What is MedicAlert® Safely Home®?
MedicAlert® Safely Home® is a nationwide service designed to help identify a person living with dementia who has gone missing. The service also ensures that the person returns to their family safe and sound.
MedicAlert® Safely Home® was created through a partnership between MedicAlert Foundation Canada and the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
The service consists of a wide range of benefits:
- A unique ID bracelet coloured in blue (pictured above)
- A 24/7 Emergency Hotline, staffed with trained specialists, where calls are answered within an average of five seconds; the Emergency Hotline is also listed on the back of the bracelet (pictured below)
- Family/emergency contact notification immediately after the hotline is called to help reunite families
- Follow-up with the caregiver for cases when the Emergency Hotline is used to ensure the needs of the person with dementia and the caregiver are taken care of
- A comprehensive electronic medical profile with unlimited updates
- A wallet card with health information and emergency contacts
- Access to an online electronic medical profile anytime, anywhere
How MedicAlert® Safely Home® works
Over time, a person living with dementia may have trouble problem-solving, communicating and recognizing their surroundings. As a result, they are at risk of becoming lost, even in familiar places.
MedicAlert® Safely Home® provides support for families and caregivers, people with dementia who are lost, and members of the community who find them.
How MedicAlert® Safely Home® works if a person living with dementia goes missing
- Caregivers and/or family members should immediately call 911 or local police. Inform them that the person living with dementia is missing.
- Provide police with the person living with dementia’s unique MedicAlert® subscriber ID number.
- Police can call the MedicAlert® 24/7 Emergency Hotline to obtain a recent photo, physical description, possible whereabouts and other vital information about the person.
How MedicAlert® Safely Home® works if a person living with dementia is found
- Emergency responders or community members can call the hotline number for the MedicAlert 24/7 Emergency Hotline.
- Within seconds, the caller will have access to the person living with dementia’s address as well as emergency contacts like family and friends.
- Ensure that the person living with dementia wears their MedicAlert® bracelet at all times.
- Keep a current photo of the person on hand. Change it every six months to reflect their current appearance.
- Keep your MedicAlert® Safely Home® contact and personal information up-to-date by calling MedicAlert®'s toll-free phone number: 1-855-581-3794.
Costs and sign-up process
One year of the MedicAlert® Safely Home® service is $60.
Veterans receiving health benefits through Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) may be eligible for the VAC assistance program to cover the cost of signing up with MedicAlert® Safely Home®. Please indicate your VAC health ID number on the application form.
How to sign up
There are three ways to sign up for MedicAlert® Safely Home®:
- Online: visit www.medicalert.ca/safelyhome
- Phone (toll-free): Call 1-855-581-3794 to speak with a MedicAlert® Customer Service Representative. TIP: Before calling, review the information required to complete a registration by reading the Subscriber Application Form.
- Mail: Download and print the Subscriber Application Form. Mail the completed form to:
MedicAlert Foundation Canada
Morneau Shepell Centre II
895 Don Mills Road, Suite 600
How can I encourage someone to wear a MedicAlert® Safely Home® ID bracelet?
Sometimes, a person living with dementia may be reluctant to wear a medical ID. Here are some suggestions to help encourage them to wear an ID:
- If possible, involve the person living with dementia in the sign-up process. Signing up for MedicAlert® Safely Home® provides peace of mind, similar to insurance; you never know when you may need help. Having the bracelet will empower emergency responders to make informed decisions in emergency situations.
- Present the bracelet as a gift from a grandchild or another family member who is close to the person with dementia.
- Ask your family doctor or other healthcare professional to speak to the person with dementia about how the bracelet can help them in an emergency.
- If another family member or friend wears a MedicAlert® bracelet, have them present the MedicAlert® Safely Home® bracelet to the person with dementia so they can see they’re not alone.
- Talk with your local Alzheimer Society support staff about other strategies.
More useful links and resources
Finding Your Way®. This website can help you recognize the risks of a person living with dementia getting lost, and includes tips on how to assist a person with dementia to live as safely as possible in their community.
Resources are available in 12 languages: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, Arabic, Urdu and Tamil. Not that some resources on this site are specific to Ontario only.
Ensuring safety and security. Visit this section for more practical information on keeping a person living with dementia safe.