Let me preface this post with: if you are considering a tracking device for a confused person – include them in the decision. I know there are instances where the person won’t understand, but do it out of respect. A person always has rights.
There are a growing variety of GPS-based tracking devices caregivers and non-secure long-term care facilities can use when concerned about someone wandering away. Anyone that has cared for a confused elder knows this is a serious concern. It’s not uncommon for even secured facilities to have a resident leave the building at one time or another, prompting a widespread search. Usually they’re found in fine condition, but not always.
Recognizing the need for tracking devices, companies have responded accordingly. The device gaining some of the most attention is GTX Corporation’s GPS tracking shoe. Chris Walsh, an ex Nike executive and current COO of GTX Corp states:
There are a growing number of seniors suffering from dementia and we know over 50% ‘wander’ without anyone’s knowledge of where they are and where they are heading. The shoe we intend on developing with Aetrex should help authorized family members, friends, or caretakers reduce their stress and anguish by enabling them to locate their loved ones instantly with the click of mouse from any desktop computer or mobile phone with internet access.
The shoes, in the $200-$300 range, don’t come cheap. This is on top of a roughly $20 monthly fee for alerts if the shoe wearer leaves a designated area (according to a CNN article on the subject).
- The GPS SPOT Personal Tracker is a device that allows the wearer to alert 911 or to check in with someone else at the push of a button. This could be an appropriate device for the moderately confused person that could get lost, but still have the wherewithal to call for help via the device.
- The Fanatic Digital Real Time GPS Tracker offers real-time location and speed information accessed by authorized mobile phones or via the internet.
- The Zoomback Advanced GPS Universal Locator is similar in that it’s real-time location tracking within a defined coverage area.
The advantage to sneakers is it’s less likely to be left at home (or taken off while walking). Family members and others must make the decisions tha.