Monday, April 11, 2011

Wandering California man electronically tracked to Pearland

PEARLAND, Texas, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A 73-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease is now safely back in the care of his family in the Pearland area thanks to the quick action of the Pearland Police Department and the help of a wearable locator device called EmSeeQ® that rapidly locates missing individuals.

On Wednesday, California resident James Seals, who was in town to visit his daughter's family and meet his new infant granddaughter, was out for his routine morning walk on his usual route. When he didn't return in 10 minutes, his wife Cecilia became concerned and set out to look for him.

"James has always loved walking and tends to become agitated if he's not able to go out," Mrs. Seals said. "We usually only let him go for a very short time – 10 minutes at most – and if he's not back in that time, we go out after him."

Mr. Seals had become confused and veered off his regular route. Unfamiliar with the area and unable to find his way back home, he flagged down Pearland PD Officer Gabriel Cortes, who was on patrol in the vicinity. Mr. Seals was unable to provide an address or phone numbers for family or friends in the area.

Officer Cortes discovered Mr. Seals' EmSeeQ bracelet, a watch-like locator device that uses cellular signal triangulation to quickly and accurately locate individuals who become lost or wander off - a common situation with Alzheimer's patients, as well as children with autism who are prone to running away. Officer Cortes asked dispatchers to call the toll-free number on the bracelet and they were immediately connected with EmFinders, makers of the life-saving system. EmFinders' operators were able to contact Mrs. Seals right away and provide her with her husband's exact location. Mr. Seals was reunited his family within 30 minutes of being discovered missing.

"The officer on the scene was unfamiliar with the EmSeeQ device, but I'm so grateful they were able to contact EmFinders to alert me to his location," Mrs. Seals said. "It all happened so quickly. He wasn't gone for more than 25 minutes total, which seems like a very long time when your loved one is missing, but it's nothing compared to previous situations we've been in."

Mr. Seals has a history of wandering off, which is what prompted Mrs. Seals to purchase the EmSeeQ system, consisting of a secure, unobtrusive bracelet and a round-the-clock location service that carries a monthly fee. Just a few months ago, Mr. Seals disappeared for nine hours, having walked from Long Beach, Calif., where the Seals had been visiting his brother, an astounding 21 miles to Hermosa Beach. The Seals were fortunate he was recovered without injury by the Long Beach Police Department, who recommended the EmSeeQ system to Mrs. Seals.

The next day she ordered the device. They went several weeks without incident until about three weeks ago when Mr. Seals walked away again, this time from his own home while Mrs. Seals was away for a doctor's appointment. In less than 35 minutes from the time she discovered and reported him missing, Mr. Seals was back at home in his wife's care.

"The EmSeeQ system has already proven itself to be a real lifesaver for us, and I highly recommend it to anyone who cares for an individual with Alzheimer's," Mrs. Seals said. "It definitely allows my husband to maintain his independence and relieves some of the worry I have about him becoming lost."

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