Debbie Selsavage mug

Debbie Selsavage

Coping With Demenita

November is National Alzheimer’s Month, declared so by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

In Citrus County, we have a double observance for our loved ones living with dementia because our Board of County Commissioners has just named November Citrus County Scent Kits for Safety Month as well.

A Scent Kit — short for Human Scent Preservation Kit — is an inexpensive way to collect and retain an individual’s unique pure scent, which can be used to increase the success of bloodhounds tracking someone who has wandered and become lost.

Creating a Scent Kit is a good idea for everyone, including children, but it is especially important for individuals living with dementia because they are prone to wander.

Scent Kits have proven effective many times in Citrus County, and more than 15,000 have been distributed here.

As news of our success has spread, more than 10,000 Scent Kits have been requested by agencies in other counties.

Our kits, branded Out of Harm’s Way Scent Kits, are funded by the nonprofit Find-M’ Friends, assembled at the Key Training Center and distributed by several parties that include the Sheriff’s Office, our libraries and my company, Coping with Dementia LLC. Widespread distribution has been possible because Find-M’ Friends has learned how to manufacture them for about $2 each!

I can brag forever about what we have accomplished in Citrus County with Scent Kits, but what good is this to you if you don’t have one for your loved one living with dementia, for yourself, and for others in your family, including your children? Please, take advantage of this inexpensive way to improve your safety and the safety of the ones you love. Call me at 352-422-3663 to learn how to get your Scent Kit.

Debbie Selsavage is a certified independent trainer and consultant in the Positive Approach to Care, a certified dementia practitioner and a Florida-licensed memory care administrator. Contact her at