"Project Found" helps with Alzheimer's disease - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

"Project Found" helps with Alzheimer's disease

Posted: Updated:

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye, Biedenharn Endowed Chair and professor of gerontology, and Dr. Attapol Kuanliang, associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, have been awarded $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out a two year program titled "Project FOUND" (Fostering Officer and University Networking for Dementia).

Project FOUND will provide support for community-wide education efforts, training of law enforcement and first responders, and the development of a database, which law enforcement officers can use to help identify missing persons who may wander, and who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Those who register their loved ones with dementia in Project FOUND will receive a free monitoring bracelet.

The Project is a collaboration among ULM's departments of gerontology and criminal justice, in addition to the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)—a program within ULM gerontology.

"We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice for supporting this significant need in our community," said Kopera-Frye. "Project FOUND will begin immediately, and soon we will be asking loved ones to register individuals who suffer from dementia in a nationally recognized MedicAlert and Project Safe Return database through the national Alzheimer's Association,"

Family caregivers can register their loved ones for free by calling ULM's Department of Gerontology.

According to the national Alzheimer's Association, six in 10 people with dementia will wander. If they are not found within 24 hours, the result may be serious injury or even death.

"Thus, time is of the essence with individuals who suffer from dementia and wander—we need to return them safely home as soon as possible," states Kopera-Frye. "What makes this more dangerous is that they may not remember their name, where they live, and they can become disoriented even in familiar places, like the shopping mall. By training the local law enforcement personnel on dementia and alerting the loved ones to our missing persons database, the outcome can be positive in terms of safety for these individuals with dementia."

Dr. Kuanliang will focus on organizing the law enforcement training curriculum on dementia. He explains, "Law enforcement officers and first responders will be trained about dementia, the nature of the challenging behaviors, and approaches for locating individuals who have gone missing possibly due to wandering."

According to the Alzheimer's Association, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will grow as the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to increase. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million—a 40 percent increase from the five million age 65 years and older currently affected.

Further, an American develops Alzheimer's disease every 68 seconds; by 2050, it is estimated that an individual will develop the disease every 33 seconds. The Alzheimer's Association describes the disease as a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. Current research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles every five years beyond the age of 65.

Primary caregivers of those suffering from Alzheimer's are asked to call the ULM Gerontology Department at 318-342-1465, or email gero@ulm.edu for more information or to schedule a registration appointment for the free Alzheimer's Association Project Safe Return bracelet.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • West Monroe man arrested for meth possession

    West Monroe man arrested for meth possession

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:09 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:09:38 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - West Monroe Police arrested a man early Sunday morning for possession of drugs.
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - West Monroe Police arrested a man early Sunday morning for possession of drugs.
  • Retired deputy drowns trying to save terrier

    Retired deputy drowns trying to save terrier

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:43:53 GMT
    Ret. Lt. Sam Vitter (Source: APSO)Ret. Lt. Sam Vitter (Source: APSO)
    PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (AP) - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office says a recently retired deputy has drowned trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier.
    PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (AP) - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office says a recently retired deputy has drowned trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier.
  • MPD investigate Friday night rape report

    MPD investigate Friday night rape report

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:05:59 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Police are investigating a reported rape from Friday night.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Police are investigating a reported rape from Friday night.
  • Areas of West Monroe test positive for West Nile

    Areas of West Monroe test positive for West Nile

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:31 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:31:42 GMT
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News OPMAD) - Three mosquito pools, representing three locations, have tested positive for West Nile virus in Ouachita Parish.
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News OPMAD) - Three mosquito pools, representing three locations, have tested positive for West Nile virus in Ouachita Parish.
  • Group protests illegal immigration in Monroe

    Group protests illegal immigration in Monroe

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:29:54 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On Saturday, a small group took to the streets of the Twin Cities, to protest illegal immigration. They call themselves, Three Percenters. They say they are dedicated to action, education and reform of government, they believe has gotten too large to effectively operate. 
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On Saturday, a small group took to the streets of the Twin Cities, to protest illegal immigration. They call themselves, Three Percenters. They say they are dedicated to action, education and reform of government, they believe has gotten too large to effectively operate. 
  • Clerk wrestles gun away from armed robbery suspect

    Clerk wrestles gun away from armed robbery suspect

    Saturday, July 26 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-07-26 20:40:24 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery where a clerk fought a gun away from a suspect.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery where a clerk fought a gun away from a suspect.
  • Juvenile shot after leaving party in South Monroe

    Juvenile shot after leaving party in South Monroe

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:19:25 GMT
    MONROE, La.(KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating a shooting from South Monroe early Saturday morning.
    MONROE, La.(KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating a shooting from South Monroe early Saturday morning.
  • California lightning hits 14; 2 critically injured

    California lightning hits 14; 2 critically injured

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:33:11 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Thunderstorms are quite rare in Southern California, but people living in Southern California got a stark reminder today of how ferocious they can be.
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Thunderstorms are quite rare in Southern California, but people living in Southern California got a stark reminder today of how ferocious they can be.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.