Ensuring Safety and Peace of Mind: The Need for GPS Tracking Devices for Elderly Individuals with Dementia
As our population continues to age, it is becoming increasingly important to address the unique challenges faced by older adults, especially those living with dementia.
One of the most pressing concerns for caregivers and family members is the safety and well-being of their loved ones, especially when they chose to continue living independently. The use of tracking devices, particularly GPS-based solutions, has emerged as an invaluable tool to ensure the security and remote care of elderly individuals with dementia.
Dementia, a progressive cognitive decline that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour, can lead to various challenges, including wandering and getting lost. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 50 million people worldwide living with dementia, and this number is expected to triple by 2050. Wandering is a common behaviour among individuals with dementia, posing significant risks such as falls, accidents, exposure to extreme weather conditions, and overall disorientation.
Before delving into the benefits of GPS-based tracking devices, it is important to acknowledge the existence of alternative solutions such as Bluetooth tile devices and installed at-home emergency buttons. Bluetooth tile devices, typically small tags that can be attached to personal belongings, allow for proximity tracking when near other people’s mobile phones. So location can only be updated when someone passes nearby. Although useful for locating nearby misplaced items, they are not particularly suitable for monitoring the whereabouts of an elderly person with dementia who may wander away from the home or care facility and away from other people.
Similarly, installed at-home emergency buttons can be helpful within the confines of the residence. These devices, when pressed, alert a designated contact or emergency response centrr for immediate assistance. However, they do not provide real-time tracking capabilities outside the home, leaving gaps in monitoring and response when an individual wanders away or faces potential dangers in public spaces.
The Advantages of GPS Pendants and GPS Watches
Real-Time Location: GPS pendants and watches equipped with GPS technology offer real-time location tracking, enabling caregivers and family members to quickly locate their loved ones with dementia. This feature provides peace of mind and allows for prompt intervention in case of emergencies, significantly reducing the risks associated with wandering.
Two way voice chat: The latest GPS pendants and watches use a SIM card like a mobile phone and are capable of voice communication. This is especially useful to reassure your loved one if they have a fall, are worried or confused when out and about.
Mobility and Independence: Unlike installed at-home emergency buttons, GPS pendants and watches ensure the safety of elderly individuals beyond the confines of their residence. These portable devices enable them to maintain a sense of independence, as they can freely move within a predetermined safe zone, while caregivers can monitor their movements remotely.
Fall Detection: Falls are a common concern for the elderly, and individuals with dementia are particularly vulnerable due to their impaired cognitive abilities. GPS pendants and watches equipped with fall detection technology can automatically detect falls and trigger alerts to caregivers or emergency services. This prompt response can be lifesaving, especially in situations where the individual is unable to call for help.
Geo-Fencing: GPS devices offer the capability to set up virtual boundaries, known as geo-fences. Caregivers can define safe areas, such as the home or familiar surroundings, and receive alerts if the individual with dementia wanders beyond these boundaries. Geo-fencing serves as an effective preventive measure, ensuring early intervention and minimizing potential risks.
It’s important to consider what your need now from any device, and also what might be useful in 6 months or a year from now. Caring for elderly individuals with dementia requires innovative solutions to ensure their safety and well-being. GPS-based tracking devices, including pendants and watches with two way voice chat, provide significant advantages over lower cost alternatives that are restricted by their more basic technology.