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'Technology is one of the best tools...': Missing elderly man found through Bluetooth tracking device

He was safely returned home to his family.
Credit: vinzstudio - stock.adobe.com

HERNANDO BEACH, Fla. — An elderly man in Hernando County is back safe and sound with his family after being found through a tracking device planted by his wife.

On Monday morning, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office received a report of a missing adult in the area of Hernando Beach. According to the agency, the elderly man, who suffers from dementia, was reported missing by his wife at 7:36 a.m.

Units were dispatched within moments.

The sheriff's office explains this isn't the first time the man has been reported missing — and this time, his wife was prepared. She attached a Bluetooth tracking device to her husband's belt.

Because she planted the device, she was able to give deputies a location to where to find her husband. Law enforcement was able to locate the man by 7:54 a.m.

He was returned safely home to his family.

"With the high heat index this time of year and the multiple access points to water in the area, we are thankful for this assistance of technology in order to locate this individual within 18 minutes," the sheriff's office wrote in a statement.

The sheriff's office says tracking devices like the one used in this incident can give families peace of mind when caring for an impaired loved one by being able to monitor their location.

"Whether it is a child with special needs or a senior who is forgetful, there are usually warning signs that a person is prone to wandering," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said in a statement. "Technology is one of the best tools family members can use to alert them when that individual has unexpectedly left the house." 

"It also provides invaluable tools to increase the likelihood the person will be returned safely.  We strongly encourage families to research what technology is right for their situation."

Anyone interested in more information on some of the devices that can be used to track, click here.

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