In what could be seen as an innovative use of modern GPS technology, a council is tagging vulnerable dementia sufferers with the satellite navigation technology to help make sure that they don’t get lost and remain safe.
Under a new scheme in Warwickshire, dementia sufferers in the city would be fitted with a mini GPS box attached to their clothes, in order to help caretakers and family members to track them. Their movements would subsequently be traced using maps on a secure website.
In addition, the device would also be useful in tracking sufferers’ movements in the home. Tiny wireless sensors placed in the key rooms of the house to track the sufferer’s movements, which would then be viewed by the family members by logging on to a website.
The groundbreaking scheme is being trialled by Warwickshire City Council, and it would help the near and dear ones to keep an eye on the sufferer’s daily activities without disturbing them much.
A family in Warwickshire has already reported the huge benefits of the handy tracking device which is installed in the patient’s belt.
The user, who wished to be identified by his first name, Pete, said that he was getting increasingly concerned because of his father’s wandering, who was rescued by police on a regular basis.
He said: “Five months ago we were in a position where we felt that we could no longer cope. Dad always loved to take the dog for long walks but he started getting lost in other parts of town.”
Pete further asserted that he talked to his dad about installing the GPS device to deal with the disease. His dad happily agreed to wear the device as “he feels that he is being looked after even if we are not there”.
Such a case demonstrates how technology can tremendously improve the lives of people and help thousands in their daily chores. A large proportion of the UK population will end their lives with some form of dementia and providing them with a device that can help their family track their moves will reduce their anxieties.