Dementia and Elderly GPS Tracking Devices
A behavior that commonly affects those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, wandering can lead to death or serious injury. Disorientation caused by the disease makes even familiar surroundings seem unfamiliar to seniors, causing many people with dementia to get into dangerous situations.
Fortunately, elderly GPS tracking devices and technology have introduced a new way for caregivers and families to prevent the dangers of wandering in senior loved ones. Read more about these 10 life saving location devices for dementia.
10 Elderly GPS Tracking Devices That Will Keep Senior Loved Ones Safe
Adding more confusion to the lives of those already dealing with a disorienting disease, wandering leads many seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia into unsafe situations.
Location and elderly GPS tracking devices are an increasing option for caregivers and families trying to reduce wandering.
Here are 10 location devices that are being used to keep loved ones with the disease safe:
With locations in both Canada and the U.S., Bluewater Security’s dementia GPS tracking watches allow international monitoring. The devices were specifically designed to address at-risk seniors and they implement an alarm system that will sound if GPS receiver and watch become separated. One remarkable feature is the ability to locate the street address and postal code of the user’s location anywhere on a map worldwide from a computer or smartphone.
2. Comfort Zone Check-In (Update: Service discontinued.)
A solution to wandering from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Comfort Zone Check-In application allows caregivers to use a small tracking device to monitor their loved one with dementia. The “only system designed specifically with Alzheimer’s in mind” reports daily scheduled location alerts to caregivers from the user’s device, and also gives families access to all of the resources the Alzheimer’s Association offers, including a 24/7 helpline, counseling, referrals and other support.
One of the premier “wearable technologies,” the elderly GPS Smart Sole is an innovative technology that puts satellite monitoring in a sole that can be placed into a shoe to provide real-time tracking of a user. The soles offer peace of mind for families who can set up a safezone for a user and receive alerts from the ergonomic GPS SmartSole along with a smart locator app and map, wherever T-Mobile coverage is available. The SmartSole also has a 2-3 day battery life with normal use, and will alert caregivers by email or text notifications when the battery is low.
A new cellular tracking device, iTraq is the “world’s first global location device that can be found anywhere.” It uses cellular towers to determine location, allowing it to be used anywhere there is service around the world. The device itself is as small as a credit card, and its location is reported to you through a mobile application which allows you to view a map of locations and timestamps. iTraq also features a “Guard Mode” where users can specify a radius on a map, then receive alerts if/when the iTraq goes beyond your pre-set radius. This means that you could receive notification if a loved one wandered from home, and also be able to track where they are with accuracy.
MedicAlert’s Safely Home program is partnered with The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, who has more than 50 years of experience “enhancing the safety of people with dementia.” The program was originally created to help emergency responders treat those who couldn’t speak for themselves effectively, but now focus on assisted people living with dementia who go missing. The program features an emergency hotline, family notification and MedicAlert ID, that, when combined, is an “effective way to identify the person who is lost” and helps “bring the family back together.”
Mindme offers assistance to families dealing with dementia and wandering in the form of both an alarm and location device. Both elderly GPS devices are about the size of an electronic car key, and use GPS to provide an alarm and location updates if a user moves out of a preset location. The alarm also allows the user to specifically contact a Mindme response center in case of an emergency and the location device primarily reports location within 30 feet every 5 minutes. According to Mindme, both devices can be used to “let you get on with your life, knowing you can get help whenever and wherever you need it.”
PocketFinder offers multiple industry leading GPS devices to help you track a loved one. The devices are all small, waterproof and have one of the longest battery lives that allow you to not only view a GPS location, but also an address, an altitude, your distance from the address and the speed that the device is moving. The PocketFinder app provides updates to you “at the touch of a button,” whether on your computer or mobile device, through email and text notifications. It also provides an unlimited number of “geo-fences” that alert you when the GPS leaves a specified area and provides up to 60 days of tracking history.
Fulfilling their mission to “provide a 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,” Project Lifesaver’s GPS tracking program has helped rescue 2,983 people. We spoke with Gene Saunders, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Project Lifesaver, who shares more about the technology — a small PAL (Protect and Locate) tracker worn around the wrist — that has saved so many from wandering. “Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for PLI clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations.” Saunders adds: “Recently, Project Lifesaver has added a new technology… that can also provide a radio frequency safe zone around them that notifies the caregiver in the event an at risk individual breaches this established safe zone.”
Revolutionary Tracker provides “peace of mind at a single touch” in the form of a GPS enabled locator, smart phone, watch and other solutions for families dealing with dementia. These Revolutionary Tracker devices can set up safe zones, send alerts to caregivers and can locate with a voice command. The devices can also monitor a GPS device’s environment and support an SOS and audio conversation between the user and caregiver, making it a uniquely qualified solution to wandering.
With a focus on allowing loved ones to maintain their freedom and independence, and on giving caregivers the “comfort of knowing that SafeLink is watching over them,” SafeLink GPS is a great tracking solution for families. Their devices range from a small elderly GPS tracker to a discreet GPS watch, which can locate within a few feet of a user and also approximate location — whether a user is indoors or outside, for instance. The devices also offer a virtual geo-fence to alert when the wearer is outside of a specific area, and an SOS button for emergencies along with location information.
Have you used an elderly GPS tracking device on this list to ensure the safety of a loved one? What has your experience been like? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.
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