BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — A proposal by Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson to make ankle bracelets available to those suffering from dementia is, at this point, just a proposal.
“It’s not been implemented,” said Davis County Sherif’s Sgt. Susan Poulsen. “The sheriff is just looking into the idea to see what kind of interest there may be.”
Richardson has seen a number of people with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia-related illnesses and other health conditions wander off, Poulsen said. Since law enforcement has the technology to find such individuals, Richardson put the idea out to see what response might be generated.
Such a monitor could be attached by a caregiver whenever the at-risk individual would be out of the caregiver’s immediate sight. With today’s technology, the person could be tracked to within a few feet of where they are, Poulsen said. A device could perhaps be developed to be worn as a bracelet, which could be fastened on and taken off by the caregiver, but wouldn’t be as bulky or obvious as an ankle monitor.
The monitor would only be activated if the loved one goes missing, according to a Facebook posting from the sheriff’s office. Once it is reported, deputies would be able to activate the monitor and view the missing and endangered person’s location “and receive turn-by-turn” directions to their exact location, the Facebook posting said.
If implemented, Richardson estimated the cost would be about $4 per day, the cost of the program to the sheriff’s office.
That cost could be prohibitive to some, Poulsen said, but given the high cost of nursing homes, it would be a more economical choice than a nursing home for some families.
If a person is reported missing, it’s the taxpayers who wind up paying to find them through the efforts of law enforcement, Poulsen said.
The idea may not be feasible, Poulsen said. Should the concept look like it could be implemented, it would still have to be approved by the Davis County Commission.