Dementia Society of America
Dementia Society of America

Dementia Society of America® Launches Operation KeepSafe™

National Program Focuses on Elopement and Critical Wandering in Those Living with Dementia. October 20 to be Designated as National KeepSafe Day™.

Dementia Society of America® Launches Operation KeepSafe™
Doylestown, PA, July 19, 2021 --( Dementia Society of America® (DSA) announced the launch of Operation KeepSafe™, a nationwide program to assist individuals and families facing Dementia and incidents of elopement and critical wandering. The program’s mission is to raise awareness, educate the public and provide tools that would help prevent or reduce occurrences, and help mitigate their outcome if they do happen. The term elopement describes an incident where a person with Dementia leaves a safe area, typically the home or community in which they live.

“For people living with Dementia and their caregivers, this is an all-too-common situation, so it is critical they know help is out there,” says Kevin Jameson, volunteer, president, and founder of Dementia Society of America. The program will also inform the public, and particularly first responders, including police, firefighters, and ambulance services. “This is a much bigger issue than people realize and is often under reported. We have an opportunity as a national organization to bring focus to it.”

A white paper prepared by Dementia Society details the urgency and extent of the problem. Based on an analysis of available data, it is projected that elopement incidents occur at a rate of 198,000 a year. It is estimated that between 25 and 35 percent of those people are found dead or never found. The number of lives lost to elopement tragically approaches 63,000 each year.

The program includes distribution of a KeepSafe iD™ kit, to help first responders and Good Samaritans reconnect the individual with a family member or responsible party. The kit is available to those in need and at-risk at no charge. It includes a Member iD Card and an online profile for first responders and others. It also offers a gift certificate to obtain an engraved medical ID bracelet for free. An online application for a KeepSafe iD kit is available at

With the launch of Operation KeepSafe, Dementia Society of America also announced the designation of a special day to bring increased focus and attention to this critical issue. National KeepSafe Day™ will be October 20 or “10-20” each year – a date chosen to correspond with the “10 code” signals used by first responders, where stating “10-20” translates to “what is your location?” – and the raising of hope it is a safe place.

About Dementia Society of America (DSA)

Dementia Society of America® (DSA) is the nation’s leading volunteer-driven all-Dementias awareness organization. DSA provides an information hotline (1-800-DEMENTIA™), many online resources and an easy-to-use, web-based locator, which can assist families and individuals in finding valuable support near to them. DSA underwrites through its Ginny Gives® Grants Program, non-medical activities focused on: music and singing; dance and movement; the visual arts, touch, and sensory stimulation. The Dementia CARER™, Dementia SMART®, and Dementia QUEST® programs provide recognition to those who serve the Dementia community through meaningful care, innovation and research respectively. You can learn more about the Society at
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David Gottlieb