loved Ones Who Wander

February 27, 2013

The fear of wandering/elopement is very real if you have a loved one who has autism, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, or other cognitive or physical impairments.  The CDC determined that 1 in 88 individuals now have autism.  Data from the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) states the 49% of children with autism attempt to elope from a safe environment.  One third of these who wander are unable to communicate their name, address or phone number.  Parents reported that 66% had a close call with traffic and 32% had a close call with drowning.  Our intention with QR code iD is to provide help for a person before they enter into a crisis situation.

Alzheimer’s accounts for 31,000 incidents of critical wandering a year, according to researcher Robert Koester.   This amount will increase as the Baby Boomers age.    At least 60% of people who have dementia will wander.  They are disoriented and cannot judge dangerous places and situations.   Unfortunately, when a person with Alzheimer’s wanders off, they do not cry out for help, they don’t leave physical clues, they might travel to a former favorite location, and may have a history of wandering.

Qr Code iD alerts people to knowing this person is needing help by having “If I need Help” in large red letters. People who have Autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, or other cognitive or physical condition that hinders their ability to provide personal information can benefit from having a personal code. The person who finds the wanderer can scan the QR code with a smart phone or iPad or manually enter the number associated with the code into the website to obtain the contact information to reunite the person with loved ones.  Also, any information that is important during an emergency for the finder to know, such as ways to sooth or medical conditions and how to deal with them, will be provided.  This information can be changed in real time by logging into the site.  There is a password-protected area in which  documents that may be wanted for reference can be stored.

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