PEORIA -- It's Alzheimer's Awareness month and local leaders are discussing ways to keep those with the disease safe.
The Alzheimer's Association said more than 60% of those with the disease will wander.
The disease is on the rise. Alzheimer's affects more than 12,500 people in the Greater Peoria area.
The Executive Director of the Central Illinois Alzheimer's Association said this event is about one thing. Nikki Vulgaris-Rodriguez said, "That is preparing our communities for an increase in Alzheimer's."
Caregivers are turning to new technology that will do more than just keep a watchful eye. It's a small tracking device that can make a search go from a day to a matter of minutes.
One local family tells us they wish they would have had this as an option.
Scott Garrett lost his dad, John, in February. John wandered off, and after a massive three day search, was found dead miles from home. He says, "It would of probably been able to find my dad within 15 minutes to an hour, and we wouldn't have had to go through the pain of not knowing."
The Peoria County Sheriff's Department assisted in the case, and now say it's looking into purchasing the tracking equipment.
Lieutenant Mark Molleck said, "It would cut down recovery time to almost nothing. It would be fantastic."
Garrett said speaking out about the tragic loss of his dad helps his family heal. Now he hopes others can benefit from the device, one that could have saved his dad's life. "You know it saves lives and it saves resources and money. It's the way to go."
Sept. 21 is Alzheimer's Awareness Day. The association is encouraging everyone to support the disease by wearing purple.