An analysis of a sample of incidents involving Police (May 2019 – Oct 2019) showed that the mean incident duration for a WanderSearch device wearer was around 1.8 hours with a maximum incident duration of 6 hours. For those people who did not have a device, the mean incident duration was 4.7 hours and maximum duration was 14 hours (information provided by NZSAR).
For many people with a cognitive impairment who go missing the time taken to locate the person is critical for their safety. The longer a person is exposed to environmental hazards, including cold and wet weather, uneven surfaces causing falls and water/downing hazards the worse is their outcome. Also, if a person’s general health is fragile, and they will need to be located quickly. It is often quoted in North America that for people with dementia if found within the first 12 hours, 93% survive, which means that 7%, or one out of every 14 individuals with dementia, do not survive. Of those that have gone missing for 24 hours, only a third survive, and if missing for 72 hours, only one in five are found alive.