Sheriff Kemler detailed various programs and safety initiatives available via the County and the Office of the Sheriff, particularly Project Lifesaver, available free of charge to Mercer County residents affected by Autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia-related disorders. Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies the Sheriff's Office, and a trained emergency team immediately responds to the wanderer’s last known location. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Sheriff Kemler detailed that, since 2008, there have been more than 90 activations in Mercer County that have all resulted in successful recoveries, with an average recovery time of just over of 30 minutes. Those interested in learning more about the program may call 609-989-6109 or 609-989-6111. At the end of the evening, Sheriff Kemler presented each workshop attendee with a gift of a personal alarm siren.
“Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County (ICGMC), the Sheriff’s Office and the Mercer County Office on Aging share a deep commitment to senior safety,” states Sarah A. Thoma, Executive Director. “This is one of several workshops about issues of importance to the County’s elderly residents that ICGMC will sponsor this year.”
In 2011 alone, 241 active Interfaith Caregivers volunteers provided 10,910 hours of free services to nearly 300 elderly and disabled people throughout the County -- an increase in hours of more than 12.7% over 2010. Volunteer activities included transportation to doctors’ offices, shopping, friendly visiting, light housekeeping and home maintenance, telephone reassurance and occasional meal preparation, enabling care receivers to avoid institutionalization and stay in their homes -- independently, safely and with dignity. For further information about the organization’
Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler (r.) and Investigator Jason Salvatore (l.) discuss many of the community programs available through the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.
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Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County is dedicated to promoting the independence and dignity of homebound elderly and people with disabilities by matching them with caring volunteers who assist with the tasks of everyday life.