GPS and Alzheimer's Care; Keeping Track of the Ones You Love

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As more and more people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), many more products will be developed to help families and caregivers deal with issues specific to AD. Products with GPS locators are being developed to deal with the issue of wandering. It is estimated that sixty percent of people with AD will wander. And when they do, many are unable to find their way home. They become disoriented and lost, and, unfortunately, sometimes the story does not end happily.

Just imagine your parents are staying in a hotel. Your father leaves and doesn’t return. No one knows where he is. The next day, when he is located, you learn that he had gotten lost, couldn’t remember the name of the hotel and couldn’t remember your mother’s cell phone number. Imagine the pain of that night for him and your family. It happened to Donna Giovannetti and her father. Read their story.

Vision Localization Systems

Vision Localization Systems is a company that has concentrated on designing a GPS locator for individuals who are at a high risk of getting lost. Their stated goal has been “to make life easier for families living with a member affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”

To make this goal a reality, in 2004 they concentrated their efforts on the development of Keruve, a direct locator specifically intended for use by families caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Keruve enables a caregiver or family member to know the exact location of the person wearing the device at any given moment with just the press of a button.

Kerve has received more than 12 awards and has made hundreds of media appearances. They have been working with Alzheimer’s groups and thousands of their customers in over 20 countries to ascertain what it would take to provide caregivers with peace of mind every single day.

Keruve allows someone with AD to go for walks, without their caregivers worrying about their exact whereabouts. With just the press of a button, the caregiver is able to view a map and locate the person with AD. With no limits on distance, the person with AD can be located anywhere, quickly and effectively.

Keruve consists of two parts: a GPS watch with a safety lock (requires special key to unlock/lock) that is worn by the person with AD and a portable receiver. Since the GPS watch looks like a normal wristwatch, it is accepted by the person with AD, and goes unnoticed by the general public. The safety lock keeps it in place. The receiver is portable, enabling the caregiver to carry it with them if they need to go out and locate the person with AD. The locator is even able to issue a warning if the person with AD leaves a pre-defined area. The GPS watch is also waterproof and shockproof.

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Lok8u multi.m8 GPS Watch

The multi.m8 looks like a wristwatch but does so much more. Through the combined use of GPS and cellular identification technology, the multi.m8 is able to locate the wearer quickly and to within 10 feet.

Lok8u has partnered with T-Mobile to create this device utilizing location software that can be accessed through a web portal. The multi.m8 also has a panic button that can be pressed to request help.

You’ve probably heard of the LoJack, otherwise known as the LoJack SafetyNet System. And you’ve heard how well these systems work at helping police recover stolen vehicles.

The search and rescue components of the LoJack are manufactured by Locator Systems. These same components are now being placed inside personal locator units that can be placed on a person or their clothing. These components can be used by law enforcement agencies to track and rescue people, such as those with Alzheimer’s, who tend to wander and become disoriented and lost. These units and their receivers work in densely wooded areas, subways, concrete structures, wetlands, or any other hidden location across the U.S. and Canada. The system utilized through Project Lifesaver International has rescued over 2,000 people averaging a find in under 30 minutes.

GPS Tracking Shoes
GPS Tracking Shoes | Source

GPS in Shoes!

How many people do you know wear shoes? Probably most! So if a GPS tracker could be placed in a shoe, which it can, that just might be a good way to keep track of someone. The new GPS shoe comes with a computer chip built into the shoe.

Using a downloadable app, these shoes allow the caregiver to easily locate the wearer, but can also be programed to alert the caregiver if the wearer goes beyond certain defined boundaries.

See videos below for demo of these shoes.



Every day there are reports of people who have dementia who have wondered off and are missing. Sometimes they are found quickly, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they are found close to home and sometimes they can be very far away. Sometimes they are found safe and sound and sometimes …

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Copyright © 2012 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)


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Other Sites With Related Products:

Wherify offers a watch that is able to communicate its location over cell phone frequencies.


Project Lifesaver International helps save lives and reduces the potential for serious injury for many including those with Alzheimer's. Project Lifesaver has over 1,200 participating agencies in the United States, Canada and Australia. In their 11 years of searches, they have not had any serious injuries or fatalities.

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Comments: "GPS and Alzheimer's Care; Keeping Track of the Ones You Love" 20 comments

T-Parker profile image

T-Parker 5 years ago from Greater Toronto Area

What a fantastic topic! Someone I know who has AD pretty bad recently had a terrible 3-hour odyssey trying to drive to a nearby corner-store before his apparent confusion had a gas-station attendant call for help.

Wonderful hub!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

T-Parker - I think that a tracker or locator would be really good to get for someone with AD. I know other AD individuals who have gotten lost in their wonderings. They really don't know how to ask for help, or they are embarrased, or they don't even realize something is wrong. Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

It can be so frightening to have someone with this disease walk out on you, especially when you hear about cases of abuse of the elderly. This is a great way to care for people and cut down on the stress of worrying about someone you love.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hello, stephaniedas! They are so good at slipping away too! Technology is so good at creating things to make our lives easier. It just seems that our lives keep getting more complicated though. I wonder why that is?


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

This is another terrific hub that will be very useful to those who care for people who suffer from Alzheimer's. This technology is truly exciting because as stated in the hub, a patient's life can be at risk if they wander off with no means of finding their way back home.

Am voting this hub up across the board except for funny. You really have a knack for writing cutting edge and practical hubs about Alzheimer's in an interesting, concise yet comprehensive manner.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Gail/happyboomernurse - Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I just read where an elderly person with dementia wondered off in the area and was found dead by a creek. It is really what lead me to write this article. I like the GPS watch the best, although I'm not sure if it is available in the US yet, because it cannot be removed. They can remove their shoes, and for whatever reason might.

Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

So sensitivly written and I am sure will benefit many who read.

It is such a sensitive and heart breaking illness,more I always think for the loved ones looking on than for the actual patirnt.

Thanks for sharing this one and here's to many more to come.

Take care

Eiddwen.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Eiddwen - Hello, my friend! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. When I think about someone suffering with Alzheimer's and language doesn't make any sense, and you don't know what things are called, and nothing looks familiar, it would be like being dropped off on an alien planet with aliens all around me. I wouldn't understand anything around me. It would be very scary.

Thanks for stopping by!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

This is a great example of useful technology! Imagine how many elderly people that get lost because of this type of diseases. In Sweden, where I live, it is more or less expected now days that old people that suffer from Alzheimer's or Senile dementia to remain living in their home. I understand that by remaining in their home it will make it easier for them to live and do familiar things in a familiar environment but it is so stressful for the relatives! Thanks for this interesting hub written in a caring way.

Tina


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

thoughtforce - you are right on both counts. People with Alzheimer's do not adjust to change very well, and therefore do better if kept in an environment that they are familiar with. But yes, this does make it very difficult for the ones who are responsible for their care.

Thanks for stopping by!


tsmog profile image

tsmog 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

WOW! A whole bunch of research time went into this very thoughtful topic. With a giggle - I'll send this to relatives who may be keeping an eye on me - smile.


adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 5 years ago from Atlanta

This is such an important topic, Alzheimer runs in our family. We just lost an Aunt to the disease. It is so very important for families to know what is available to help keep track of loved one. Thanks again for such a wonderful article.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

tsmog - I'm giggling with you my friend. You write too well to be needin' these shoes! But they might help you run faster if you happen to get into trouble. LOL

Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

adrienne2 - I'm glad you enjoyed it. I do hope it helps people be able to take care of their loved ones. Thanks for stopping by!


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

HSB: great hup with perfect supporting documents and links. I love the assortment of ads too because for someone who may be shopping and dealing with an AD parent of spouse... may not have time to shop for long periods of time. Votes up and shared.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate the feedback and am pleased that you consider it to be well laid out. Thanks so much!


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

What a great and useful tool for those families facing this potentially traumatic disease! Voted up and useful! Thanks!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

prektjr.dc - These GPS shoes do have the potential of saving lives, while at the same time providing peace of mind for the families and caregivers. Thanks so much for stopping by!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Terrific information and well presented.

I'd never heard of GPS shoes. After reading your hub and watching the videos I checked out the net to learn more and got curious about the shoes and water. A lot of folks like to wash their running shoes in a washing machine. Turns out that some manufacturers claim their GPS shoes are waterproof, but others don't. That would be something to consider when making this costly purchase. Up, interesting, useful!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

I would think that these shoes would not be washed as you do normal tennis shoes. They would have to be somewhat water resistant because people with Alzheimers may find themselves in a water puddle and not realize they should get out. Thanks so much for bringing up the point.

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