Woman found by tracking her pendant

17:00, Sep 24 2012

An 80-year-old dementia sufferer who went walkabout and got lost in Invercargill's streets was tracked down by search and rescue volunteers thanks to a pendant hanging around her neck.

Sergeant Ian Martin, of Invercargill, said the elderly woman went missing from the Calvary Hospital at 7.45pm on Friday night, but because she was wearing a wandaTrak tracking device in a pendant around her neck, she was found by search and rescue volunteers 1.8km away in Tweed St about 30 minutes later.

The pendant emits a radio frequency back to a receiver at Invercargill police station, allowing authorities to track her movements.

"She was in very good health and had had a good walk. She was uncertain about her whereabouts," Mr Martin said.

It was the second time the woman had gone walkabout from the hospital and become disoriented, with the Invercargill Rotary sponsored tracking device helping to find her on both occasions, he said.

Eleven people in Invercargill and Gore who suffered from dementia or autism wore the pendants which had proved to be "very, very handy", Mr Martin said.


The Southland Times