Before writing this article I never knew that this existed, but you can protect your family members that are at a high risk for getting lost such as those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or autism, with a scent preservation kit. I recently stumbled across a case in which a scent kit was used by a law enforcement dog to locate a missing elderly woman with dementia. The sheriff’s deputy quoted in the article called it “insurance in a jar” and rightfully so.

If you are like me and you try to prepare for the future needs of every member in your family, this is something that may give you extra peace of mind if you have a loved one with special needs or even small children that like to wander.

The kit itself is very basic. You can buy one ready to go or build one yourself. Here are the main components:

  • A glass jar with an airtight lid
  • Tape to label the jar
  • A large sterile gauze pad
  • Sterile rubber gloves (to prevent your scent from getting onto the gauze)

Here is a video showing you step by step, how to collect the scent of your family member.

The Facebook post from the case mentioned above said the specimen was collected over two years prior to the woman getting lost. If done right, I imagine the scent will last a lot longer than that.  If you have a family member with special needs, this could be a simple and inexpensive way to prepare for your family member in case they are accidentally separated from you.

Featured image courtesy of AP