Alzheimer’s disease and dementia erase a person’s memory so that familiar surroundings become unfamiliar, making it difficult to adapt to new environments. The disorientation of the disease often leads to wandering, a common and serious concern for many caregivers who worry their loved one may become frightened, lost or apt to walk into a dangerous situation.
There are now new solutions to address wandering and help keep your loved one safe and secure. One way to end wandering in seniors with Alzheimer’s is to use a life-saving location device. Using GPS tracking, these devices allow seniors to be found quickly and safely. Here is a list of ten lifesaving location devices for seniors who have Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Devices to Track Loved Ones Who Wander
The mission of Project Lifesaver is “to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism and other related condition or disorders.” Seniors who are enrolled in Project Lifesaver are given a personal transmitter that they wear around their ankle. If they wander, the caregiver calls a local Project Lifesaver agency and a trained team will respond. Recovery times average 30 minutes and many who wander are found within a few miles of their home. In addition to the location device, Project Lifesaver works with public safety agencies to train them on the risks associated with wandering.
Mindme offers two lifesaving devices, one is a location device, the other is an alarm. The alarm allows the user to alert a Mindme response center in case of a fall or other emergency. The locator device is specifically designed for people with dementia or other cognitive disabilities. The simple device works as a pendant that can be put in a pocket or bag and allows caregivers to track the user online at any time. Caregivers can also set a radius for the user and will be alerted if the person travels outside that zone.
3. GPS Shoe
If having a loved one carry a pendant or wear an extra device is worrisome to you, the GPS Shoe may be your solution. These tracking devices go back to the days of Get Smart and Agent 99 with a GPS tracking device located in the heel of the right shoe. The device is rechargeable and sends a signal to a central monitoring system so that caregivers can track them via website. Location is updated every 30 minutes on the basic plan and every 10 minutes on the premium plan. The shoes need to be charged every 48 hours and can be fully charged within two hours.
Similar to the GPS Shoe and from the same designers, the GPS Smart Sole fits into most shoes and allows caregivers to track their loved one from any smart phone, tablet or web browser. The shoe insert is enabled with GPS technology and allows real-time syncing, a detailed report of location history, and allows users to set up a safe radius for their loved one.
5. Safe Link
Safe Link is another GPS tracking system available for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The product promises to “increase safety for the elderly, promote independent living and ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle.” Safe Link is a small device carried by the person who may wander. The device periodically sends its geographic coordinates to central servers and family members and caregivers can view the wearer’s location via website. The device needs to be charged and worn at all times. All devices have an SOS button for emergencies.
PocketFinder was founded in 2005 by a single parent who wanted to know the whereabouts of his young son, especially when he wasn’t there. Their slogan, “If you love it, locate it!” sums up their philosophy and service offerings. Tracking everything from luggage to pets to children to seniors, the company offers a wide range of emerging technological products. PocketFinder is designed to be the smallest tracker on the market and the device can fit in the palm of your hand. It has a battery life up to one week and allows caregivers to track wearers through a user-friendly app.
Revolutionary Tracker has location based systems to keep tabs on seniors who may wander. The company strives to “bring an unparalleled level of functionality, capability, ease of use and relevant presentation of information to give people the ability to extend communication, knowledge, protection and care for their loved ones.” Their GPS enabled personal tracker features an SOS button for emergencies and offers real-time tracking. This device allows multiple seniors to be tracked at the same time and syncs directly to a caregiver’s smart phone or computer.
The Comfort Zone Check-In is the wandering solution from the Alzheimer’s Association. There are two options for tracking a loved one. One is a small device that can be carried in a purse or a pocket, the other is by tracking a Sprint cell phone that the person carries with them. Comfort Zone Check-In requires a monthly subscription that links the device to a web-based software where caregivers can easily find the location of their loved one.
Bluewater Security offers a unique solution to tracking seniors in that the GPS tracking device is a watch designed to exclusively be worn by seniors with dementia. The company offers a wide range of tracking and surveillance equipment. Their innovative watch has a panic button in case of an emergency and tracks the senior so that caregivers can find them if they wander. The watch is the same size as a standard wrist watch and looks similar. It works with a receiver so that if the watch leaves a set distance from the receiver, an alarm will sound.
This device was originally created to help emergency responders treat patients who could not speak for themselves. Today, the device also helps people with dementia who wander. The device is worn as a bracelet and when a loved one goes missing, caregivers can call the police and have the police call the 24-hour hotline to get the location of the missing person. Caregivers can also call the hotline themselves to get information. In addition to a tracking device, the bracelet has important medical information engraved upon it.
Have you used a GPS tracking device to keep your loved one safe? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.
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