The Florida Department of Elder Affairs is Partnering With Scent Evidence K9 to Help Vulnerable Populations Stay Safer at Home

60% of people with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia (3 in 5) will wander – Families Living With Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Will Benefit From Scent Preservation Kits to Locate Missing Persons.

SRA Scent Preservation Kits
SRA Scent Preservation Kits
SRA Scent Preservation Kits

Beginning in 2021, Senior Resource Alliance, Orange County Sherriff’s Office and Scent Evidence K9 joined forces to help keep Central Florida seniors safe with the “Bringing the Lost Home” project, which uses advanced scent discriminate K9 training to locate missing persons.

Thanks to donations from the Central Florida Foundation and directed gifts from anonymous donors, we’ve since introduced Roscoe and Wyatt, two scent-discriminate K9s specially trained to help with missing persons. The bloodhounds are now full-time working members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit.

“Bringing the Lost Home” takes a proactive approach to locate missing persons. Scent Evidence K9 uses scientifically tested Scent Preservation Kits to swipe, seal and store a person’s unique scent so that K9 responders can use an uncontaminated scent article to search for missing loved ones and quickly bring them home safe and sound.

Although this program is available to all seniors in our community, it is specifically designed for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Each year, Senior Resource Alliance and its partners provide preparedness and prevention services to an estimated 85,000 seniors living with Alzheimer’s or dementia across Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Brevard counties.

To request a Scent Preservation Kit, please contact 407-562-2457.

Thank you to the following media outlets who have helped us share this important message:

· Orlando Sentinel: Seniors with dementia get new safety net from scent-sniffing canines

· West Orlando News: New Project Keeps Tails Wagging and Seniors Safe

· FOX 35: 3 deadly missing person cases in Orange County prompts new partnership with sheriff’s office

· WFTV: 1,500 scent collection kits to help Orange County K-9 deputies find missing children, elderly

· WKMG: Orange County K9s use new scent technology to sniff out missing persons

· WESH: New scent preservation kits available in Orange County to help find missing people

· Central Florida News 13: Central Florida officials say partnership will improve search for missing people

· WMFE: Families with dementia patients who wander could benefit from this kit preserving their scent

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.,— Supporting the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis to keep older Floridians Safer at Home, The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) is partnering with Scent Evidence K9 to distribute 2,000 Scent Preservation Kits® to caregivers of those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). As Florida seniors stay at home to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19, those older adults with ADRD may have an increased tendency to wander and become lost. If that happens, proactive family safety measures, such as the Scent Preservation Kit®, are providing effective response systems to locate missing persons and return them to safety.

“Governor DeSantis is ensuring Florida’s older adults stay safe during COVID-19 and this partnership furthers that directive, especially for those living with ADRD,” said Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom. “These Scent Preservation Kits® will assist families and help prevent at-risk individuals from becoming a missing person. They allow families and caregivers to be prepared before an at-risk individual goes missing, and the kits improve the response time if someone does go wandering.”

“We call our kits, “Peace of Mind in a Jar,” said Founder and CEO of Scent Evidence K9 Paul Coley. “As a former FBI Forensic Canine Operations Specialist and canine handler, I was constantly faced with the challenge of finding an effective scent article during active searches. My solution was to develop the scientifically tested and proven Scent Preservation Kit®. These kits provide K9 responders with uncontaminated scent articles that significantly reduce the time it takes to locate someone.”

Scent Evidence K9 has created special packaging for the kits, which will be distributed by DOEA and include a letter from Secretary Richard Prudom providing further assistance. DOEA is working with Memory Disorder Clinics, the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, and all Florida Area Agencies on Aging to identify recipients for the kits and ensure those with the highest risk of wandering are protected.