Over the last few years the staff and volunteers of East and West Parry Sound Victim Services have been working hard to develop a new program to better assist the population of the Parry Sound district.

The Vulnerable Persons Database was brought into creation for several reasons

  1. The existing “Wanderers Registry” is the result of the hard work of a local police officer who has taken the initiative to create an informal registry. Due to time constraints and jurisdictions this informal wanders registry is a hard copy file, kept in office, encompasses only the west side of Parry Sound and only covers certain vulnerable person’s needs.

  2. The OPP, EMS, senior support services, long term care facilities and the hospital have identified a need for a centralized, accessible database for vulnerable persons in the District of Parry Sound.

  3. A pilot project was established and highly successful in Sault Ste Marie. This project has been assumed by the Red Cross. The Red Cross is planning to further expand the program to encompass all of the communities it serves in Ontario. However, the District of parry Sound is not served by the Red Cross and therefore would not be included.

East and West Parry Sound Victim Services seeing the gap in service took on the initiative of formalizing and expanding the Vulnerable Persons Database (VPD). The VPD will encompass the entire Parry Sound District. The VPD will offer assistance to anyone who is vulnerable or at risk in a crisis or emergency situation. This would include individuals who are at risk of wandering, in need of medical assistance in a natural disaster/power outage or any other crisis that may pose a risk to their wellbeing.

The VPD will be open to anyone free of charge living in the East & West Parry Sound area who feels they are vulnerable in times of emergencies and would like an extra assurance. Victim Services is a 24/7 365 days a year service, the database will be able to be accessed when needed by designated users in a timely manner.

As we get older, we are increasingly exposed to diseases. Alzheimer’s, a neurodegenerative disease, is a common one among older adults. Its first noticeable symptom is memory loss which becomes more pronounced with illness progression. Eventually, there is also cognitive impairment in the domains of language, skilled movements, recognition and decision-making and planning.

Moreover, people who have Alzheimer’s are often known to wander. It is a direct result of physical changes in the brain such as short term memory loss and the inability to reason and make judgment. While wandering is not a harmful behaviour in itself, it can expose an older adult to such dangers as traffic or unsafe weather conditions.

If you or someone in your care has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, register yourself or the person in question with Safely Home-Alzheimer Wandering Registry. It assists police in finding the person who is lost and safely returning her home. This is a nationwide program developed by the Alzheimer Society of Canada in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It provides an identification bracelet, a Caregiver Handbook, identification cards and annual updates to the registrant’s file.