Alzheimer's Association MedicAlert Program

It is estimated that 60% of the 5.8 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 Safe Return Program has helped in the safe return of thousands of people since 1993.

The Safe Return 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 Safe Return Program will provide identification products such as jewelry (necklaces and bracelets), wallet cards, clothing labels with the toll-free 800 number on them.

Medical alert system bracelet

BSIP / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The Alzheimer's Association Safe Return 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 Safe Return database.
The Safe Return 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 Safe Return Program

There is a $55 registration fee which includes the medic alert jewelry, personalized wallet card, and the maintenance of a personal health record. There's also a renewal fee of $35 each year.

Contacting the Safe Return Program

You can contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800-432-5378. You can also register online at The Safe Return enrollment form comes in Chinese and Spanish.

Was this page helpful?
Article 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.