Durham Regional Police Service and MedicAlert® Foundation Canada partner to protect vulnerable citizens
Whitby, Ontario (May 2015) - MedicAlert Foundation Canada (MAFCA) and Durham Regional Police Service have partnered to enhance accessibility of identity information for vulnerable citizens who have a tendency to wander or go missing.
The partnership is the first of its kind in Canada and is significant as it unites innovative healthcare technology and policing techniques in order to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable are protected.
This initiative, which involves the collaboration of the Durham Police, MedicAlert and the Alzheimer Society of Durham, is expected to reunite missing or lost persons in the Durham region with their loved ones in a more efficient and safe manner.
“Time is of the essence in a missing person case’” says Chief Paul Martin, “Sometimes it takes hours to get a photo from the caregivers and even then, the pictures are faded or 20 years old. Under this new initiative, we will have access to vital descriptors and up-to-date photos right away. This will greatly enhance our ability to find the person.”
Officers will have access to the personal and caregiver information of wandering or missing persons through MedicAlert ID bracelets linked to a secure database.
“MedicAlert and the Durham Police have taken the next step towards protecting those most vulnerable,” said Robert Ridge, President and CEO of MedicAlert. “Our unique partnership not only helps residents in Durham, but sets the precedent to protect others across the country. I encourage all Canadian police forces to take a bold step and follow Durham Police’s lead. Let’s get our loved ones safely home.”
The program works two ways. Once registered as a MedicAlert member, a person receives a body worn medical ID - in most cases a bracelet which features a unique engraved number. If this person wanders, their caregiver can call police with the ID number. Via a link with MedicAlert’s up-to-date database, the officer can instantly access descriptive information and even data about past wandering tendencies, helping locate the wandering individual. Secondly, when a lost or non-communicative person is found wearing their MedicAlert ID, police will be able to access the database, immediately identifying and reuniting them with their loved ones faster.
“People with dementia who go missing or become lost are exposed to serious danger, even death. This new partnership will help facilitate a quick response for those who may be found wandering and return them safely home to their loved ones, said Denyse Newton, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region. “We are pleased to support this new initiative for persons living with dementia in our community.
To learn more about MedicAlert and their program for persons living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, please visit: www.medicalert.ca
MedicAlert Foundation Canada (MAFCA)
is the largest membership-based registered charity in Canada. It is the leading provider of emergency medical information services. More than one million Canadians have been protected by their services. For over 50 years, its mission is to protect Canadians and save lives.
For media inquiries about MedicAlert, please contact:
Manager, Marketing, Communications and Donations
Tel: 416.696.0142 Ext 1146
Toll Free: 1.866.679.3217 Ext 1146
For MedicAlert Safely Home program inquiries, please contact:
Program Coordinator, MedicAlert Safely Home
Tel: 1.866.679.3217 ext. 1109