In Pasco County alone, there's more than 24,000 people over the age of 60 with dementia or other mental cognitive disorders.
“I just took my eyes off of him for just a couple of minutes,” said Chuck Touseull.
When Chuck Touseull's 88-year-old father Phil wandered away a couple years ago, Touseull knew he needed more support to keep him safe.
“Not knowing where he's at, it [makes you] frantic and I was praying at the same time,” Touseull said.
Touseull immediately signed up with the Pasco Sheriff's Office for a monitoring bracelet to help if this ever happened again. And now upgrades to the program -- called SafetyNet -- help older Alzheimer's patients or young people with autism.
“We have so many people in the community who are affected by that and we get a lot of calls every day,” said Emily Holt, Community Service specialist with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
A person wears the bracelet 24/7 and if they were to wander off, a trained deputy can activate a receiver and track the person from up to one mile away twice as far as the old system.
“That gives us a little more time to be able to respond out and start the search,” said Holt.
Deputies have to be able to locate the person within 15 minutes to be certified with Safety Net.
And maybe one of the best things about this device is it's radio frequency-driven, not GPS, so you're able to pinpoint this wristband much more accurately.
“With radio frequency it actually brings you right to where that signal is being emitted from,” said Holt. “The hope is the more people we can let know about this program, the more we can prevent dangerous situations from happening."
“It would be tremendously upsetting to not know where his is,” Touseull said.
Touseull recommends the program for the safety of your loved ones, “very much so.”