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Project Lifesaver - Safe & Sound - Safe Steps Plus - Telecare - Vital Information Program

Project Lifesaver

A program that provides peace of mind to caregivers, aiding in the successful recovery of vulnerable adults and children with disabilities who wander off. 

Project Lifesaver utilizes a comprehensive, rapid-response search and rescue system which involves the use of proven and reliable locator equipment and trained search teams. Individuals enrolled in the program wear a wristband that emits an individually assigned FM radio frequency. If the wearer wanders off and is reported missing, local law enforcement agents will respond to the area the individual was last known to be in and begin the search using the mobile locator tracking system. In many cases, search time has been reduced from hours and days to minutes. 

Project Lifesaver of Portage County is open to any Portage County resident with a long term cognitive impairment (e.g. irreversible dementia, autism, Down syndrome), who is at high risk for wandering. To participate, applicants must meet eligibility requirements. Participants in the program pay a small monthly fee to cover program and equipment costs. Financial assistance may be available, if needed, to assist with the monthly cost.

Safe & Sound

Safe & Sound is a Portage County program to ensure the safety of adult community members who require supervision due to cognitive disabilities or progressive illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. 

Due to impaired judgment and cognitive abilities, these individuals have the potential to become disoriented and to place themselves in danger by wandering away from their home or those responsible for their care. 

In the event of an emergency involving one's caregiver, Safe & Sound helps to ensure the safety of the care receiver. Caregiver identification is provided to alert emergency responders that the injured person is responsible for the care of another. Law enforcement can then follow up with emergency contacts provided during program registration. 

How to Register 
Call the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Portage County to tell staff you are interested. 

Meet with a Safe & Sound program volunteer. This person will help you complete a registration form, take a digital photograph of the person who is registering for Safe & Sound, and answer any questions you have about the program. 

Safe & Sound is offered as a public service. There is no fee to register. Pending the availability of funds, participants and families may be asked to contribute toward the cost of identifying jewelry or clothing labels. 

Safe & Sound is a collaborative effort on the part of these organizations: 

Aging & Disability Resource Center of Portage County 

Community Care Connections of Wisconsin 

Portage County Sheriff 's Department 

Stevens Point Police Department 

Village of Plover Police Department

Safe Steps Plus 
A Falls Prevention Program for Adults Age 50 and Over

Risk Factors for Falling 
There are several factors that can increase the risk of falling for older adults. 
They are: 

  • Inactivity that causes muscle weakness or balance problems 
  • Vision changes and vision loss 
  • Chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and stroke 
  • Loss of sensation in the feet
  • Medication side effects and/or interactions 
  • Alcohol use 
  • Home and environmental hazards 

Four Great Ways to Reduce Your Falls Risk

Exercise:  Regular exercise is the best way to start preventing falls today! It will help you maintain and increase your flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance. And no matter what age you are, there is always something you can do to exercise. You could try walking 5 minutes a day to get started and explore your other options as you get more adventurous! 

Medication Review:  Some medications can interact and cause dizziness, balance difficulties, and even confusion. You should have your health care provider review your medications so you can avoid these symptoms. 

Vision Check:  You should have your vision checked at least once a year to make sure that your prescription fits your needs. Also, your eye specialist will be able to find any other problems that can affect your ability to see. 

Home Safety Review:  Make improvements to your home to make you as safe as possible. Watch out for safety hazards such as loose rugs and poor lighting. You can also add safety features like handrails and grab bars where you need them the most.

Telecare

Telecare is a telephone reassurance program for seniors and adults with disabilities who live alone, offering a daily check on their well-being. RSVP volunteers call participants daily between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Weekend calls are made in cooperation with Salvation Army staff. If a participant can’t be reached, family members, neighbors or emergency personnel are called. The service is free-of-charge.

Vital Information Program

The Vital Information Program (VIP) brings to the attention of emergency personnel all of an individual's important medical information—medical conditions, allergies, medications and advance directives—and personal information such as adaptive aids used, dependent care, pet care, etc. The packet is kept on the refrigerator door so it can be easily found. 
 
For more information about these programs or to apply, contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Portage County by phone at 715-346-1401 or 1-866-920-2525, email adrc@co.portage.wi.us or in person at Lincoln Center, 1519 Water Street, Stevens Point.

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