During the observance of September as World Alzheimer’s Month, Nassau County Legislator Siela A. Bynoe (D - Westbury) has continued her advocacy for the creation of the “Chesnel Veillard Program” - an initiative that would provide low-income, vulnerable Nassau County residents with no-cost access to the internationally regarded Project Lifesaver search and rescue program.While Nassau County currently utilizes Project Lifesaver in conjunction with its Silver Alert System to help safely return cognitively impaired individuals who have wandered away from caregivers, participants must pay $325 to enroll. Under a revised proposal that Legislator Bynoe filed on Sept. 23, the County would fund cost-free access to Project Lifesaver for clinically eligible individuals and families whose household income is less than $76,050/year.The initiative is named in memory of Chesnel Veillard, a resident of New Cassel who was afflicted with dementia. Mr. Veillard was tragically killed in November 2021 after he wandered from his home and onto the railroad tracks, where he was fatally struck by a train. Legislator Bynoe first learned of Mr. Veillard’s disappearance and condition when his daughter, Sendy, who worked as an intern in Legislator Bynoe’s office, called to request assistance.By tailoring the program to reach lower-income recipients, Legislator Bynoe is seeking to maximize the number of families that can have access to this crucial resource. Increasing the use of Project Lifesaver will also help law enforcement and first responders more quickly locate cognitively vulnerable individuals who wander – an outcome that simultaneously saves taxpayer resources and provides families with the peace of mind they need.“World Alzheimer’s Month calls attention to the tremendous challenges that families encounter as they grapple with a loved one’s cognitive disability - and it highlights the central role that local government can play in protecting our most vulnerable residents,” Legislator Bynoe said. “By launching the Chesnel Veillard Program, Nassau County can optimally position itself and its law enforcement agencies to safeguard our most vulnerable residents and prevent tragedies like the one that devastated Mr. Veillard’s family and the entire New Cassel community.”To maximize the benefits of the Project Lifesaver technology, anyone who enrolls in the Veillard program would also be entered into the County’s Return Every Adult and Child Home (REACH) registry - a database of children and adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other conditions that potentially limit their ability to communicate.
Click Here to Read the Proposal