January 10, 2022
Contact: Mary Ann Franks, MPH
The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA²) is honored to have been awarded a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for its Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities. This program supports local efforts to reduce injuries from individuals with forms of dementia who wander through innovative programs and resources.
Long-standing data analysis shows that survival rates for wandering elders decreases dramatically after 24 hours—increasing the urgency of finding them quickly. This can be a difficult challenge for rural, isolated tribal communities, who may not have immediate access to formal search and rescue.
IA²’s project, “Creating a Tribal Elder Safety Net to Address Wandering,” will work in partnership with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada to create a fast response procedure to locate tribal elders who may have wandered due to dementia and have been reported missing. The project will incorporate tribal first responders, volunteers, and family members in both a response protocol and educational resources. This first of its kind effort will help inform other tribal communities looking to support their elders who wander due to dementia.
“We are extremely appreciative of the tribal leadership, Senior Services, Emergency Services, and Police departments of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe for their commitment,” said IA²‘s executive director Dave Baldridge, adding, “The Pyramid Lake tribal departments have really stepped up to help us to create this innovative and fast community response system.”
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Numaga Senior Services Director Carla Eben said, “We are looking forward to this learning experience with IA². This partnership will help us create a plan and implement that plan in the event one of our elders wanders off.”
For more information, please contact IA² (firstname.lastname@example.org)