Nova Scotia

Program sends alerts when someone with dementia goes missing

People can create an online profile for loved one with dementia and send out alerts in the event that person goes missing.

Text messages, emails can go to a small circle of people or be shared widely online

A new program allows people to send text message or email alerts to a network of people if a loved one with dementia goes missing. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

A new program in Nova Scotia is trying to help shorten the time it takes to find someone with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia in the event they go missing.

The Missing Senior Network is a free program that allows people to send a text message or email to a network of people telling them when and where their missing loved one was last seen.

Natalie Smith with Home Instead Senior Care, the company that offers the program, said it's important when a person with dementia goes missing to find them as quickly as possible.

Can alert wide or narrow networks

"A lot of the times if someone isn't located within 24 hours they could be injured or it could lead to even death," she said.

Smith said the system came about as the company was providing care for people and noticing how many seniors were at risk of wandering.

An alert can initially go to a small circle of people, but it also has the ability to be shared through wider channels via Facebook.

With files from Amy Smith