Alzheimer's Association MedicAlert Program

It is estimated that 60% of the more than 6 million Americans that have Alzheimer's or another form of dementia will wander away from home or from their caregivers and get lost. Wandering behavior is a potentially life-threatening situation. The way we respond to wandering behavior is critical. The MedicAlert + the Alzheimer's Association Wandering Support program has helped in the safe return of thousands of people since 1993.

The Wandering Support program has a national information and photo database. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a toll-free crisis line. It works through Alzheimer's Association chapters across the country, law enforcement and other emergency responder agencies.

The Wandering Support program includes identification products such as jewelry (necklaces and bracelets), wallet cards, and clothing labels with the toll-free 800 number on them.

Medical alert system bracelet

BSIP / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The Alzheimer's Association Wandering Support Response

Anyone who finds the lost person calls the toll-free number shown on the identification product the person is wearing. They alert the family or caregiver listed on the database. The Wandering Support program sends the missing person's photograph and information and to local law enforcement agencies.

Local Alzheimer's Association chapters provide family support and assistance while police conduct the search and rescue.

Cost of the Wandering Support Program

To get started with the program, you'll first buy a medical ID, which includes jewelry, wallet cards, or shoe tags. You'll then choose a membership plan, which costs about $25 per year for the Basic plan, $50 per year for the Advantage plan, and $75 per year for the Advantage Plus plan.

Contacting the Wandering Support Program

You can contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800-432-5378. You can also register online at

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Alzheimer's Association. Wandering.

  2. Alzheimer's Association. 2021 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. 2021.

  3. Alzheimer's Association. 24/7 Wandering Support for a Safe Return.

Additional Reading

By Christine Kennard
 Christine Kennard is a psychiatric nurse practicing in the United Kingdom and co-author of "Alzheimer's Disease: An A-Z For New Caregivers."