10 Lifesaving Location Devices for Dementia Patients

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.10 Lifesaving Location Devices for Dementia Patients

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

1. Project Lifesaver

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. 

2. Mindme

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.

4. GPS Smart Sole

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.

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6. PocketFinder

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.

7. Revolutionary Tracker

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.

8. Comfort Zone Check-In

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.

9. Bluewater Security

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.

10. MedicAlert Safely Home

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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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Kelly S.

    Thank you so much for providing this summary of what is available. There appear to be at least a couple of options on this list that will fit my needs. Thanks again.

  • I am still having trouble coming to terms with it being ok to track people with dementia (or lock us up) who are not criminals, simply because people without dementia feel is is ‘for our own safety’.

    It is in many ways, a complete breach of our human rights. Yes, I understand the safety issues carers feel (I have been one), but surely there is a degree os risk everyone is allowed to take, even people with dementia.

    The pharmaceutical industry were the ‘inventors’ of BPSD, becasue it is easier to drug us for what they and most have labelled as ‘challenging behaviours’ such as anxiety, aggression or wandering, rather than find ways to support different ways to communicate, or people still wanting to walk once diagnosed with dementia.

    Yes, the later stages are different, I agree, but surely we still have rights. I remain a concerned person living with dementia.

    • T.D

      Kate is lucky, she still has her marbles !!. No one is taking her rights away, she can still wonder but her carers will know where she is. When I started to use my tracker I used to walk forest tracks and would probably lain unfound for days. I use a MindMe in the UK. You have a one button call to a 24/7 call centre which will route the alarm to carer or emergency service. Your position is shown by GPS which is easily accessed via the internet, by whoever is given the entry code. I can still drive with the knowledge that I am tracked throughout the UK and Europe. What more do you need !!.

    • Marwift

      If you really feel your freedom is more important to you than say freezing to death because you wander, then by all means, let your friends and family know those are your wishes. Yes, Everyone should have control of their fate. My personal experience was with people who were no longer aware of what they were doing or the consequences of their choices. At that point, I am responsible for their well being and I refuse to allow grandpa to wander naked in a snowstorm while I am on watch! (Yes its really happened to us).

    • sem

      It is a bit of a different story when the individual is known to wander and get lost on occasion, and ends up phoning you not knowing how to get back home (or even knowing what city they are in, let alone the street). He relies on us to guide him back home, and would be next to impossible for us to do without a tracking device.

    • M

      Sorry you have this disease. 🙁 This is a safety issue, though and for those that cannot comunicate or understand where they are as stated already. This is for those freezing cold days in the winter and the burning hot days in the summer, too, where too much exposure can kill or further disorient a lost person. It is done out of love. It is for those that manage to escape nursing homes and assisted living and even wander at night in their own home. This is not for those still in the beginning of the disease, the ones that can still communicate, the ones that will eventually get home even through they’re lost for ten minutes. This is for the ones that refuse medication or to admit anything is wrong. This is done out of care and love and wanting your loved one to be safe even if they don’t understand they need it.

    • M

      And if you’re a caregiver that is not properly caring for someone and they constantly wander+get lost and no one does anything, I’m sure you’ll get in trouble with APS and whoever you care for will be placed and maybe you’ll be locked up

      • Sandwich care

        I understand your concerns and they are very valid but let me give you a few examples. An 83 year old lady climbed a 6ft fence at home in her own back garden as she did not recognise at that time where she was. Her carer was in the toilet (everyone is allowed a comfort break). The device enabled her to be found safe and sound. She had managed to travel a very large distance in a short space of time. Another not so happy ending is a local lady left her home in the middle of the night through a window. Sadly she was found dead in a drainage ditch. A GPS device could have alerted people that she had left the property.
        Everyone is an individual and whats right for one is not for another. If a GPS device can help people to remain independent then its a positive however if it makes that individual feel like a criminal other options should be investigated.
        I would like to say that caring for someone you love is the hardest job in the world, There is no rule book, when we take time off we feel guilty and then to read a comment that carers dont do their jobs properly is just heart breaking.
        I hope you find your compromise that make you and your loved ones happy.

    • 3DoggieMom

      I live in a large metropolitan area in the US. I can’t tell you how many times there are alerts put out for someone with dementia who has disappeared. Sometimes, there is not a good outcome. This winter, there were 2 people who died from hyperthermia. Not to mention the agony that these disappearances cause those who love them.

      My father has a form of dementia that affects his decision making and abstract thinking. While he lived by himself, before we knew exactly what was wrong with him, a young female targeted him and took him for several thousand $ with plans to take much more. Like a child, many people with dementia are not able to make good decisions – their brain will just not function that way. It pains my siblings and I to not allow Dad to have the freedom he desires, but he cannot protect himself.

    • lulu

      it seems to me that you might have more freedom with a tracking device, as people wouldn’t be so quick to “imprison”…which they do out of fear.
      i agree with you about the drugging…they did that to my mom and i put a stop to it. there are natural ways to deal with anxiety that comes from alzheimer’s, which is what she had.

      • Tracey

        Hi I live in Massachusetts and my mom in Illinois unfortunately she doesn’t want to come live here with us because like everyone else she is very independent and the change may not be good. I have noticed she’s having more anxiety can you please share with me what natural ways have you dealt with this for your parent. I would gladly appreciate it.

    • Nichole CoCoa Perkins Thorne

      I want to agree with this post so badly. The locking up and the drugging are criminal. But the tracking has become the best choice in my case. I don’t want my mom in a facility and I certainly stopped the drugging! She wants her freedom for as long as she can have it and I SOO want it for her. This is our best option so that she can have those things. Tracking her doesn’t mean hindering her in any way from going where she wants and doing what she wants. It does (hopefully) mean fewer trips to the hospital or police stations in the middle of the night when she has gotten herself lost. She is still so functional that reasoning with her just hasn’t worked. Caring for her is a challenge because she is so willful. Going with her is met with irate claims of independence. What would you suggest in such a case?

      • Joyce

        I concur, I’m in the same situation with my mom and she is similiar to your mom in several ways.. reasoning and independence. If I may, which device did you chose and are you happy with it?

        • Nichole CoCoa Perkins Thorne

          We haven’t decided yet. Unfortunately, she is still in a facility and I will need to petition the court to change that. Stinks.

    • wendy

      think this applys to people who have dementia or altziemers in the latter stages I for one think it is a great idea as I worry about my dad who when he does go out can forget where he lives or how to get back into the warden controlled flat where he live. It also mean I wont have to put my dad in a home which I would not do. I know he is safe and that is my main concern. I certainly dont think it is a breach of anyones human rights. and he is most certainly not a prisoner and still has his independence

    • Fred

      that post is absurd.

    • Pat Patterson

      I would rather my loved one have one of these devices and be found alive rather than be found dead or never found at all.

  • Juanita

    Verizon has a wristband called Gizmopal for children. I think that if it configured for adults and functioned the same way it already does now… It could be quite useful for an Alzhiemer or Dementia patient. It still gives the ability to call a loved one for help and might maintain independence for a little longer.

  • Gail Sanborn Clinch

    Is there anything available for a mobile dementia person that falls but will not remember there is a button on his person to push for help? And locate him (gps) if lost.

    • Ahmet CETINKAYA

      Hi Gail,
      I am currently developing a product for alzheimers disease patient and i will add height parameter to my app too.Thanks for commenting here

  • Linda

    I found a great ID Bracelet. Much better than the kind you find at the drug store. It’s soft and nearly impossible to remove. (Must be cut off with good Scissors)
    http://www.NeverLostWristbands.com Love the personalized service, Cheap and fast.

  • Sergio Conde da Silva

    Dear Alissa ,

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    I would like to add one device that is meant for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of Dementia. To briefly sum up its strengths, the Keruve has a safety lock integrated into the wristwatch and also is technologically capable of showing a person’s exact location on a map and approximate location if they are inside a building. The wristwatch is waterproof and has a battery life of 3.5 days and it can take up to 4 hours to charge. Additionally, you can enable a security perimeter in the event of a person wandering away from his/her home.

    The Keruve has no monthly fees and locates with no distance limits.

    The website where you could get more information is http://www.keruve.com You will see the contact information there, for the country you select.

    Kindest regards,

    Sergio Conde.

  • Dave

    Another GPS tracking service to compare is http://www.mobilealertpal.com

  • Mack Knife

    You ought to really validate the resources you put out. The GPS Shoe is vaporware. The company GTX Corp and Aertex (reseller) first: Do not answer their telephone, and in the later case, the link goes to a site that doesn’t exist.

    Please do some research before putting out information that looks more like multi-level marketing schemes or companies just trying to sell something without any support.

    This is too serious of an issue in many families to get false hopes up or deal with companies that can’t answer their own telephones. Just who is going to trust a company to help track their family members when the company selling the products can’t even answer a telephone?

    This sounds more like a way for someone to make money off of the hopes of people who are looking for a reliable solution to one of today’s biggest medical problems than a company that really has something to offer. Blogs and so on are nice but they are nothing more than PR if the company behind it isn’t around.

  • nao

    Don’t know of a local showroom or place to purchase

  • OJ

    Another great GPS locator is Yepzon. It is easy to use and has an amazing battery life. http://www.yepzon.com

  • Blanca

    How do u choose which one to get? It is so confusing. I

  • AudreyMiller

    Other than the medic alert, has anyone had experience in using these devices in Canada?

  • Pat Roye

    Is there some kind of device for one that refuses to wear a bracelet, watch, etc. something that can be attached that is unobtrusive?

  • sriwiyanti

    Is there any device like GPS tracker that available in Jakarta (Asia), some I see their coverage are in USA/Canada, non of them availabe in Jakarta. Thank you

  • My Mother has dementia. She has wondered out of her house several times while being watched by caregivers. They were either using the restroom, cooking for her, doing laundry, etc. My mom was found several blocks away one time and a neighbor spotted her and took her home.

    I’ve researched the internet for over 2 years looking for a device which would meet my needs. GPS doesn’t allow you to find her in a building because GPS does not work indoors. You need a direct line of site the the sky for GPS. So, these won’t work for me.

    I found Bluetooth devices that accomplish the same thing. However, Bluetooth is limited in the range of which they work. I could easily find her if she was in 30ft.-100ft. from my cell phone but when she’s down the street, there’s not a chance on Bluetooth working for me either.

    Bluetooth & GPS is what I need. There is not one available. So, I invented it. http://MiniMerlin.com. This device gives the best of both worlds and is unmatched in technology, features, size, portability and versatility.

    Our prototype is complete and we are launching our crowd funding campaign soon. Our first production run will be in October 2015 with delivery in late November / early December. Just in time for Christmas!

    Our MiniMerlin works Internationally as well as USA / Canada.

    If you have any questions please feel free to email me directly at bh@minimerlin.com. We are accepting pre-orders now at a significant discount to future retail prices.

    Thanks and we look forward to your feedback.

    • caitlinburm

      Hi Bruce,

      This sounds incredible. Thank you for sharing!

  • RWPhillips

    Does anyone know of a ankle bracelet form of tracking device. I am looking for something for a 24 yr old autistic man who wanders. Pocket devices and wrist worn devices are not practical.

    • Pat Patterson

      Google Alzheimer’s patients tracking devices and it lists different GPS devices. One is an ankle bracelet.

  • Simon

    New Pocket GPS Coordinates Locator to Reduce Risks of Getting Lost http://myspotis.com

  • John Persson

    GPS trackers are good! My mom is 80 years old and has dementia. She can not remember where she lives most of the time. She lives at an elder care home and each day around 3 pm she walks “home” – to her childhood home. It is 4 km away and when she gets there she mostly walks round in a circle. She gets fresh air and an exercise, enjoys the nature and is in good mood.

    She forgets where she live and sometimes I call her cell phone and ask her what she is doing and where she is. If she is around her childhood I sometimes pick her up and take her home for dinner, and bring her to elder care later. If she forgot the cell phone or it is discharged I use the GPS tracker to find her.

    We have been talking about her freedom to go where she wants. She (mostly) understand that with the cell phone and the GPS she can where she want. We can then call her and ask if she want us to pick her up, or with the GPS we can show up and ask if she want to go home to the elder care.

    Twice we had given up and she was found by the police. Walking around for more than 10 hours is not what she wants. She understand the problem with not being found.

    The best thing with the GPS we use is that it can have standby time at 300 hours. That is more than a week. To get a position you can call the device or send an SMS with a code. Then it will return a message like this:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.8269817%2c-122.4251442 V:A,2015-11-11 15:28:13 S:004km/h,Bat:90%,9107726101

    Unless you know the world coordinates by trivia, a smartphone (Android, iPhone) is handy at this time.

    The response line contains:
    * Link to google maps
    * Status “V:A” = active pos, V:V = old pos
    * Date time when it send the SMS
    * Speed e.g. 4 km/h
    * Battery charge
    * IMEI number

    The brand is Tkstar and it is from http://www.dx.com/383705 We do not use the belt, as the GPS is just put in her jacket pocket tied up with cable ties (otherwise she removes it from the pocket). It has GPRS capabilities (online tracking) but we do not use that as it takes too much power.

    I prefer GPS over drugs and locking up.

    • John Persson

      The response the GPS send was converted to a link to google, here is “almost” how it look:

      http:// maps . google . com/ maps?q=37.8269817%2c-122.4251442

  • Sherry Terry

    I’m interested in a tracker for my wandering 95 y.o. father. However, he has a pacemaker. Do any of the signals from the trackers interfere with the pacemaker? Also, I’d like to hear from someone who has used a tracker vs. the sales pitches…

  • Laura

    I currently use a ‘go track’ in my mothers car. It is great and can be followed on my phone. I put this in because she started to forget her phone at home and I couldn’t locate her with ‘find my iPhone app’ because the phone was home and she wasn’t. Now it is starting to elevate to a higher level where I need to put something on her person. Pretty Scary stuff and yet she is not ready for an assisted living situation.

  • Daniel Bagwell

    Ok well you can substitute “Ambers” for “Silvers”

    I’m a father of 2 girls and getting ready to be a Child Tracker

    First thing is this I received my Paw Tracker and clipped it to my 9 year olds backpack…. It screws with a 2 screws and a small screwdriver which makes it better than any watch that may get taken off at school or ripped off at the playground. If you screw it to your kids backpack it won’t be going anywhere and you will know exactly what they are doing after school. Think about they amount of money you will save with this route.

    Ok, I found a new GPS tracking company that seems better because they offer a lifetime warranty on their device. You can check them out on Indiegogo for the best deal everhttp://igg.me/at/pawtracker/x/… ….The thing with this whole “space” is CUSTOMER SERVICE…Our pets are wearing these in the rain, snow, blistering sun, they will break… at lease withwww.thepawtracker.com you will always have a working device. I’m very close with the guys at The Paw Tracker so I can vouch for them being good honest hardworking people and did I mention they are American. Everything in the Tech world changes every 4 months so why spend $150-300 on a device that will be outdated in 4 months. The Paw Tracker business model is based around The Customer being the main focus. If you want to have Real Time Tracking you will be paying a monthly fee. There is nobody that can track a lost pup in the country with Bluetooth or Wifi, SIM is the only full proof method. I guess you will do the research for yourself and see what you think. Happy New Year to all and may your 2016 be an epic year on your journey..

  • Ekbil Aksesuarlar

    Rewire Security’s 102 Nano GPS Tracker is; tiny ,battery powered, easy to use, has 1 day standby time, and they provide real time GPS Tracking platform, aswell as a mobile GPS Tracking APP 🙂 (IOS/Android compatible)

    They have a great technical support team, and suprisingly their prices are affordable.
    Check them out : https://www.rewiresecurity.co.uk/gps-tracker-car-tracking-devices

    • caitlinburm

      Thank you for sharing that with us, John.

  • My Mother is having Alzheimer, and inspired from her i have launched a new product in market which is a GPS AND A BLUETOOTH TRACKER, It helps to track her anytime from anywhere

    Gps tracker for Alzheimers Patients, Dementia, Autism, Tracking Device

    http://minimerlin.com/

    I suggest you people to have a look at it
    so that
    you can make the most of it

    Cheers

  • Ranjan

    Good list of devices, however I came across rugged, waterproof SmartKavach (Watch) with 10+ features for elderly (even when fall unconscious) and ambulance paramedics from http://www.easym2m.in.

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