Safe Return sites for Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Illinois Chapter/Rockford Regional Program Center has been awarded a grant of $1,500 by the Community Needs Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

The grant will be used for the development of Safe Return registration sites in the Rockford area. Sites will provide registration materials and informational brochures to assist families in registering their loved one with dementia. Safe Return is a nationwide program of the Alzheimer’s Association that assists in the identification and safe, timely return of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias who wander off and become lost.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program is the only nationwide program of its kind. Since the program began in 1993, nearly 100,000 individuals have registered in Safe Return nationwide. The program has facilitated the recovery of more than 7,500 individuals to their families and caregivers with a more than 99 percent success rate in safely returning those registered in the program.

Approximately 60 percent of those with Alzheimer’s will wander, and when that condition may begin is unknown. It is estimated that at least 12,000 individuals in the Northern Illinois/Rockford region have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, less than 100 of these people are registered with Safe Return. The establishment of the registration sites will provide families with more options on where they can go to seek this program and information about the illness. Site locations will be announced in November as part of the National Alzheimer’s Month events. At this time, registrations can be completed at the Alzheimer’s Association office at 4777 E. State St., Rockford. Information: contact Bonnie Beam at 815-484-1300.

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